In Principles, Bridgewater Associates co-founder and CEO lays out his key principles for running a disciplined organization and excelling in areas of life as well. The principles range from how to make decisions to how to handle arguments to hiring and firing individuals within an organization.
I really appreciated hearing more about Dalio’s outlook on running an organization. Some of the methods he mentions in the book sound excessive to me, but they could work well for a specific type of organization. Other elements like aggressive transparency and accountability fit well within my model of how I believe a team should function.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” – Carl Young
“I’ve seen people who agree on the major issues waste hours arguing over details. It’s more important to do the big things well than the small perfectly.”
“Knowing what people are like is the best indicator of how well they are likely to handle their responsibilities in the future. At Bridgewater, we call this paying more attention to the swing than the shot.”
“Don’t worry about whether your people like you and don’t look to them to tell you what to do. Just worry about making the best decisions possible recognizing that no matter what you do most everyone will think you’re doing something or many things wrong. It is human nature for people to want you to believe their own opinions and to get angry at you if you don’t even if they have no reason to believe their opinions are wrong. If you’re leading well, you shouldn’t be surprised if people disagree with you.”
“Be very specific about problems. Don’t start with generalizations…Start with the specifics and then observe patterns.”
“It is easy to look at messy circumstances, think things must be terrible, and get frustrated. But the real challenge is to look at the long term successes these messy circumstances have produced and understand how essential they are to the evolutionary process of innovation.”