I recently had the pleasure of seeing Oprah Winfrey deliver the keynote address at the ATD 2019 International Conference and Expo. She was as inspiring as ever, and talked about a number of topics ranging from past mistakes to bringing out the best in others. One topic that particularly resonated with me was her insights into what to look for when hiring leaders. Here are Oprah’s top three questions for potential leaders….

Do you understand the vision?
Oprah explained that this is the first question she asks of potential leaders she is looking to hire, and for good reason. If we are not aligned around a common vision, it will be next to impossible for us to achieve any kind of success. As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up somewhere else.” On the other hand, if we all share the same vision, we can work together to bring that vision to fruition in a way that works for all.

Do you have practical experience?
You can’t learn to swim sitting in a classroom. There are some real-world problems that take practical experience to learn to overcome. As such, Oprah says it’s important that potential leaders have direct experience already doing what they will be hired to do. If they understand the vision, and they have practical experience, then there is one more question Oprah asks. Read on…

What is your spiritual practice?
By this, Oprah explained she is interested to know what potential leaders do to take care of themselves. Do they practice yoga or a similar study? Do they have a regular health / exercise / diet regimen? Do they have a sport that they play regularly? Is there another practice, or hobby or recreational activity that they participate in to rejuvenate themselves? Oprah explained that if leaders don’t take care of themselves, it won’t be long until they also don’t take care of their work.

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