This past Sunday, at the Golden Globes Oprah, gave a phenomenal speech. If you didn’t see it, you’ve definitely heard about it. While speaking she made all of us feel heard.
It’s no news that Oprah knows all the secret sauces to success.
What she said that night was extraordinary and strong, and it displayed her immedicable leadership ability. So much so, that many are left wondering if she’ll be running for President of the United States in the next election.
But it wasn’t just what she said, it was how she said it.
There’s so much to learn from Oprah Winfrey, this week she gave us three simple but brilliant tools to being a better leader.
1. Legitimize yourself as a leader.
When receiving Cecil B. de Mile Awrard at the 75th annual Golden Globes, Oprah hardly talked about her career and the work she’d done to make it to that stage. Instead, Oprah used this opportunity as a platform to encourage, and to lead.
She built herself up, without bragging.
Oprah explained that she had seen the Sidney Poitier win a Golden Globe and how it had impacted her life. She explained how much it meant for her to see a black man being celebrated. And while displaying the gravity of that situation she let her audience know that it was an honor to be in similar position.
“In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.”
She gave weight to this moment, and let her audience share the magnitude of it. Oprah wasn’t shy to point out that she was making history.
She legitimized herself as a leader, but she didn’t shove the concept down her audiences throat. She led them to that conclusion with a relatable personal experience, and historical facts.
2. Empower your audience.
Oprah’s speech made her audience feel powerful. She applauded their ability to create change and encouraged their opportunities to keep progressing.
“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have”
It’s not about a truth, or even the truth, Oprah makes it about a personal truth. She makes even the most general statement personal, which makes it even more compelling.
She gives power to her entire audience by empowering each and every individual.
She points to the incredibly powerful stories of Rosa Parks, and Recy Taylor to promote her point: individuals are powerful.
3. Include everybody.
Throughout her speech Oprah referenced the #MeToo movement. When discussing this movement fueled by men in power harassing women, she empowers both men and women.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up… and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man — every man who chooses to listen.”
Beyond empowering genders, Oprah empowers communities. She shows magnificent signs of leadership by not leaving anybody out.
“But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace…They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”
In about 9 minutes Oprah has gone from walking on stage to uniting the entire world. She includes everybody, and this is one of the most important qualities in a leader. The best leaders understand that there is power in numbers. So instead of diving groups, they combine them.
Through legitimizing herself, empowering and including her audience, she united them, which is what every leader should be trying to do.