Oprah: Hardest Part About Setting Up Network Is ‘Getting the Right People on the Right Seats on the Bus’


At last night’s party for Time magazine editor Rick Stengel’s new book, Mandela’s Way, for a brief moment the spotlight was borrowed by Oprah Winfrey. “You’ll understand it better than anyone else,” Stengel whispered to her as she looked over the book, which is subtitled “Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage.” The talk-show host was in town for the upfront for her new network, the Oprah Winfrey Network, which she’s creating in partnership with the Discovery Channel. (Yesterday she announced the network will feature a nightly talk show starring — who else? — Oprah.) Swooping in alongside best buddy Gayle King, Oprah stopped for a moment to tell Intel about her philosophy on company building, which she said she learned from Jim Collins’s book, Good to Great. “The biggest challenge is getting the right people to create the right kind of creative energy and synergy,” she said. “It’s about getting the right people on the right seats on the bus. And getting the people off of the bus that shouldn’t be on the bus.” Some of those right people, she said, were at her daytime talk show — and it was harder to get them onboard than you might think. “They’ve still got another year of the show,” she pointed out. “Day job! I’ve got a day job still!”

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