How the State of the Union Kept it Trill
And Other Leadership Lessons
Trill or Not Trill?
It was President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union as President of the United States. You knew there were going to be some lessons and of course some Trill moments. So let’s get right into it.
Leadership Lesson: Personality and Comedy
Say what you want about the president, but his swag is usually at high levels. He always seems comfortable in front of the camera or an audience. Whether it be with Jerry Seinfeld or a State of the Union, his personality brings you in. As a leader, don’t hide your charm or lack thereof. Be who you are, but in doing so see how that can relate to the people. President Obama started off with a joke that his supporters and detractors chuckled at. If you engage them and relate to them, they will follow.
TRILL Moment: Sneak dissing Donald Trump
Don’t make records to disrespect me, blatant or indirectly. Trump might have spitting that Ether last night. Both Barack Obama and Nikki Haley in her Republican response, came at Donald’s Trump’s outrageous campaign rhetoric without ever saying his name. My favorite line came from Haley, when she stated,“Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That’s just not true.” It was sneak dissing at it’s finest. His divisive and racist commentary was not going to be tolerated by leaders of both parties. He was never mentioned but we knew,son. We knew.
Leadership Lesson: Talking During Interruptions
No speech gets interrupted more than the State of the Union. Clapping, standing, sitting and some more clapping. You have to learn to ride the wave. Pause and let applause happen. If people are talking, don’t get flustered, just continue to keep track of who you are. It’s something like jumping double dutch. Wait your turn watch how the rope moves. Pay close attention to ebbs and flows and don’t get frustrated by negative interruptions and don’t get too high about grandiose applause.
TRILL Moment: We Bout that Action, Boss.
We’re the strongest nation in the world and it’s not even close. He basically called ISIS some jokers on the back of pickup trucks and vans. For all those people who are shook ones, he said don’t worry, if you doubt my gangster ask, Osama Bin Laden. I am personally anti all this war talk. We could ask Bin Laden or we could ask all the innocent children killed in drone strikes, but I digress. When he said pop off in a previous speech, I guess he meant it. Come see us in these streets!
Leadership Lesson: Look Beyond your Time
You won’t be in certain positions all the time. Whether you’re a director of a department, president of Student Government or the United States, it ain’t forever baby! Barack Obama looked to set such a time early when he said, “But for my final address to this chamber, I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond.” Such a mindset prepares your members, staff or constituents for life after you. They may not follow the plan but it does assure that a foundation is set and abandonment won’t be a problem.
TRILL Moment: Is that your State of the Union or your Girl’s State of the Union?
Michelle Obama is not your girl. She is the First Lady and as we know, Michelle often kills it with strength, elegance, intelligence and swag. For what would also be her last SOTU, Michelle stole the show and my timeline as she rocked that $2100 dress from the heavens. Her mustard colored attire felt bright and optimistic. We’ve talked about their teamwork before and as per usual the super dope Michelle Obama, showed up and killed it, without saying a single word.
Leadership Lesson: Fix Your Face
We’ve written about the importance of facial expressions before. The cameras are cutting in and out during the State of the Union, so you be better be ready. Paul Ryan, has the tough job of sitting right behind the President while not agreeing with Barack Obama. Even if you’re annoyed, you have to fight through your stank face. Rolling of the eyes, snarky shrugs and head shakes can’t be in the room. Also, be cognizant of who’s watching. Cameras and such are everywhere in this event. Marco Rubio got caught out. Stay Woke!
TRILL Moment: Paul Ryan is cold blooded
He didn’t stand up during cheaper education. He didn’t clap for curing cancer. I’ve to give Ryan credit, he was ice cold from beginning to end. His poker face was immovable. Like I get it, this was his us against the world moment but man was he tough. That man stood his ground but not for anything said by the President. He got up once for our troops, once when President Obama walked in and one last time, when he was ready to leave. I believe his total clap count was 4.
Leadership Lesson:Embrace your Flaws
From the beginning of his first term, President Obama has been talking about bipartisanship. He’s stated over and over about how we all can just get along. Things have just become worse. Barack Obama discussed how this was one of the deep regrets of his presidency. He mentioned how other presidents before him, might have been better able to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats. You won’t be able to win it all and that’s just fine. Many might think the President has done many things wrong, but being able to admit a weakness is difficult and great.
TRILL Moment: Fuck Cancer
I was really hoping that the president would mention something about the racial tension. Had he done so, that would’ve been my favorite part of the speech. Instead the part of the State of the Union which touched me most was Barack Obama discussing Cancer. The United States is filled with brilliant scientific minds and they need the money to make things happen. More people are dying from Cancer than they are from terrorism. Let’s go cure this disease! Biden is in charge of mission control.
Trill or Not Trill?
Honorable Mention: Trillest Person in the room.
Stay trill, folks.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org