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Stedman Graham talks with SHSU President Dana Gibson

Communications Specialist

Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 01:09

Stedman Graham 9-22-11

Jessica Gomez | The Houstonian

Stedman Graham, businessman educator, author and partner to Oprah Winfrey, sits down with University President Dana Gibson.

"You have the same 24 hours everyone else has, the question is what do you do with that? "

Author, Educator, and Businessman Stedman Graham questioned all in attendance during the SHSU President's Speaker Series hosted by President Dana Gibson Wednesday in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center theatre.

Graham is the chairmen and C.E.O of S. Graham and Associates, and has authored several books with the revolving theme of leadership and self-branding. He initially recognized his call for leading and helping others when he was a young adult.

"I was someone who wanted to be someone," Graham said. "I wanted to make a difference."

While in college, Graham founded a black student union, was very active in organizations, and also made an effort to assist the disadvantaged.

Although he possessed many outstanding leadership qualities, the Hardin-Simmons University graduate described himself as an "average" student.

"I didn't understand how to be a good student, I got it pretty much without studying," Graham said. "I didn't understand the meaning of education until later on in life. I wish I would've learned that earlier."

Still, without the educational push, Graham managed to be successful.

In his lifetime, he has travelled the world, operated a successful public relations firm in Chicago, and has enjoyed working with different community outreach programs. His life really changed, however, when he discovered the "power of information".

"Not just information, but the ability to take information and education and make it relevant to who I was as a human being to change my life," Graham said.

It changed my thinking and then it changed my habits. It transferred back to my mind, and I was able to create my own future. No one teaches you that."

Since his discovery, he has taught his message of maximizing success to many major corporations and identity building to individuals, which he to be the key to reversing the process of being a worker.

"You have to stop becoming a worker and move into leadership. You have to lead your own life and learn how to take the information and all the resources in the world to make it relevant. All the power is in you. All the growth is in you. All the opportunities are in you," Graham said.

"The question is can you transform from a worker to a leader?"

In his lifetime, Graham has acknowledged having 100+ mentors but he credits Oprah on being one of his biggest influences.

"She understands how to define herself instead of letting others define her based on her race, gender, background, and where she came from."

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