Do What You Do!

This week Roy Davis, Director of SMB Training, and I headed to the 92nd Street Y to listen to Dan Pink discuss his excellent, well-researched, thought-provoking new book on motivation in the workplace, Drive. Dan challenges our present management model by presenting new evidence why a motivational work environment should offer purpose, mastery, and autonomy (see awesome Dan Pink animated video here on motivation). Most corporate work environments are about control and finding ways to make employees do their work. The later is a great way to demotivate your staff for creative tasks according to Mr. Pink’s research.

During a question and answer Mr. Pink was asked how one determines their best career path. He started noting that most would suggest that you do what you love. Who hasn’t heard this advice? Dan then shifted gears and shared a better suggestion:

“Do what you do.”

As an example, at Yale Law School Dan spent most of his free time writing political pieces for nominal pay. Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers shares how Bill Gates wrote computer code at a local university endlessly in his teens.

I was talking with Tim Bourquin from Traderinterviews.com this week via email and he asked me about our recruiting matrix. Without giving away the secret sauce the two answers I find most interesting from new trading candidates are to these questions:
a) Do you have a personal trading account?
b) What trading blogs do you read?
And when discussing the optimal recruiting matrix with Dr. Steenbarger, a noted trading psychologist and author, he suggested that people who really want to trade find a way to trade.

So for those who wish to be motivated with their work (trading?), from Dr. Steenbarger to Dan Pink to SMB Capital- Do what you do!

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