Stedman Graham inspires
to look to future
The businessman and author spoke at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s 13th annual Career Day.
Photo by Sarah Schultz
Author and businessman Stedman Graham encouraged Temple students to develop a vision for their lives and then take the steps necessary to make it happen.
“I know where you are, but where are you going? Do you know where you are going? Do you have a vision for your life?”
These questions were just a few of many that author, businessman and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management executive-in-residence Stedman Graham posed to students and guests during his “You Can Make it Happen” presentation at the Boyer Theatre in the Liacouras Center on Nov. 9. The presentation, sponsored by the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and the Division of Student Affairs, focused on Graham’s step-by-step success process that paved his way to personal and professional achievement.
“You cannot be successful if you have no vision or if you don’t feel worthy of success. A lack of vision inhibits your development and growth as a person,” Graham told a crowd estimated at 1,000 people. “Look at the qualities that you bring to the table and the interests that you have so that you can develop a vision of where you want to go in life. This is your life’s destination.”
Stedman Graham is chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting company that specializes in corporate and educational markets. Graham’s presentation was based on his New York Times bestseller You Can Make It Happen: A Nine-Step Plan for Success.
The presentation was held in conjunction with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s 13th annual Career Day, where students were able to interact with representatives from a variety of companies in the tourism, hospitality, sport and recreation industries. Graham directed his comments to students who want to enter the tourism and hospitality industries after graduation.
“These industries are talent-driven,” Graham said. “What matters is if the person has the skills and leadership ability to get the job done. This requires ongoing education and improvement.”
Elizabeth Barber, associate dean of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, was pleased with the tremendous response to Graham’s presentation.
“We were so excited to host such an enthusiastic and informative speaker as our executive-in-residence. The support we received from the Temple community was overwhelming, and we are deeply appreciative for their help with this event.”
In addition to outlining his nine-step plan for success, Graham urged Temple students to aim outside of their everyday routines in order to move forward with their lives and goals.
“Pursuing your dreams requires you to leave your established comfort zone and to push into areas where at first you may feel that you have less control,” Graham said. “When you set out on your journey along the success process, you have to be willing to grow, to push your talents to the outer limits. That means pushing beyond what is known to you, taking risks and learning to view failure as merely a step, rather than a defeat.”
Joe Goldblatt, professor of tourism and hospitality management and executive director for professional development and strategic partnerships for the school, who has been a friend of Stedman Graham’s for nearly 20 years, said, “When I told Stedman about the unique opportunities at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, he asked, ‘How can I help?’ His recent visit as executive-in-residence is hopefully just the beginning of what I hope will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship with this gifted international business leader.”
In his parting words, Graham urged students to commit to their goals and to build their futures every day.
“Make a total commitment to your vision for a better life and the all-out pursuit of it,” Graham said. “A commitment is not some vague promise to yourself that you will do something. A commitment is something you live. All you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.”
— Laura Weis