Some Folks Ain't Gonna Like This
May 09 | by Natasha
ONTDTIME went and started something. Speak on it. And YBF has the exclusive sneak peek into the Oprah's (the $2.5 billion NET WORTH YBF chick) upcoming Black Enterprise cover story for the June issue:
On Friday, May 16, black enterprise will name 54 year old Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. its 2008 be100s Company of the Year. Winfrey gives an exclusive interview discussing her business beginnings, mistakes, lessons learned, and her defining philosophy that is inspiring future business moguls. In be’s June issue cover feature, “Oprah Means Business,” Winfrey talks about the winning formula that has taken Harpo Inc. from a five-person production company to a 430-employee multimedia conglomerate that grossed $345 million in 2007 (No. 14 on the be Industrial/Service 100 list). Today, she is one of a handful of black billionaires across the globe; her net worth estimated at $2.5 billion. On her key to success: “I haven’t planned one thing—ever. I have just been led by a strong instinct, and I have made choices based on what was right for me at the time.” On becoming an investor for the Oxygen channel: “I went along with the Oxygen plan because my lawyer at the time, and lots of other people around me said, ‘How are you going to let there be a woman’s network and not be a part of it?’” The network struggled with programming and branding, and Winfrey eventually reduced Harpo’s programming commitment. “It was an ego decision and not a spirit decision, which is how I make all my decisions,” she says. “The only decisions that get me in trouble are ego decisions.” On what her brand of leadership is: “I don’t yell at people, I don’t mistreat people, I don’t talk down to people. So no one else in this building, in this vicinity, has the right to do it,” she states emphatically. “Treating people with respect is the most important thing to me. It’s not just talk.” That creed—both inside and outside the organization—is a large part of her legacy. She has developed a series of ventures through a variety of media platforms to communicate her guiding philosophy of dignity, purpose, and empowerment. “Television is the most powerful medium we have,” she continues. “The Internet is close and there will be a hybrid of the two at some point. But that medium inside the home to communicate with people, that visual medium … is the most powerful thing you can have. That is an enormous amount of influence.” On what her new OWN network will be like when she ends her Oprah Show distribution contract in 2011: "My intention is for it to live beyond me, for it to be a living network of possibilities for people in their own lives,” she explains. “To be able to say that my life was used in service, to help people come to their highest potential—I would do it even if my name wasn’t attached to it.” Chick is not playin'. This issue hits stands June 3rd.
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