On Tuesday, billionaire Ray Dalio, 73, resigned as one of three chief investment officers at Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest and most successful hedge funds.
He will remain a mentor at the company, a role he has developed publicly over the years with several educational books on career and investment advice, including a 2017 bestseller.”Principles: Life and Work.”
In light of his long tenure at the company he founded, here’s a look at four pieces of advice Dalio has embraced over his five-decade career, as shared in The Principles.
To be successful in your business, Dalio writes, you need to be good at making decisions, and that requires radical open-mindedness.
Radical open-mindedness is the ability to analyze different points of view without letting your ego get in the way.
He writes that you should always allow for the possibility that you could be wrong before making a decision. In fact, Dalio seeks out people who disagree with him so he can understand their point of view. He makes a decision only after considering all points of view and relevant information.
“The more open-minded you are, the less likely you are to deceive yourself and the more likely others will give you honest feedback,” he writes.
Dalio writes that the most fulfilling workplaces are “meritocracies of ideas.” They are environments where the best ideas win, no matter who they come from.
“The most meaningful relationships are achieved when you and others can talk openly about everything that matters, learn together, and understand the need to hold each other accountable to be the best you can be.”
For the “meritocracy of ideas” to work, internal disagreements must be constructive and respectful. You must not speak dishonestly or mean things to your colleagues.
“Everyone in a meritocracy of ideas must be calm and respectful of the process,” Dalio writes. “It’s never okay to get upset if the idea of meritocracy doesn’t make the decision you personally want.”
“Fast talkers are people who say things faster and more assertively than they can be judged as a way to push their agenda through the scrutiny or objections of others,” writes Dalio.
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by these people, says Dalio. Rather than pretending to understand what the fast talker is saying, you have a “responsibility to understand things” for yourself.
“If you’re feeling pressured, say something like, ‘I’m sorry you’re being stupid, but I need to slow you down so I can understand what you’re saying,'” writes Dalio. “Then ask your questions. All of them.”