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Profitable ETF Trading Strategies: three leadership questions for traders

I had an opportunity to conduct a two-hour interview with the executive director of the Center for Creative Leadership and explore their research into the field of emergent leadership. 

It is their opinion that modern leadership for conditions of uncertainty take on a different form than are conventional notions of leaders and leadership.  Their insights have some powerful lessons for us to learn as traders as well. 

The conventional view of leadership resides in the individual as leader. People usually think of leaders as charismatic people of action that lead us to success as a consequence of their personal qualities and individual excellence. We think that they see farther and deeper than other people and are able to articulate a vision of success which they can convince us is achievable if we will pull together. 

This is often called the great man theory of leadership and is the subject of much debate. 

Other schools of thought look for organizational structures that provide a framework for action in which individual leadership is less important provided that the organizational values and processes and resource levels support effective action in typical circumstances. In this theory of leadership, organizational excellence replaces individual excellence. 

While it is true that organizational culture has a lot to say about success in the world, this view is dissatisfying in many dimensions because it seems to eliminate individual responsibility and initiative without addressing exactly how this effective organizational culture and structure should come about. 

The Center for Creative Leadership approach considers leadership to be any emergent property of a situation that is a consequence of individual actions and relationships that create a condition for success that cannot be attributed to a single individual or policy but which seems to permeate successful organizations. 

They have identified three persistent qualities which can be measured and which indicate that leadership is present. Each of these is a powerful concept which can be applied to our own trading. 

The three concepts are: direction, alignment and commitment. 

Direction consists of having a vision of a successful end state toward which our individual and collective actions may be applied in ways that make sense to all of us, even though the details may be uncertain.


Alignment means having all of the network components work individuals and teams in the organization, working together in harmony and rhythm, making way to get her like the coordinated members of the rolling team.


Commitment is indicated by what we are prepared to give up for the good of the team in pursuit of our final objective. It might include hardships that we will endure were sacrifices that we will make more investments of our time, energy and personal resources. It represents a measurable, meaningful and significant statement of purpose that will be interpreted by the team as a powerful force for good. It helps to bind us tightly together as a team.


As a trader you can examine your trading plan and yourself and your team in light of these three criteria to determine if leadership is present to help you achieve your objectives.


These three questions can be very powerful:


What is my direction? Am I aligned with my goal? Am I fully committed?

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