Oprah Winfrey’s ’60 Minutes’ exit is a lesson for everyone

“How should I say this? Never a good thing when I have to practice saying my name and have to be told that I have too much emotion in my name.”

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Oprah Winfrey has advice for you: be yourself.

The 65-year-old billionaire revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she has left her reporting post on “60 Minutes” because she was told she has too much emotion.

“How should I say this? Never a good thing when I have to practice saying my name and have to be told that I have too much emotion in my name,” Winfrey said in a lengthy interview.


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Unsurprisingly, Winfrey, who joined the show as a special contributor in 2017, wasn’t pleased with that request:

“I think I did seven takes on just my name because it was “too emotional.” I go, “Is the too much emotion in the ‘Oprah’ part or the ‘Winfrey’ part?”

I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality — which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”

Winfrey’s situation is something that’s experienced in the day-to-day office grind. Working in an environment that doesn’t embrace individuality isn’t the healthiest place to be, experts say. And there’s a way to fix it.

Organizational culture

Michael Steinitz, a senior executive director at Accountemps, said an organization’s culture impacts how comfortable and accepted employees feel in their work atmosphere.

“Employees thrive in an environment that embraces their individual talents and work styles,” Steinitz told Ladders. “Happiness positively impacts the quality and quantity of work at both the individual and team level. In addition, happier employees tend to be more innovative and creative.”

A poor office culture could lead employees to office burnout, according to Steinitz. Burnouts are interpreted differently by the individual, but letting it build can often lead the employees to feel defeated and isolated.

“Workers who feel inhibited can burn out or become chronically frustrated, making them prone to illness and absenteeism,” said Steinitz. “Promoting acceptance and inclusion, and maintaining open communication, can give employees the support they need to stay healthy and engaged.”

How managers can improve their organizational culture

“People who feel appreciated for their unique contributions will work diligently to support and work to achieve organizational goals. Individuals who feel supported and accepted by their company will be more inclined to stay with the firm for the long term — even when the business experiences rough patches,” Steinitz said.

If you’re a manager, Robert Half suggests these five ways to improve your organizational culture:

1. Open lines of communication: An open-door policy and on-going communication will allow your employees to appreciate both your openness and interest.

2. Support your staff: Let your staff know you have their back. Invite employees in with any questions or concerns.

3. Provide clear direction: Don’t offer vague insight. Instead, explain what you want to achieve and allow flexibility in getting there.

4. Show your appreciation: Praise your employees for exceeding expectations or goals. Consider small thank-yous for minor achievements.

5. Invest in employees’ development: Offering workers new skills and opportunities for more knowledge will make them feel valued.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.