I’ll say it again.
I love Oprah. I’ve just been watching her show for too long not to love her. My husband doesn’t get it. My dad doesn’t get it. All my girlfriends do. For a long time I chocked it up to a girl thing. And I don’t really care if she is a sell out or a mogul gone too far or if she is overexposed. Her show has introduced me to things I frankly would not have been exposed to on my own. I guess I am just not esoteric enough to have found Eckart Tolle on my own. Whose book is really, really good.
So I was watching her big farewell bash from the United Center in Chicago (the greatest city on earth) and amid the many celebrity “surprises” and over-the-top farewell songs (Aretha’s Amazing Grace, for all its greatness…fell flat) was one segment that truly brought me to tears. Oprah too. And I don’t mean the “Oprah is welling up a little bit as she thanks a guest who got over their Hoarding problem”. I mean, Oprah cried the heartfelt cry that you just can fake or shy away from.
The entire show consisted of tributes from a plethora of people who Oprah influenced, helped, or changed for the better. But one segment stood out. This segment highlighted all of the African-American Men who received Oprah Winfrey scholarships to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. Many brilliant who would have never afforded school had it not been for the scholarship; several are now doctors, lawyers, etc.
So, the United Center went dark; Kristen Chenoweth took the stage. She started singing the first bars of “For Good” (from Wicked) and a slow long procession began. From the back of the United Center 400 men holding candles processed out through the audience to take the stage.
I love theatrical drama only if it is done well; this my friends was done well. Don’t believe me? Here is the video.
So Oprah cried. Big time. And I would suggest for one reason and one reason only. She likely got what she has longed for many years. Validation from a segment of the population frankly never linked to her or her works. A segment who usually openly loathes her. Men. More importantly, she did change their lives for the better and she likely never knew it.
So this is not a piece to slam men. If I were a dude I wouldn’t dig her either. But I guess what I am getting at is you, HR rockstar, have more influential power, more will, more interaction with, more ability to Change Peoples Lives At Work. You can CHANGE PEOPLES LIVES. If you are open to that possibility, you are positioned better than anyone else in your entire organization to CHANGE PEOPLES LIVES for the better.
You will likely never know it. But it is happening right now. Because of you.
Do not abuse that privilege or let it slip through your fingers.