Troy Prince – The Wall Street Journey of an ‘Adapter’

Over the past year, Hugh Massie sat down with some of the most influential consultants and entrepreneurs. Through their identity conversations, they’ve all shared the impact DNA Behavior and knowing their identity has had on their work. Today, we shine the light on the journey of Troy Prince.

Where it all began

Raised in the Bronx, Troy Prince is second-generation Caribbean. Being a child prodigy, his first experience with the stock market was at the age of 15 during a social study class where the assignment was to identify the stock that performed the best over a certain period of time. Without having done any fundamental research, he still answered correctly. 

The turning point for Troy was reading the Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager. The book listed some of the world’s best traders at the time, and that’s how he immediately knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.  At the age of 16, he graduated from high school and went to NYU Stern. By the time he was 17, he was cold calling at Shearson Lehman.

Troy also spent significant time abroad working for both American and international Investment Banks, always in trading. He also speaks 4 languages and has always been passionate about connecting typically overlooked urban talent with the capital markets and investment opportunities.  

The identity of an ‘Adapter’

After taking our DNA discovery test, Troy’s results concluded that his unique DNA style is Adapter. This means that he’s very flexible and adaptable. On some days, he would take the lead, on other days, he will take a bit more of a backseat. Deep down, Troy has got a competitive drive, which is all validated by his studious school years and career development.

Wall Street Bound was born

Troy is quite the entrepreneur. He’s had a very interesting business career in capital markets in New York, and investing in Vietnam. He had an idea for a non-profit that helps minorities learn and work in the financial services space on Wall Street 15 years ago. His goal was to build on the ever-expanding diversity needs and movement occurring in the business community. 

In June of 2019, Troy brought his idea to life and Wall Street Bound was born. The organization’s mission is to expose minorities to different opportunities and get them to see that their potential may be greater than what they think it is, or it could be in a different area than what they thought. 

Another common ground that Troy and DNA Behavior had at the start of it all was stirring organizations and our business culture towards diversity and inclusion. In how own words ”The bridge is getting built, it’s still very fragile, it needs further work, but the mindset of the business leaders is to focus more on D&I but, at the same time, everybody’s got to be able to thrive together.” 

Final Thoughts..

With more than 20 years in the industry, Troy sums up his mission in wanting to “build a minority growth mindset”. Through teaching financial skills and corporate culture, his work with Wall Street Bound helps empower under-represented adults to achieve beyond their current horizons. 

Click below to watch Troy’s Identity Conversation.

Top 5 Non-Financial Work Rewards To Motivate And Retain Your Employees

Attracting and retaining top-performing employees, as well as improving productivity levels can be achieved in a number of ways, and not only through monetary incentives. 

In a competitive business climate, leaders should not only consider rewards and recognition programs, but also the critical elements that provide each employee with a sense of workplace alignment. Below are the top 5 non-financial work rewards your employees value the most. 

1. Sense of achievement 

Every employee wants to feel a sense of accomplishment in their workplace. As a matter of fact, reaching goals that have been set is one of the most critical elements in employee engagement.  

As a leader, you need to encourage a sense of achievement within your employees. That can be done by setting achievable goals for your team, offering support without micromanaging, and celebrating hard work and big milestones. 

2. Opportunities to travel 

Travel opportunities can be a strong employee motivator, it has become a key way to attract and retain strong candidates. With that being said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be exotic destinations. Even simple company outings can go a long way. 

Some organizations even go to the extent of implementing travel programs employees can qualify for based on performance and goals achieved. 

3. Career progression 

No matter how adequate an employee is to their position or how efficient they are, they need to be able to see a future with your organization. You need to build a thoughtful and strategic career progression framework to support your team’s long-term goals in a structured way. 

While salary expectations is one of the main reasons employees look for employment elsewhere, the lack of career progression is just as important.

4. Leadership position 

If your employees have any aspirations for leadership positions, they need to know that it is a possibility within your organization. Leadership opportunities can be a powerful incentive for employee retention. It is your responsibility to identify the ones who value that and match them with the right opportunities.

