6 Timeless Lessons From Leo Melamed’s Book: The Man From The Future
Leo Melamed has one of the most inspiring stories in the history of capital markets. He is known as the father god of financial futures (he created stock market futures, currency futures, treasury futures, CME’s electronic trading platform , Globex, and he helped transform the Chicago Mercantile Exchange into a global powerhouse). In Leo’s most recent book, Man of The Futures, he shares some of the highlights of his exceptional journey and it’s easily one of my favorite books of all time. I had the great honor and pleasure of interviewing Leo on my SmartMoneyCircle.com podcast – here and every time I talk to him, I learn a lot.
1. Plan for the future
The first big lesson that jumped out at me is to look to the future and plan for the future. In short, Leo is a Holocaust survivor. Fortunately, her father had the foresight to leave Poland (before it was too late). They made an unforgettable trip east to Japan, then finally to the United States.
On this trip, Leo learned to think differently from most people, he learned to value currencies, and he learned to look to the future and think of the possibilities that may present themselves, and then to take decisions. measures to position oneself in order to stay ahead of what is to come. It shaped his professional career and helped him transform the Chicago Mercantile Exchange into a global powerhouse.
2. America’s free market system is amazing
(It’s not just an economic system, it’s a way of life)
The second big lesson for me is Leo’s steadfast belief in America’s incredibly powerful free market system. Leo speaks multiple languages, he has met just about every president and major central banker in modern history, he saved the CME by creating Globex and an electronic trading system, and he believes in the US free trade system as way of life. Anyone can thrive in a free market, it is a level playing field that rewards anyone who is willing to rise above the crowd and win.
3. The freedom to think is priceless
Another timeless lesson Leo shares is that the freedom to think is priceless. In today’s economy, properly executed ideas can make a real difference in the world. In the 1980s and 1990s the CME faced a major dilemma because electrotonic trading would replace ground trading, it was just a matter of when, not if. Leo had to make the very difficult decision to kiss him and get ahead of him in order to save the CME. He knows that if he didn’t embrace electrotonic trading, someone else would and that could end the CME. He had the courage to stand up and act, even though it was against popular opinion at the time, and the free market rewarded him by making CME the largest futures exchange in history. !
4. Competition is the hallmark of success
Leo’s next big, timeless lesson is that competition is good for you and the economy, and that’s the hallmark of success. One of the main benefits of living and working in today’s economy is that the âmarketâ is open and anyone with a well-executed idea can thrive. As your idea works and people notice it, competition will invariably arise. Others will try to jump on the gravy train and compete with you and take market share. Most people are afraid of competition and that’s why most people don’t make it to the big leagues. Leo takes a different approach, he embraces competition and believes competition is the hallmark of success. He knows that in an open market competition is inevitable, so why not embrace it, learn from it, compete and win, instead of running away or hiding. Adopting our competition allows you to level up and perform at a higher level, which in turn will earn you more.
5. Be honest, especially about your mistakes.
Another timeless principle that Leo shares is the importance of being honest, especially about your mistakes. It is very important not to hide your mistakes, especially from yourself. In fact, most people (who fail) do and this is one of the reasons why most people fail. It is very easy to make excuses and / or find any reason under the sun why something went wrong or “change the story” as you tell yourself why something went wrong. There are many issues with doing this and the biggest one could be that you will probably repeat this mistake in the future. Winners win, because instead of doing that, they are intellectually honest, face their mistakes, correct them quickly, and move on and seek the next victory.
6. Embrace the change
The sixth timeless lesson Leo shares in his book is the importance of embracing change, especially when it comes to technology. Technology is constantly evolving and it is very important to embrace change and anticipate it. If Leo hadn’t embraced the technology and created Globex, when he did, who knows where CME would be right now. Having a forward-looking mindset is imperative to moving forward and thriving in a free market.
There are many other lessons that will “jump right over” you as you read the book. Leo’s story is amazing and extremely inspiring for anyone who wants to move forward and thrive.