This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures
Every Saturday I look forward to Brian Lund’s communique. The Lund Loop. Brian keeps things real. This week he explained how tout sheets make money.
Brian usually tells a personal story and this week he had a good one.
I was contemplating things over the weekend. With frothy markets, lots of people are interested in trading. I am seeing “personalities” show up on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube that are trading influencers. Call me old, but I think they are full of shit.
When I get a startup pitch for a trading app, I have always said no. Why? Because if the app was that good at predicting things, you’d keep it to yourself and make tons of money. I know a few traders that make a ton of money. You have never heard of them and you will never hear of them. They never chat about particular trades before they put them on or while they have them on. They’ll chat after they are out.
One of the things about all these people is they work super hard to not have an ego when it comes to trading. I learned that early in my career. Trading pits could be extremely macho places. I mean, just like gladiators entering the ring type macho.
Tempers flared, language flared. It was physical. You had to do everything you could to keep your emotion under control while at the same time executing. We all are only human so you could fail at it. If you let your ego get in the way of your trading, you lost money.
I think the same can be said for leadership. You must let go of your ego. Mindfulness techniques are in fact a way to check your ego. They are trendy today but mindfulness. has always been a part of great leadership. Maybe it wasn’t identified as such. It doesn’t mean you aren’t competitive. It doesn’t mean you aren’t firm. It doesn’t mean you are soft.
I am going through some things personally today where letting go of my ego matters. I have had to do it a lot in the past when I traded and when I invested in startups. As soon as I let my ego get the best of me, I go down the wrong path.
General Patton was an extroverted boisterous demonstrative leader. He could be a real sonofabitch. But, he practiced mindfulness. He was able to put his ego aside when it mattered. Remember, one of the things he did very well was to delegate responsibility to officers under his command. He said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity”.
One of Patton’s best friends, General Omar Bradley was a quiet leader. He was also a great example of being mindful when he led. Patton and Bradley were polar opposites when it came to using techniques to motivate their troops. But they were the same when they looked inside themselves.
A fair criticism of Trump, or Obama, is that they couldn’t get out of the way of their own egos.
What I am seeing today in the Biden Administration’s first few days is ego-driven, not leadership driven. Instead of working on a unifying consensus agenda, they are ramming things down people’s throats. Damn the torpedoes.
One thing that I have always thought is that America never elects a dumb President. I can’t speak for Presidents prior to the 20th Century because I haven’t read enough history on them. Most certainly the first six Presidents were highly intelligent. It’s clear Lincoln and Grant were super smart. From 1900-2000, I don’t think the country elected someone that wasn’t smart, inquisitive, and intelligent. Even when I disagree vehemently with their policies I recognize their intellect.
Biden/Harris both are two of the dimmest people I have ever seen in politics. They are unintelligent. Not inquisitive. Not curious. Great leaders exhibit those characteristics. Placeholders. Props.
So far what we are seeing is not textbook great leadership. Sad.