Lessons Learned in Finance and in Life

Learning moments in a career can be successes and failures. It’s what a leader does after that really matters. Knowledge Is Power goes one-on-one with leaders in different industries to uncover these experiences.

 

How have your first bosses and mentors shaped your career?

Although some people may think back to things that they have said, Kevin Davis learned more from what they did instead.

“My second mentor was really demonstrative of the fact that you could be an incredible success in finance without necessarily being ruthless and hard-ass and taking advantage of people,” he mused. “He was a real gentleman, and he fortunately gave me the chance to grow as a person and grow the business, and I really loved those years.” – Kevin Davis

“I would say that I learned more from my bosses’ mistakes than I learned from their successes,” he reflected.

Knowledge is Power host Brandon Pfluger brings to the podcast Davis, the founder and executive director of First Workings, a nonprofit that identifies and works with talented students in New York City public high schools and connects them with internships or mentorships at large corporations.

Before turning to the nonprofit sector, however, Davis also led a long and illustrious career in finance as well. In this episode of the podcast, he shares some of the life and lessons he’s learned along the way.

“My first boss, he was a pretty tough guy. And right from the start I learned my first lesson, which was, ‘Always treat other people the way you wish yourself to be treated’,” Davis said, before he recounted one of his earliest memories of him — one that ended with a BLT sandwich to his face.

However, Davis also remembers mentors that treated him with respect. “My second mentor was really demonstrative of the fact that you could be an incredible success in finance without necessarily being ruthless and hard-ass and taking advantage of people,” he mused. “He was a real gentleman, and he fortunately gave me the chance to grow as a person and grow the business, and I really loved those years.”

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