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Defining Professionalism Essay

672 words - 3 pages

How would you define professional success? Getting a promotion at work, gaining employment in a well-known business, or maybe even opening your own bakery? All of these examples could define professional success. Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates are two incredibly successful people. They both created commencement speeches for Harvard University that discussed their failures, their drive to help others, and their successes. These two speeches were both inspiring and motivating.
When we take a look at Oprah Winfrey, we can see how incredibly successful she has become over the years. She had a 25 year run on her own television show, a magazine, and she currently has her own television network. Along with Winfrey’s success, she has had many failures. She did not allow those failures to define who she is; instead she used them as motivation. “And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is ...view middle of the document...

As a software developer for Microsoft, he wanted to use his success to help the more under privileged population. “I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world- the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair” (Gates, 2013). In this quote, Gates is speaking of the world’s failures. He encourages the Harvard graduates to use their success to help the world’s most impoverished. Gates strongly believes that if access to technology is expanded to everyone, then they will not fail to come up with solutions to the world’s problems.
When we compare the professional success of Winfrey and Gates, we can clearly see that they are striving to make the world a better place. They have both used their success, fame, and fortune to help the needy. Like Winfrey, Gates used his failures as motivation. Gates and Winfrey share a successful platform and are not afraid to encourage others to create their own platform to success. “But I know this, if you’re willing to listen to, be guided by, that still small voice that is the G.P.S. within yourself, to find out what makes you come alive, you will more than okay” (Winfrey, 2013).
We now know that Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates define their own professionalism by their drive to succeed, their motivation from failures, and their need to help others. No matter what life has to throw at us, we must take the initiative to make a change in this world no matter how small that change might be. “I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity” (Gates, 2013). Do you have the drive to define your own professional success?

References
Gates, B. (2013). Harvard commencement speech. In The writer’s guide from Soomo Publishing.
Retrieved from www.webtexts.com
Winfrey, O. (2013). Harvard commencement speech. In The writer’s guide from Soomo
Publishing. Retrieved from www.webtexts.com

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