Identity – Passport to Freedom: Nine Step Success Process By Stedman Graham
Note: Step 1: Love, but never marry, OprahStedman Graham is chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting company that specializes in the corporate and educational markets.
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As a sought-out speaker and lecturer, Stedman Graham presents to corporations, organizations and nonprofits. He has authored a number of books including two New York Times bestsellers, You Can Make It Happen: A Nine-Step Plan for Success and Teens Can Make It Happen: Nine Steps to Success. He is working on new book Identity Passport to Freedom, the process of gaining freedom by becoming the leader of your own life.
In this exclusive interview with Suite101 he shares his thoughts on leadership, self development and his new book, Identity Passort to Freedom: Nine-Step Success Process which is expected to be on the market in the fall of 2010.
Q. You are working on a new book, Identity Passport to Freedom– What do you want readers to take away from this?
What I want readers to take away is the following: it’s the individual that really is in charge of their own life and there is process of being in charge. You can’t take control over your life if you are doing the same thing over every day.
Take a chance to think and evolve by learning how to take knowledge and information by making it relevant to you. You have to be able to define yourself and not let other people assign labels to you. It’s not an easy process. It takes a lot of work to be free. It’s a lifelong journey to gain freedom at all different levels of your life.
Q. There have been thousands of books written about successful leadership and development often focusing on competencies like communication, vision and interpersonal skills. How does your approach differ?
My approach differs because our work focuses on developing one’s identity and we try to go deeper by exploring and establishing a person’s purpose is life. What we like to do is build a strong foundation based on who they are. From there one can begin to organize his or her life into different segments and interests; identify different passions which allows one to become an expert in their field. It’s about freedom to achieve their full potential.
You don’t become a leader based on being smarter or working harder, or able to be more organizationally developed than anyone else. In my opinion, leadership is deeply rooted in being connected to the work one does personally. To me that’s the best form of leadership. Sure, you can be a leader in title, by someone selecting you, or you can be a leader based on your position. What separates my leadership approach is to find out what you should be doing for the rest of your life, because that’s who you are.
Q. What particular experiences have convinced you that the Nine Step Process is the best approach?
It’s my own personal experience of looking for freedom in life. It’s about being able to not let other people define me but take control and define myself. It’s rooted in the fact that we have been programmed to memorize, take tests and get grades; then we realize we forgot most of what we
learned in school.
This is a way of reversing the learning process and understanding how to take the information and make i
t relevant to your own development. I was programmed to believe a number of things that kept me in the box. So I was never able to think or grow beyond the box that I was in. The Nine Step Process personally was a path that allowed me to create freedom for myself.