ON LISTENING
OPRAH WINFREY
Talk Show Master; Syndication Superstar; Branding Juggernaut; Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network

I was invited by Nelson Mandela to stay at his home for ten days. At first, I was very intimidated. I’d said to my partner Stedman, “What am I going to talk about for ten days and ten nights at Nelson Mandela’s house?” And Stedman said, “Why don’t you try listening?” So when I was there, halfway through my visit with him, I got comfortable sitting and being with him. First of all, when you go to Nelson Mandela’s house, what do you take? You can’t bring a candle. What I wanted to do really was leave something that would be of value. When we were talking one day, we started a conversation about what was in the newspaper: poverty and how to change it. And I said, “The only way to change poverty is through education, and one day I would like to build a school in South Africa.” And he said, “You want to build a school?” He got up and called the minister of education. By that afternoon I was in a meeting, talking about building a school.

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