Book Review of Principles by Ray Dalio
There are many books written on Leadership. Principles by Ray Dalio Ray Dalio is part of a separate list of those books on Leadership which require review. When you join his company, the employee has to acknowledge transparency of his or her job record, accomplishments and failures at Bridgewater Associates. This book is the #1 New York Times Bestseller.
Ray Dalio is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates, which is a global investment firm and is the world’s largest hedge fund. His wisdom is unconventional too. However, I found the book lacking since his principles related to the guiding principles that he used to found and manage the company. Many of us are working in a firm where we have to or try to be change agents in the culture and management structure where we work. So, then we are limited. Transparency is fostered from tape recording meetings to a culture of criticism to encourage the best out of employees.
I still found the book helpful because he tries to decipher the basic rules to manage yourself or your organization. The principles can be applied to one’s one self to ensure that one can reach his or her goals, or improve one’s own self worth. His basic approach is “knowing what your weaknesses are and staring hard at them”. [i] Or, as the common saying goes, “To thine own self be true.” He encourages employees to understand power that comes from knowing how and others are wired. There are 16 pages from pages 280-295 of principles in a checklist form that are included in this best seller that one can use to manage meetings, hire the “right” person, build a culture to diagnosing problems to setting up governance structure. Each section or group of principles can be studied, analyzed and applied to one’s own company and life. He is big on understanding people and encouraging them to work together since the team can be more effective than the individual.
This book is encouraged to be studied and parsed for the situations where activities such as running meetings or setting up a governance structure apply . In some cases, self examination of a company’s flaws and strengths can help a firm or individual reach the next plateau. (whatever that plateau may entail).
[i] Principles, Ray Dalio, page 179, Simon and Schuster