Stedman Graham is chairman and chief executive officer of S. Graham & Associates, an educational company that creates customized corporate training and leadership development programs. Clients include Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Manpower, GlaxoWellcome, Frankel, the Department of Labor’s Job Corps, and State Universities of New York.
A commitment to education and lifelong learning is central to Stedman Graham’s philosophy. He co-authored The Ultimate Guide to Sport Event Management & Marketing . In March 1997, Simon & Schuster published a book detailing his Nine-Step empowerment philosophy, You Can Make It Happen: A Nine-Step Plan for Success , which was a New York Times Bestseller. His other writings include, You Can Make It Happen Every Day , a motivational pocketbook, Teens Can Make It Happen (also a New York Times Bestseller), Build Your Own Life Brand and, most recently, a workbook companion piece to Teens Can Make It Happen .
Graham is adjunct professor at The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he developed and teaches the first sports marketing curriculum for second-year MBA students. He is a former adjunct professor of a Kellogg management and strategy course entitled “Dynamics of Leadership.” Beginning in January 2002, Graham will be an adjunct professor at The University of Illinois where he begins teaching a leadership course based on his book, You Can Make It Happen: A Nine-Step Plan for Success . In addition, Graham is a distinguished visiting professor at Coker College, and a visiting professor at The George Washington University, as well as a founder and former director of GWU’s Forum for Sport and Event Management and Marketing—the first of its kind in the country. The Forum provides academic programming, career training, and business employment research in sports and related industries, with a focus on minorities and women.
Equally crucial to Graham’s philosophy is a commitment to youth and community. He is founder of The Leadership Institute of Chicago, a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to promoting effective leadership throughout society. Activities include seminars, programs and lectures; philanthropic activities; publications; and primary research. He is also founder and executive director of Athletes Against Drugs (AAD), a nonprofit organization of athletes and other civic leaders committed to developing leadership in youth. AAD provides in-class curriculum to Chicago Public Schools and conducts corporate leadership visits, parent workshops, role model presentations, community and volunteer projects, as well as sports clinics with professional athletes.
Graham is a sought-after speaker and lecturer. Based on the precepts of You Can Make It Happen and Build Your Own Life Brand , he annually delivers his message to over 100 corporations, colleges, universities, high schools and not-for-profit organizations. Clients include the U.S. Department of Education, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Graham is a member of the Economic Club and serves on several charitable boards of directors including the national board of Junior Achievement (JA). He initiated and directed the creation of JA’s BASE program (Building Achievement through Sports and Entertainment). BASE is comprised of curricula and activities to introduce middle and high school students to the business aspects of sports and entertainment.
Stedman Graham received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Hardin-Simmons University and earned a master’s degree in Education from Ball State University. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Coker College, and was recognized by the American Advertising Federation as an “Industry Influential” for his work in support of diversity.
Books:Identity, March 2012
Diversity: Leaders Not Labels, October 2006