By Ray Dalio
By Ray Dalio
Why I Wrote This
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Part 1 – My Most Fundamental Principles Where I’m Coming From My Most Fundamental Principles The Personal Evolution Process Your Most Important Choices The 5 Steps to Personal Evolution The 5 Steps Close-Up Appendix: 10 Steps to Personal Decision-Making Part 2 – My Management Principles Get the People and the Culture Right Getting Specific
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A) To Get the Culture Right…
…Truth is Essential …Recognize That Mistakes are Good if They Result in Learning …Constantly Get in Synch …The Most Important Decision You Make is Choosing the Responsible Party …Recognize That People are Built Very Differently …Hire Right, Because the Penalties of Hiring Wrong are Huge …Understand the Differences Between Managing, Micromanaging and Not Managing …Probe Deep and Hard …Evaluate People Accurately, Not Kindly …Train and Test People through Experiences …Sort People into Other Jobs or Boxes at Bridgewater, or Remove Them from Bridgewater …Know How to Perceive Problems Effectively …Follow a Systematic Approach to Diagnosing Problems …Put Things in Perspective …Design Your Plan and Your Machine …Do What You Set Out To Do
B) To Get the People Right…
C) To Perceive, Diagnose and Solve Problems…
D) To Make Decisions Effectively …
…Recognize the Power of Knowing How to Deal With Not Knowing
By Ray Dalio
I believe that having principles is essential--that without principles that make sense and are clear to us, we will flounder. That is why I believe we need to have a conversation. What are principles? Why are principles important? Where do principles come from? Do you have principles that you live your life by? What are they? How well do you think they will work and why? These are questions that I want to explore with you. During our exploration, I want you to think for yourself, not blindly follow what I say. While this written format doesn’t allow us to have a real-time back-and-forth, let’s try to approach our interaction this way anyway. For example, when I say something about principles and ask for your thoughts, ask yourself what you believe is true. Think about the principles that you want to live your life by and that you think Bridgewater should operate by. I believe that only through this sort of quality exchange can we determine the best principles for each of us and make the deep changes that we believe in. I will lead off. I want you to imagine how life without principles compares to life with principles: reacting to the things that come at you, without having thought deeply about what you value most and how to make choices to get what you want out of life; spending an awful lot of time doing without reflecting on what you are doing to get what you want. This is tragic, in my opinion, because approaching your life this way prevents you from making the most of your life. 1 Do you know any people who are doing this? While operating without principles is bad for individuals, it is even worse for groups of individuals (like companies) because it leads to people randomly bumping into each other without understanding what values they are living out and how they should behave in order to be consistent with those values.
Can you notice the difference between people who operate by principles and those who don’t? If you could listen to their minds working, I believe you would hear people who operate by principles thinking about the circumstances they have to respond to, then thinking about what principles are relevant, then applying the relevant principles to make their decisions. In other words, you would hear them thinking about two things: 1) the “case at hand” and 2) “the relevant principles” – and relating them to make their decision. In contrast, when listening to the thinking of people who don’t...