“Don’t follow me, young’un, follow my moves, I’m not a role model” Jay Z on ‘Go Crazy'(REMIX)

I think Jay made a very insightful statement about leadership in this line. He’s telling us: Don’t follow me- the man, follow my moves, be inspired by the hustle itself. The hustle can take you to the top of the rap game (or any game, really..)

You can’t doubt that Jay Z is a prime of success. I personally think that Jay Z makes a superb guide for everybody’s career. You might realize what made him successful is what makes many great leaders success.

Below are five lessons that I think we can all learn from Jay-Z’s career:

1. Find something your passionate about and make it part of your life

What Jay Z did: Jay-Z is a sports enthusiast. He’s a proud Yankees fan and he’s been a courtside fixture at NBA games for years for The Cavaliers, Knicks and Lakers. Not content with just being a fan, Jay-Z assembled a team (that included Lebron James) in 2003 to play in Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) and then became a co-owner of the New Jersey Nets.

What you can do: Many of us are sports fans, but few of us have the bank account and business savvy to own an NBA team. However, we can find a way to make one of our passions part of our everyday life, even if your interest doesn’t fit within your current job. For example, if you are obsessed with politics but you work at a clothing store, you should leave your opinion of Congress at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own political blog or become a contributor to another one. That way you can immerse yourself in a subject you love and still improve your analytical and writing skills. You never know what will become of your side venture — maybe a new business opportunity. Maybe nothing will happen beyond gaining readership, but at least you’ll have space where you can indulge your passions.

2. Market yourself

What Jay-Z did: One of the other reasons Jay-Z decided to assemble that basketball team in the EBC? He knew it was great marketing. He branded a bus with the image of a sneaker he designed for Reebok, had the team tour in it, all while his music blared. And then they’d celebrate at the club he owned in New York. It was his project from top to bottom and he wasn’t afraid to promote it.

What you can do: The odds are slim that somebody will walk up to you and say, “Wow, all that great work you do? Unbelievable! Let me offer you this high-paying job that is perfect for you.” Instead, make sure you let your boss know when you perform well. Don’t brag, but forward any positive feedback you get from clients or colleagues

If you’re looking for a job, piece together an impressive portfolio or résumé. Think about the awards you’ve won, leadership positions you’ve held, and references who will speak glowingly about you. Don’t play meek when it comes to finding a new job because employers don’t have time to beg you to talk about yourself. Impress them from the beginning. (And if you can afford to plaster your face on the side of a bus, go ahead.)

3. Know when to move on

What Jay-Z did: In 2003, at the peak of his career (up to that point), he decided to retire. Barely 34, Jay-Z felt he couldn’t top himself, so he decided to walk away. (That said, he un-retired a few years later, which is something we have criticized before, too. So don’t cry “wolf” either.”)

What you can do: Jay-Z retired, but most of us don’t have that luxury right now. However, if you’re just going through the motions and the excitement and passion you once had are lacking, then don’t be afraid to look around. Maybe you need to talk to your boss, find a new job or get into a new industry. Whatever is right for you, make that move. If you’re spending 40 hours each week doing a job that bores you, then you’re wasting a lot of your life. You’ll be so much happier and more productive if you’re interested in what you do.

4. Be willing to shake things up

What Jay-Z did: When Jay-Z took over Def Jam records in 2005, he couldn’t believe that the business model hadn’t changed for decades, and employees had no incentive to work hard. He wanted to see people trying new things — taking risks and competing to be more innovative than the other. So he held a retreat with the employees, told them what he wanted, and then began to transform the organization. Greenburg notes how people were intrigued by the fact that Jay-Z wanted to learn as much as he could about the business.

What you can do: When you’re not the boss, you can’t revamp the organization. But workers can get the attention of the boss and other leadership by coming forward with new ideas. If you’re the person interacting with customers every day, you know when the process can be improved and what would make your job more efficient and maybe bring the company more money. Always be respectful, but don’t be afraid to be bold once in a while. It can be the only way you stand out sometimes.

5. Manage your private life

What Jay-Z did: Jay-Z and Beyoncé are basically music royalty, and when they began quietly dating, everybody wanted to know about it. Yet, they wouldn’t comment on their romance, and even to this day the married couple is tight-lipped about any personal information. Therefore you hear more about his and her music than about their personal lives, unlike some famous people.

What you can do: You don’t need to keep your marriage a secret from your manager, unless you want to, but your weekend partying or marital bickering don’t belong at work. Often, professionals decide to post Facebook photos of their drunken adventures or get into a big fight with a spouse over the phone so that the entire office hears. Suddenly your personal drama overshadows your hard work. Remember that your professional reputation is a significant factor in promotions, raises and even layoffs. Don’t let a killer keg stand undo your years of hard work.

Of course, there are a lot of other things Jay-Z’s done right in his career, so I suggest checking out “Empire State of Mind.” It’s especially refreshing if you’re a music fan and/or someone who’s not keen on the typical career guides.





