On Tuesday, billionaire Ray Dalio (73) resigned from his role as one of three co-chief investment officers at Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest and most successful hedge funds.
He will remain with the company in a mentorship role, a role he has cultivated publicly over the years as the author of several educational books on career and investment advice, including the 2017 bestseller “Principles: Life & Work.”[ads1];
In light of his long tenure at the company he founded, here’s a look back at four pieces of advice Dalio has adopted over his fifty-year career, as shared in his “Principles.”
1. Practice radical openness
To be successful in your job, you have to be good at making decisions, and that requires radical openness, writes Dalio.
Radical openness is the ability to analyze different points of view without letting your ego get in the way.
Before you make a decision, you should always take into account the possibility that you could be wrong, he writes. In fact, Dalio seeks out people who might disagree with him so he can understand their reasoning. It is only after he has considered all points of view and relevant information that he makes a decision.
“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.
2. Work in an “idea meritocracy”
The most satisfying workplaces are “meritocracies of ideas”, writes Dalio. They are environments where the best ideas win, regardless of who they come from.
“The most meaningful relationships are achieved when you and others can talk openly to each other about everything that matters, learn together, and understand the need to hold each other accountable to be the best you can be,” he writes.
For a “meritocracy of ideas” to work, internal disagreements must be constructive and respectful. You should not be dishonest or mean to your colleagues.
“Everyone in the meritocracy of ideas must remain calm and respect the process,” Dalio writes. “It’s never acceptable to be upset if the idea meritocracy doesn’t produce the decision you personally wanted.”
3. Watch out for “fast talkers”
“Rapid talkers are people who articulately and confidently say things faster than they can be judged as a way to push their agenda past the scrutiny or objections of others,” writes Dalio.
Don’t be intimidated by these people, says Dalio. You have a “responsibility to understand things” for yourself, instead of pretending to understand what a fast talker might say.
“If you’re feeling pressured, say something like, ‘I’m sorry to be stupid, but I need to slow you down so I can understand what you’re saying,'” writes Dalio. “Then ask your questions. Everyone.”