O, Yes She Can

o-magazine-cover-2I’m not a big daytime TV watcher, but I’m going to DVR today’s Oprah and watch it later. Oprah’s guest is Ellen DeGeneres, and Ellen will talk about her months of persistent and quirky begging lobbying to appear on the cover of O magazine, including unveiling mock magazine covers (like the one to the left) to catch Oprah’s attention.

As Oprah said, Ellen is a “woman who can make things happen.”

Ellen’s determined quest reminds me of the movie My Date with Drew, an indie “documentary” in which a guy from LA gives himself 30 days to go all out to get one date with his grade-school crush Drew Barrymore. Using the “six-degree-of-separation” theory, the guy talks to everyone he knows (and doesn’t) to figure out a way to connect with the elusive (at least to him) Drew.

Both stories resonate with me. I love the idea of  a laser-like focus on a goal, the creativity inspired by single-mindedness, the collaboration that evolves as you enlist others to support your goal, and, finally, the willingness to appear foolish as you swing for the bleachers and inevitably strike out a few (hundred) times.

The only time I even came close to this experience was deciding that I wanted to work someplace a few years back. I sent an unsolicited resume (in a bright yellow envelope to stand out) followed up by an unsolicited phone call. The actions were definitely out of my comfort zone, yet they paid off: I was hired for a new position at the institution, one that fit me perfectly.

All this gets me thinking about the areas in my life where I want to channel Ellen’s fun, take-no-prisoners energy … how ’bout you? What are your experiences of being “a woman who makes things happen?”

P.S. If you can’t catch today’s show, you can watch a summary clip of Ellen’s efforts to woo Oprah.


  • Sharon Says:
    11-9-2009 12:18:20

    I am so glad you posted this. Just this week-end my husband installed a new antenna, with an amplifier, and for the first time in months we can get CBS. I’m so out of the habit of watching Oprah that I might have missed this show entirely.

    It has been a long time since I’ve felt like a woman who can make things happen. I have taken on more of a transitional role – someone who shakes things up and makes room for things that need to change – as a teacher and as a student myself. I was always able to get my children what they needed, even forcing an impromptu PET meeting in 1993 with the principal when she refused to believe my son needed services for reading and writing, which was proven when she finally scheduled the testing. [He's an engineer now, so it was worth the battle to get what he needed.]

  • Anne Says:
    11-9-2009 14:24:19

    Doesn’t Ellen know that Oprah always does her covers solo….with the exception of Michelle Obama?! Great post – by the way. When I was in business school, and trying to land a summer internship in marketing (with no prior experience), I finally offered to work for free for one of the firms that had rejected me. They ended up giving me the job, and paying me. This was more of a desperate move than a creative attempt to reach my goal….but nonetheless it worked!

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