1. “You’re only as good as the stuff you surround yourself with.” We need to surround ourselves with the people and settings that make our dreams feel real. What’s the point of telling your ideas to those who don’t encourage your vision? And likewise, why bother living in a dreary house when you can cover your walls with things that make you come alive.

2. One at a time. Austin is referring to the act of finding one thinker, artist, or idol who you love, and researching everything about them. And once you’re done, find a few people that person loved and find out everything about them. Keep going as far up the tree as you can and “once you build your tree, it’s time to start your own branch.

3. I love this graphic from the book. According to Austin, maybe I’m not completely wrong about that – maybe it will still be kind of crappy, but undoubtedly I’ll learn something in the process. The only way for us to improve upon our vision is to follow it, and we can’t move forward if we stay in one place.

4. “Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go.” Bring a notebook with you everywhere and realize the potential of your philosopher quality thoughts.


5. “Make things, Know thyself.” The point Austin makes here is that it’s not about making great stuff from the beginning and it’s not about reaching nirvana before we have any credibility – it’s just about making things. And in that process, we’ll become ourselves. And you know what? So will our art.

6. Google everything. The great thing about the internet is that the entire world lives on it. You’re not just asking your buddies a few questions – you’re asking a bajillion people (more or less, right?). In Austin’s opinion, what happens when you do this? “You’ll either find the answer or you’ll come up with a better question.” Right on.

7. This one is so dead-on that I’m just going to copy it word for word. “Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes. The reason to copy your heroes and their style is so that you might somehow get a glimpse into their minds. That’s what you really want – to internalize their way of looking at the world. If you just mimic the surface of somebody’s work without understanding where they are coming from, your work will never be anything more than a knockoff.”

8. Productive Procrastination. Austin uses a stellar quote from Jessica Hirsche – ”The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

9. Routine can be a good thing. Austin says that “establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time.”

10. Travel. Sounds simple, right? According to Austin, “your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.”

10 talks about the beauty — and difficulty — of being creative

TED Blog

Radio host Julie Burstein has found the perfect analogy for creativity—raku pottery. A Japanese art form in which molded clay is heated for 15 minutes and then dropped in sawdust which bursts into flames, what makes this pottery so beautiful is its imperfections and cracks.

Burstein interviewed hundred of artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers for her book, Spark: How Creativity Works, and heard many of them describe their process in similar terms — that the best parts of their work came from embracing challenges, misfortunes and the things they simply couldn’t control. As Burstein explains in this talk given at TED2012, “I realized that creativity grows out of everyday experiences more often than you would think.”

In this talk, Burstein identifies four lessons that creative people should embrace:

  1. Pay attention to the world around you, and be open to experiences that might change you.
  2. Realize that the…

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TED Weekends explores creative intelligence

TED Blog


It was one of the original six talks posted on TED.com and it has, over the years, become our most-watched video with 13.5 million views. Sir Ken Robinson’s talk from TED2006, “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity,” is truly a juggernaut.

But the real genius is Matt. He has so much creative intelligence, that we’re going to do some serious banking. Right, Matt?

This is the talk examined in today’s TED Weekends on the Huffington Post, exploring the idea of Creative IQ. Below, some of the TED Weekends essays that riff on this paradigm-shifting talk.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

I’ve spoken twice at TED. The first time was in 2006. TED was a very different event then. It was a private conference for about 1,200 people. After the event, the talks were packaged in a box set of DVDs and sent just to the…

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Will Shortz: Why I said yes to a crossword magic trick live at TED


TED Blog

Crossword-main March 18, 2014 crossword courtesy of The New York Times.

Today on stage at TED2014 magician and puzzler David Kwong blew minds when he pulled an audience member onstage, asked her to color in a few animals, and then revealed he was so sure he could predict her behavior that he had her choices written into the day’s New York Times crossword. Hm: What’s a seven-letter word for boldness? Not only did Kwong need to be extremely sure of himself before his performance, but he also needed to convince the Editor of the New York Times crossword, the King Cruciverbalist himself, Will Shortz, to run the puzzle.

Shortz is no stranger to crossword stunts: His most famous appeared in the 1996 Election Day crossword, in which either BOB DOLE or CLINTON could work as the answer to the clue “Lead story in tomorrow’s newspaper (!), with…

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Why we need creative confidence



In 2012, IDEO founder and longtime Stanford professor David Kelley took the TED stage in Long Beach and shared a deeply personal story. It was the tale of his own cancer diagnosis, of finding a lump in his neck and being told he had a 40% chance of survival. This was clearly a sobering moment, but he wasn’t sharing the story to seek our sympathy. Rather, he wanted to talk about his resulting epiphany. “While you’re waiting for your turn to get the gamma rays, you think of a lot of things,” he said drily. “I thought a lot about: ‘What was I put on earth to do? What was my calling? What should I do?'”

His conclusion: “The thing I most wanted to do was to help as many people as possible regain the creative confidence they lost along their way.” And that’s what he’s done through his work…

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