Transformational approach is a process of leadership that changes and transforms people, Northouse (2013). Transformational leaders provide a sense of vision and mission, they have the capability to inspire through communication of high expectations, stimulate the use of intelligence for problem solving, and provide personal attention and coaching for followers. This type of leadership is concerned with emotions, values ethics, standards and long term goals (p.185).
“Charismatic leaders act in unique ways that have specific charismatic effects on their followers”(p.188). Charismatic leaders are strong role models for the beliefs and values they want their followers to adopt. They are known to be dominant and have a strong desire to influence others. They also are self-confident and have a strong sense of one’s own moral values.
No one fits the above description of a transformational and charismatic leader better than Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey, known all over the world by her first name was born in rural Mississippi and raised by her grandmother until age six when she went to live with her maid mother. Winfrey overcame many challenges including being sexually abused at age 9, to become one of the most dominant media personalities of modern America. (Forbes.com). As a transformational leader Oprah Winfrey had a clear vision and mission best seen in her multi award show the Oprah Winfrey Show whereby she influenced and inspired millions worldwide to dream big. Time magazine named her “one of the most influential people” of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Winfrey’s communication skills have enabled her to engage with people from diverse backgrounds. People have been able to identify with Winfrey because of her background and the fact that she was able to succeed in a male dominated world. Oprah is known to shed a tear over emotional stories through her interviews and this human side of her connects her with people who see her as caring.
Charismatic leadership is seen of Oprah’s dominance as the first woman to own her own network broadcast changing the lives of millions of her viewers. Oprah is self-confident and shares personal stories about her pain and joy.
She is an authentic communicator who makes a strong connection with her audience. She also has a great sense of moral values. When Oprah makes mistakes she is willing to announce that she was wrong. This is why so many of Oprah’s viewers feel a strong connection with her.
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage