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Oprah’s longtime partner Stedman Graham on why she’s not running in 2020

Sibile Marcellus
Reporter

There was a brief moment last year when Oprah Winfrey’s name was thrown around as a possible candidate in the 2020 presidential election. She quashed that speculation when she was campaigning for Stacey Abrams, who was running for Georgia governor, saying “I don’t want to run.”

Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham told Yahoo Finance that she’s not focused on running. “She has enough on her plate. She’s really focused on who she is and what she can do,” he says.

Oprah is currently running the OWN network and recently made a deal with Apple, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stedman adds, “She’s got the leadership academy in South Africa…Weight Watchers…a magazine, she’s busy with other projects. I think that’s enough.”

Graham, who is the chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting firm in Chicago, says Winfrey’s goals are ongoing: “To figure out how you can empower other women – which is what her focus is – to be the best that they can possibly be, it takes a lifetime to do that.”

Oprah Winfrey, left, and Stedman Graham arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Achieving ‘self-mastery’

In his newest book, “Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself,” Graham writes about leadership and being self-aware.

"To be a leader you have to create self-mastery, you have to focus on your own purpose in life,” he said on Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM. “You have to develop a vision for yourself. Nobody teaches that in school. In school they teach you how to memorize, take tests, repeat the information back…two weeks later you forget the information."

In his book, Graham encourages people to become leaders by first figuring out their own identity, based on their passion, talents, skills, and abilities and then creating a vision and plan to execute their goals.

Graham cautions against settling into the daily grind without taking the time to work on and define your identity. If you don’t know who you are, then you let other people define you, he says.

“You grow up in a situation where you’re defined by race, you’re defined by your gender. Women are told they can’t make it because it’s a man’s world,” Graham says.

He adds that other people are sometimes defined by their material possessions, but “it’s not [about] how the world defines you, it’s how you define yourself,” he says. “Very few people are able to take control of their destiny which is why you have a big gap between the haves and have-nots.”

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