5. Personal growth

Personal development is extremely important in the workplace. It empowers your employees to produce better results and meet their goals throughout the year. Personal development is not a linear process, it is through an exploration of identity, talents, potential, and aspirations that people can see actual growth. A powerful incentive for your employees, is to support them throughout this process.

How to identify their priority of rewards? 

Implementing these non-financial rewards is not enough, identifying each employee’s order of priority is key. A tool such as Business DNA can be a game-changer for your organization. Through an elaborate Natural Behavior Discovery process, you can have access to a summary of the most critical elements for your team to have maximum workplace alignment. 

Interested to know more? Book a 15-min call with our team and learn how to shape your organization into a winning one.

A Veteran’s Day Tribute with Brian Sulc

For the past few years, we at DNA Behavior have always acknowledged and celebrated our community of veterans on National Veterans Day. We take it to heart to honor those who wear and have worn the uniform of our armed forces.  

I have served in the Air Force for a few years and can honestly say that the camaraderie you experience in the armed forces is unlike any other bond. The experience is life-changing and teaches you a great deal about the human condition and our natural behavior. 

I’m always moved and encouraged to meet fellow veterans. Throughout the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few and today I would like to pay tribute to one of them.  

Meet Brian Sulc 

Brian Sulc is the Executive Director of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) at the Department of Homeland Security. He’s been leading the Intelligence Enterprise Training Initiative since 2019 and has been part of I&A since 2004.  At a very young age, Brian knew that he wanted to make a difference in the world. He’s always been moved and motivated by the stark distinction between good and evil. In his own words, he simply wanted to be one of the good guys.  

After graduating high school, he joined Cornell University and was part of the Navy ROTC program, Marine Option. Straight out of college, he was commissioned into the Marine Corps and became an infantry platoon commander. He spent the next 5 years in the infantry battalion serving various roles, it was not only the beginning of his career but also was his first experience in training.  

Brian then moved on to take the role of Deputy Director of the Instructional Management School at Camp Pendleton, California and made a major career change right after that. He decided to become an attorney and went from the Marine Corps to law school. 

The interesting thing about his decision is that he didn’t necessarily have any kind of lifelong ambition about becoming an attorney, he was seeking an intellectually challenging academic experience, a “boot camp of the mind.”  He found himself enjoying his time at law school and became a prosecutor, spending eight quite fulfilling years in the role. 

A life-changing event 

Brian can still remember it as if it had happened yesterday. It was a Tuesday morning; he was sitting at a desk on the 11th floor eying a stack of files he needed to go through for preliminary hearings. He’d been working as a prosecutor in Arlington County in Virginia, and this was a normal day for him. Suddenly, he saw all the police officers running out of the courtroom headed in the same direction. He looked around for an explanation, then his eyes met the window where the black fume of smoke was all you could see on the horizon. 

The day was 9/11, and the building was the Pentagon right after it was bombed.  

Even as a prosecutor, Brian had been continuing his military service in the reserves. Witnessing what happened that day, triggered the next season of his life. He returned to active duty in the Marine Corps, joined the post 9/11 efforts spending the most of the four years in the Marine Corps, including a tour in Iraq where his actions resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in combat.

Brian returned home, but not to re-engage as a prosecutor. 9/11 had changed him and sharpened his resolve to make the world a better place. He joined the Department of Homeland Security was where he believed he could make a difference and a contribution post military service. 

The servant leadership approach 

A lot of things happened in Brian’s career since he came back from deployment. Prior to leading the Intelligence Enterprise Training Initiative, he worked as Director of the Border Security Division, which countered with cross border threats such as drug trafficking, smuggling, and similar issues. He then led the effort to establish the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  

His comeback to training came in the form of the Intelligence Enterprise Training Initiative. He had been in intel operations most of his career, but the counterterrorism center of excellence and this position marked his return.  

The interesting thing about Brian is that he has his own philosophy when it comes to training and leadership. Although he values the technical aspect of any mission, it’s always been more about the people for him, and the opportunity for inspiring and leading others to succeed.  

In his own words, Brian embraces the servant leadership approach. It’s what drives him. He believes that by having a clear mission, a distinctive threat or enemy to fight and providing support to everyone on your team, you can unlock a level of success that you may not have encountered before. It is not about you the leader, it is about your team, what they need from you to succeed, and your commitment to providing that for them. It is not only about individual performance; it is about helping people operate for the greater good of the team.  

