Jidenna recently released his debut album, Long Live The Chief. He has mixed his family values, degree and talent to take him to new heights. Most individuals remember his single, “Classic Man” which took the world by storm. The new album has some bangers and is filled with leadership. Today, we will gain sustainable leadership tips from some of Jidenna’s other lyrics.

Leadership Lesson number 1: “Turning Nothing into Something.”
Hand me downs with the patches
Mama put a little money in the mattress
Taught me how to make a silver spoon out of plastic
You can either sink, swim or be the captain
Get the last word Ima get the last laugh in

As we know, many Americans are not born with a silver spoon or financially free from debt. Many of us are born into poverty, government aid and more. Jidenna explains in his lyrics that a plastic spoon can be just as valuable. As students, educators and leaders we must make the most out of little things given to us. Whether it’s a small budget for programming or financial aid for our student’s, it’s time to turn the impossible into opportunity.

Leadership Lesson Number 2: “Always Stay Ready.”
Now they say “Jidenna why you dressing so classic?”
I don’t want my best dressed day in a casket

Hey, I know it can be easy just to hit class in pajamas but let’s change things up this semester. Do not be afraid to step out in nicer outfits. As we know if you look good you feel good (Deion Sanders reference) On the other hand, Jideanna would want students to always be ready even when the opportunity may be far out of reach.

Leaders are not only physically dressed to succeed but mentality prepared as well. The saying goes if you want to find some of the best dreams they lie within the graveyard. Time waits for no one let’s tap into our passions and dreams immediately.

Leadership Lesson Number 3: Leaders > Followers
You can either lead, follow or get out the way

Thanks to social media many people are caught up in being followers before becoming a leader. Jidenna is telling us either we can join him in leadership or get out the way.

Also, as a leader, we must get out of our own way. Potential leaders are stopped by self-doubt or fear. It is time to remove those barriers and get to work. We are living in a social climate where everyone’s gifts, voices, and leadership matter. Let’s get to leading.

Leadership lesson 4: Continue to grow until no one can catch you
Can’t rump with me
Usain couldn’t run with me
Chief comes to find you
You don’t come for me

Can’t rump with me is a patios phrase meaning someone can’t match you. In this verse Jidenna is simply boasting that no one can’t outwork him. As leaders, once we figure out our passion we should buy in to all the work and education needed to achieve it. Leaders will sometimes need to go the extra mile in achieving success, such as waking up early, joining numerous clubs on campuses and getting an internship. In addition, “you don’t come for me” could be a statement in regards to our fears, doubters and self-doubt our passion must outweigh while climbing the ladder of success. In order to succeed we must do the work.

Leadership Lesson Number 5: Make Decisions That Fit YOU
Really I ain’t met nobody smarter
Thats why I got admitted, but I still rejected Harvard

Ok, now you are a leader, opportunities will start to come from all angles. The key component of leadership is selecting the opportunity that best fits YOU! Jidenna was chosen to attend Harvard but felt Stanford would be better suitable for his needs and goals. Many people may not agree with that decision, and this may happen to you as well. Make sound decisions that FIT your personal needs.



Lenny Williams is one of today’s most gifted leaders in inspiring youth and countless individuals to pursue their career and educational dreams. As an 
educator and speaker, his mission is to be a voice to reach generations and a reminder that greatness can be achieved against all odds.To get more 
information or personal or business coaching please contact 
Lenny A. Williams, MBA (designbylaw@gmail.com)