Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey is one of the wealthiest women in the world (worth a reported $2.9 billion, she is also the first African-American woman billionaire and one of few self-made women at that level). She also is one of the busiest, with her own production company (Harpo), from-the-ashes TV network (OWN), magazine (O, The Oprah Magazine), and many film projects she has and is working on.


The Oprah Winfrey Show went into syndication in 1986 and was a quick ratings hitter.  She started out on AM Chicago in 1984 before starting the Oprah Winfrey Show.  4500 episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show, this was always her message: You can.’ You can do, you can be, you can grow and you can be better.  Don’t let people talk you into what you think is you, she advised Steve Harvey once.  Oprah was on television for 25 years, and at the same time she retired the show, she started OWN.

Other Ventures

Oprah also heads a montly magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine.  The magazine was first published in 2000, and the latest stats show a paid circulation of well over 2.7 million even after magazine sales have fallen in the last 5 years.  Oprah gears her magazine to middle-aged women in the upper middle class.  She always appears on the covers, except twice when she has shared the cover.

Oprah also developed her own radio network, Oprah and Friends which aired on XM radio, but the contract had not been renewed in 2015.  It featured notable experts on fitness, nutrition, health, money mangement, spirituality, and parenting.

Harpo Films was folded in 2013.  It had a contract with ABC, then HBO and supplied award winning features and long-form television programs.  However, the long-form program demand for broadcast had dried up.

Business Philosophy

Oprah has built her empire with 3 important philosophies: her team, her values, and her vision.  She selects super smart mentors who adviser her how to do certain aspects of her company she is unfamiliar with.  She invests in top talent, she nurtured Dr Phil and Racheal Ray.  And she nurtures her relationship with her audience, which are her consumers; by listening to what they are say and offering up advice and (used to) famous give-a-ways.  She also has always believed in what she Could-Be, not what she was.  She learned to dream big, and is focused enough to take her dream step by step.  She has always told her team her vision and has been purposeful in execution.  To accomplish what Oprah has takes “insatiable ambition, drive and focus. It takes an iron stomach of stamina,” says biographer Kitty Kelley.

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls opened in South Africa in 2007, which she has contributed $100 million dollars to.

ForbesWoman.com listed Oprahs Best Leadership Secrets

  1. She Carefully Selects her Team
  2. Gathers Trusted Mentors
  3. Values Her Customer
  4. Strategically Extends Her Brand
  5. Keeps Her Brand Focused
  6. Rewards Employees
  7. Dreams Big
  8. Communicates her Vision
  9. Demonstrates a Social Conscience