The identity of a veteran 

Any person that has worn the uniform of our armed forces admits that it is more than a job. It is more than a mission or a vocation. The selfless act of dedicating every waking moment to the well-being of your nation is undoubtedly part of your identity.  

Whether you transition to a different career or you carry on the mission and work on the federal level similar to the path chosen by Brian, your identity as a veteran will always surface in all aspects of your life.  

When asking Brian what he wants to be known for and how he wants to be seen by the people he leads and spends time training, he says: ”I hope that I am seen as a great example or even the epitome of a servant leader. When the going gets tough, even when it may costs me personally, I’m practicing what I preach. We look out for the guy or the woman on our left and right. The mission is best accomplished by being a servant leader and by not putting yourself first.” 

Final thought. 

Have you ever met someone in your life and thought to yourself “that person is a real-life hero!”. When it comes to Brian Sulc, that is exactly how I felt when I first met him. People like him make me think that every day should be a celebration of our veterans, not only one day a year. 

From all of us here at DNA Behavioral, Brian, we salute you and thank you for your service. 

When New Information Changes Perspective

Some twenty-four hours ago, the state government sent our little haven by the ocean into Covid lockdown. We had to get back to our homes with only a few hours’ notice, ensure the fridge was full, and generally watch as our comfy, covid free world imploded.  

No longer, for the foreseeable future, could we sit in the village coffee shop engaging in conversations about other states not being able to cope with the lockdown. No longer could we gloss over the shattered lives due to businesses closing, never to open again.   

Suddenly, it was us. Then, it was our little shops, our little local livelihoods with closed signs at the window.  

I began to realize how perspective about what was happening changed. We saw the issues from a whole different vantage point. What was evident as we called each other was the significantly new attitude now being adopted, not just to our neighbor states but also to our village and the businesses, schools, churches, and all gatherings suddenly in lockdown. 

I’ve been thinking a great deal recently about seeing things differently. My world is all about understanding behaviors, but something is changing. The world and individuals have taken on levels of stress like never before in many of our lifetimes. I notice how emotion is driving significant decisions. I’ve seen a level of fear in conversations. Comments such as – when this is all over, what will the economy look like? Will I have enough savings or retirement income to ride out a financial crash? Will I lose my home? 

If I’ve learned anything about understanding behaviors over many years, It’s that when we understand and can manage our behaviors, it rationalizes our perspective, it frees up the mind to make calmer, more effective, less emotional decisions. 

Let me give you an example using a group of friends I know well. Names have been changed! 

In the face of this current lockdown:

David is an influencer. As the word suggests, he influences; he wants/needs to engage with people. Unfortunately, right now, he is crawling up the walls of his apartment. He is desperately trying to build a range of new businesses, calling friends to get their opinions, making decisions from the most stressful standpoints. Finally, after understanding his behavior (yes, I managed to get him to complete a DNA Behavior Discovery process), he can see that he is creating messy chaos and needs to breathe and start looking at this situation from a different perspective.

Jackie, on the other hand, is a thinker. Very analytical and logical, an absolute rock to have around as she keeps us all accountable by asking endless questions of our little group. Her perspective and counsel are to consolidate, calm down, move forward using rational fact-based decision making. Lockdown has given Jackie a whole new perspective. Firstly the speed at which we were told to go to our homes, no research, no actual planning, lack of organization, and all of us looking to her to ensure systems in place for the business continued to function correctly remotely. Jackie found herself in a difficult position. Again, Jackie completed the DNA Behavior discovery.

Elizabeth is strategic. She asked to complete the DNA Behavior discovery. It confirmed she is a visionary, structured, and takes the lead whenever possible. We all tend to look to her to make the tough calls. To make quick, confident decisions. She is always able to see and minimize the risks. But something changed recently. Perspective shifted. Losing control over the work environment caused her concern. Strategically she could easily find solutions to the lockdown issue, but now the authority to implement them was gone. 

