Monday, January 01, 2018

How You Make a Change is as Important as the Change You Make

One of my 2018 initiatives is to find good trading websites, blog posts, podcasts, etc.; highlight those as resources for readers; and hopefully add a few nuggets of wisdom and experience along the way.

So let's start with SMB's training blog, which captures many of the lessons that prop firm has learned in the course of growing successful traders.  This one is easy for me to highlight, because I've been working with many of those traders and have witnessed their development first hand.

In his recent post, Mike Bellafiore explains that the greatest spark for trader development in 2017 has been keeping report cards of performance.  The report card has been a daily routine that has anchored review of performance, goal setting, and efforts at improvement.  It's been a great way for traders to become more accountable to themselves.

Interestingly, Nate Michaud from the Investors Underground training network also cites the report card as a major contributor to performance in 2017.  My own observation is that it's not just the report card that furthers learning, but sharing the report cards within teams or trading communities.  This is a very important idea.  When everyone shares their grades, lessons learned, goals, and plans, each trader's learning expands exponentially.  This is called social learning.  We develop, in part, by learning from the experience of others.  This gives us multiple role models.

In one case, it has been particularly effective when the team leader has shared his report cards with all team members.  That way, the feedback that Mike and I provide goes out to the team, not just the trader.  Before long, all the team members began sharing their report cards in this fashion.  The static report card now became dynamic dialogues about improvement--every single day.

At Investors Underground and especially at their Traders4ACause conferences, shared report cards can anchor group-wide education.  It's nice to give back each year, but when traders share their learning each day and fuel each other's development, they are giving back every single day.  Before long, that giving reinforces traders' experiences of themselves:  they see themselves as possessing true value to give, not merely as empty vessels to be filled.

The big idea here is that how you implement a change in your trading is every bit as important as the change you're making.  A report card is great, but it's how you put it into practice--creating dynamic, social learning--that makes it a true difference maker in your trading.