Examining the Skills of Marin Luther King Jr. and Oprah Winfrey

Martin Luther King Jr. and Oprah Winfrey used power to help others. King helped others by leading people in a time when minorities were fighting for equal rights. Winfrey helps people through recognition and donations in areas of education, healthcare and advocacy for women and children. They have been most successful with referent power in their accomplishments. King’s attitude and personality attracted people to follow him; he created a vision that inspired people. Oprah has created strong interpersonal ties between herself and her audience.
She uses her recovery as an abuse survivor to inspire people and she focuses on issues in ordinary people’s lives. Oprah however has been more successful with reward power. She has the funds to reward her employees and guests with material things. Both leaders have influenced many people. Oprah and King used rational persuasion and inspirational appeal; everything they stand for is logical by principal and their values are moral. Oprah uses consultation inspiration, ingratiating tactics and personal appeal. She influences others to help by showing her own emotions on certain subjects.
Because Oprah can effectively relate to others; people have a tendency to relate to her emotions and follow her. While King has used these tactics he is more known for his coalition, pressure and legitimating tactics. King used his role as minister in legitimating and followers supported his beliefs on civil rights because they believed in the same ideas. Most people during this time were either for or against civil rights. For people against these rights King used pressure tactics through marches and protests. These acts were nonviolent and peaceful but still a demand for equal rights.

There are many similarities when comparing King and Oprah’s traits. Both have strong moral values which supports honesty, they inspire people by promoting great expectations for the future, and they both use their competence and intelligence in the things they are advocates for. King was intelligent when it came to human rights because he was a minister, followers found him competent. Oprah’s intelligence in TV shows and public involvement have made her competent in her business. King’s social awareness is what fueled his purpose for everything he did during the civil rights movement.
Oprah has proficient self-management skills, her goals are based on her personal beliefs and she uses great relationship management to gain support and accomplish her goals. Oprah and King both behaved as a team leader. According to Dr. Robert Blake and Dr. Jane Mouton, these leaders will contribute and are committed, can motivate and are motivated while holding the belief that trust, respect, commitment and employee empowerment are essential for fostering a team environment where team members are motivated, thus resulting in maximum satisfaction as well as the most efficient productivity (http://www. eadership-central. com, 2013). I cannot come up with a better way to describe both King and Oprah. The Ohio State model identifies two dimensions of leadership behavior, initiating structure and consideration. Oprah supports initiating structure by showing examples of what should be done. Her examples are extreme because she has the funds to support them, but the impacts of her contributions are inspiring to others. King uses consideration effectively. He showed concern for the well being of minorities and guided them to take action.
Because King was also a minority his followers understood in his concern. If I had the choice to work for King or Oprah I would choose Oprah. The basis of my decision is her involvement in numerous worthy causes that are relevant to today. If I was alive and faced this decision while King was alive I would choose King because civil rights were a pressing concern during that time. I believe both have been great leaders and are inspiring to many people. ? References Kinicki, A. , & Williams, B. K. (2011).
Management: A practical introduction (5th ed. , pp. 438-449). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Leadership-central. (2013). Managerial Grid Model, also known as Leadership Grid. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www. leadership-central. com Free Republic. (2008). Oprah Ranked Most Generous Celebrity. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://www. freerepublic. com Center for Consciousness Research and Transformation. (2007). Martin Luther King – Time, Power and Agency. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://www. theccrt. com

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