Then there’s me, Vicki – DNA Behavior discovery process nails me to a tee. I am a facilitator, balanced, harmonious, discerning. I need the what-ifs answered. I pull back from all (even reasonable) spending in case something happens to the economy. I like to take time to make decisions, and above all else, I rely on the skills and stability of my colleagues to keep the ship steady. So from my perspective, everything is a bit shaky.

But heh, I’m a facilitator, which means I bring about outcomes by providing indirect assistance and guidance. I keep communication flowing and encourage and change the energy in the zoom room.

And that’s what I did. I ran a DNA Behavior team report for this little group. It showed the strength, pressure points, communication style, bias, and decision-making approach of our team, and so much more. We got together for an online meeting, and I used this information to change our collective perspective. I encouraged them to keep the issue, that is, in lockdown because of Covid, in focus. 

This ‘issue’ is not our fault, not within our power to change the current situation but most definitely within our control to change our perspective in dealing with it. We spent time reviewing our DNA Behavior reports and acknowledging where our pressure points were and how to manage them. We further realized (almost scarily) how fear can take a successful business off course, not because of the shutdown but because of the individual’s behavior and perspective.

We challenged each other’s decision-making. As a result, we are determined to use our inherent behavior and skills to see things differently and ride out this storm without damaging ourselves or the business.

We decided not to waste energy on the lockdown itself because we all had very different responses to that, but to intentionally use our skills to bend but not break in the season we currently face.

If you find yourself in a similar place – you have my sympathy, but do what we did. Head over to DNA and hit the free trial button. You may well find the new information changes your perspective as it did ours.

Genuine Identity and Purpose: The Money Will Flow

– First Published on Nasdaq –

How does knowing your identity impact how you relate to other people? What part does it play in boosting confidence? Throw the emotional and gravitational pull of money into the mix, and where does knowing or not knowing your identity fit?

There is no doubt that understanding your identity reflects who you are at the core. It informs the direction of your life. It highlights the importance of your communication style, whether professional or personal.

Here, we speak of identity as your inherent or innate passion and purpose and the associated behaviors, good or bad.

People, then numbers

It may go without saying that we are all different and being able to manage differences enriches relationships. That can be particularly impactful in the financial services industry, where the emotional pull of money is front and center.

In fact, understanding the identity of clients is foundational to the advisory process. The same is true of advisors knowing their own identity. On a day-to-day basis, advisors need to be able to adapt their own communication to those of others. For example, they need to know when to be direct, inclusive, soft, a listener, or a counselor.

When knowing identity focuses on the advisor-client relationship, walls come down, creating a much healthier framework for delivering advice. Advice that is likely to be more accurate and lasting. Clients know when an advisor genuinely knows them and cares about their life goals, plans, and wealth creation. They know when advice is more about people than numbers.

Money decisions are different

I’m passionate about pioneering the understanding of money behavior. We of course all have innate behaviors and understanding those behaviors – especially as pertains to decision making – is particularly challenging but also particularly revealing when it comes to money.

Money impacts every aspect of our lives. Money can power our lives positively or negatively, regardless of the amount of money we have.

But what I’ve confirmed over the past few years is that when individuals know their identity, they can put money to work for them positively. As a result, they tend to make fewer decisions – about money and finances but also about other things – that impact them negatively.

When you know your identity, you know your talents, and you know your inherent behaviors, leading to wealth creation via applying your skills and building meaningful, supportive relationships. Whether you are an individual investor or leading a team or organization, it’s essential to understand the energy of money and people’s relationship to it.

Identity as info & armor

We live in a world that is highly dynamic and interconnected. Whether the speed at which we all work, the many ways technology has shaped what we do, or the deluge of opportunities coming at us, we need to be able to flex. To adapt at a moment’s notice.

So, if identity is what shapes and protects us, we understand who we are and our inherent reactions, and we can flex and adapt securely. We are less likely to make bad decisions. Instead, we see opportunities for what they are and choose whether to grab them or walk away.

A cautionary note for advisors and industry leaders is that the environment changes regularly inside a business and in people’s lives. Unless identity is known, you have no way of anticipating how clients will respond to life challenges. In reality, you are advising and leading the (figuratively) blind.

