L.A. Reid talks leadership and Jay Z at Chicago Ideas Week

LA Reid and Toure - Photo Credit: Eddy "Precise" Lamarre
L.A. Reid and Toure – Photo Credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

Music mogul and legend L.A. Reid was at Chicago Ideas Week recently to promote his book Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next, and to share his wealth of experience as a leader in the music industry. Chicago Ideas Week is an event that brings inventors, scientists, economists and musicians together to share inspirational stories and experiences that helped shape who they are. CIW talks are 90-minute sessions spread throughout the week that feature 2-5 speakers presenting on various themes. Talks take a variety of forms and may incorporate interviews, conversations or performances. This specific talk went on for about an hour.

L.A. Reid had a lot to share and talk about. His conversation was driven by the idea of being a leader. When asked what every leader must have, Reid said vision. He spoke about surrounding yourself with great people so that you can achieve great things. The interviewer for the night, Toure, hit Reid with a litany of questions about his business and the artists that he managed. When asked about Jay Z, Reid mentioned Mariah Carey was the reason Jay Z was hired as president of Def Jam. He remembers being on the phone with Mariah bellyaching about who he should hire and Mariah mentioned Jay Z and no sooner than Mariah mentioned that, Jay walked into Reid’s office.

The jewels Reid dropped thorough the night were informative and powerful. When asked about managing Kanye, he mentioned that musical geniuses should be careful not to outshine their work. It sounded like some sort of deep parable, and the crowd understood. I’m sure Reid could tell stories for hours, but the hour flew by.

Reid was welcomed with open arms by Chicago and graciously signed books and took pictures after the event.

Take a look at the pics below.

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