Jay Z recently sat done for an interview with the New York Times. In celebration of his birthday, we found some leadership points taken from a few of the quotes he dropped.

If we had a power base together, it would be a much different conversation than me having a conversation by myself and trying to change America by myself.
Stop trying to do things on your own. There will be moments when you feel like working without help is the best option. This isn’t the case. Bringing together multiple strong voices will enhance and move the dial. Like Justice League or the Avengers, you’ll need different ideas, viewpoints as well as people who don’t identify as you do to reach the masses and move the dial.

So the most beautiful things are things that are invisible. That’s where the important things lie.
Embrace your intuitive self more than any material items. Things like compassion and integrity can’t be taken from you. They are only seen when you bring them out. Find these invisible spaces and trust them more than any surface idea or object. Petty behavior is also something that is always visible. You don’t want such an aspect to be the only thing people see when they are in your presence.

You can’t have a solution until you start dealing with the problem: What you reveal, you heal.
The more you run away from the problem the further it will run from you. No matter how far it goes, you’ll always find the issue lingering around your life. The solutions won’t appear until you call out the problem. Name an issue you have, right now. Right this second. Next, name one potential solution. You may not get the final answer at this time but starting the conversation with yourself is a great start.

It’s O.K. to think. It’s O.K. to be smart.
This seems easy enough. Sometimes though, we jeopardize our intelligence for the sake of fitting in with the “cool kids” or to try and be down. This also represents authenticity. Be who you are no matter what.

There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, “These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.”
We live in this instant society. People are fighting or breaking up over text messages. On my campus, I’m dealing with some students who banned other students from a meeting and conveyed the message through a group chat. Honest dialogue solves so much. It can be uncomfortable to express your true thoughts in fear of hurting feelings. These conversations that exist outside of comfort zones only make you better. If it happens that a common ground can’t be found involve a mediator. If that doesn’t work at least you know everything was put on the table and you’ve both moved on to better places.

Most beautiful things are not these objects. The most beautiful things are inside. The most beautiful things are the friendships I have.
I can’t stress the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. They will be the people that help you through the darkest of times. In my opinion, even more than any class session or textbook, the relationships you make during college will matter most. Some of the friends you find in college will be the people who remain in your life forever.

IMG_4902MrJeffDess is the Co Founder of Trill or Not Trill. He’s also a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 5 books of poetry, including his latest, Trill Motivation With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at TrillorNotTrill@gmail.com or www.mrjeffdessworks.com