As an advisor, knowing your own identity is transformative. It increases and clarifies the quality of the questions you ask your clients, the observations you make, and the guidance you provide them – including how and when you communicate with them. You know the importance of getting to foundational stuff that means the advice you give or leadership style you adopt is suitable for that individual in that scenario at that time.

The clarity of identity

Whatever your life circumstances are, discovering a robust identity and then living it is the pathway to accelerating your advancement. There are no magic bullets here. There is work and focus involved.

Once you get the clarity of your identity, your confidence will dramatically increase. Confidence is the Number One influencer of performance. The journey will be highly positive, and through it, you will be a better person, at work and at play. And, as an advisor, you will have a better business.

It’s true for both advisors and clients: Genuinely live your identity and your purpose, and the money will follow.

See Hugh’s other writings for Nasdaq here.

Your Identity Sets You Apart From Other Advisors

What sets you apart from other advisors? Are you all about the “doing” in your role as an advisor and less about the essence of your being?

As the sardonic writer Kurt Vonnegut once said, “you are a human being and not a human doing.”

Discovering your identity — the concept of who you are and who you choose to be — has impact on every choice and decision you make, including in knowing what your life goal is. Your identity helps you and your clients become more secure in yourself. And self-insight fosters a clearer “vision” about yourself and those you serve.

So what are the steps to achieve self-discovery for yourself and your clients?

1. Identity is a critical factor

An interesting theme is emerging from my “Identity Conversations” with industry leaders. Leaders want to run businesses that are known for more than just numbers on a balance sheet. Many have spent the past year reviewing their life journey and some have changed the direction of their organizations to reflect a more meaningful way of doing business. 

Interestingly, advisors who are determined to make these changes for themselves also realize that their clients want to invest differently. Clients are also modifying their life goals to reflect a more meaningful direction.

The discovery of your identity is crucial for both your personal growth and business growth. In many cases, the identity of a business is strongly correlated to the leader’s identity. And what I find is that people’s identity may be the most critical factor affecting their economic lives.

2. Decode clients and their wants

The financial services industry is full of analytical doers. There will never be a shortage of intelligent finance people who are able to analyze the markets, not to mention all the software programs they have at their fingertips to assist them.

But what is missing – and only slowly coming to the fore – is the importance of understanding behavior. There are fewer people in finance who understand investor mindsets. The ones who can analyze and guide clients to achieve their life goals are able to focus not just on returns but also on quality of life.

So this would be the differentiator for a financial advisor: be able to decode exactly what a client wants to achieve with their money. But this can only happen when financial advisors first stop and explore their own identity. 

3. Move from “doing” to “being”

Knowing and embracing who we are is the key to understanding our identity. “Doing” often means hyperactivity in our chosen careers. This often gives little to no time to understand ourselves, clouding our values, impacting relationships and causing us to behave in unacceptable ways.

Additionally, sometimes how busy we are causes us to question our life journey. This past year has caused many of us to ask, what am I doing with my life?

If you have had these aha moments, so have your clients. In fact, those I’ve been having conversations with recently have shared that it is so important to go through a self-discovery process. They said that moving from doing to being has positively affected their quality of life, and that they have been influencing and guiding their clients through a similar process.

4. Wealth management refocused

Let’s be clear, though, this has not changed the need to invest in wealth creation vehicles. What has changed is the “why” of doing it and where you are investing or re-investing. For example, there has been a renewed focus on ESG investing (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance), but that’s a story for another day.

When we know our identity, we are less likely to be influenced by unsuitable advice. We take control of our own decision-making and no longer feel powerless.

I know that’s easier said than done, but is it that difficult? When advisors know and understand their own identity (and that their intentions to clients are not just about activity but about real purpose), working with clients to achieve life goals based on a mutual understanding of identity becomes much easier. This becomes the secret sauce that sets financial advisors apart and improves client outcomes.

So work with clients to find their true identity. Communicate, not as a salesperson, but as someone who genuinely wants to steer clients through their biases, leading them to an investment strategy that meets both their identity needs and wealth creation needs. 

If understanding your identity or the concept of “doing” rather than “being” resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you. Your questions. Your experiences. Your journeys.

See Hugh’s other writings for Nasdaq here.