Imagine this! You just received an invitation to meet weekly for coffee with one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, a billionaire investor and philanthropist. He is taking a special interest in you, and he wants you to fully grasp all the important things he has learned in his 68 years of life and work. He will mentor you by tracing his footsteps and missteps, his successes and his failures. When your mentoring sessions are completed, you will be equipped to carry that spark as a blazing torch, enlightening your personal life and your business.
While it may not be an actual “talk-over-coffee,” Ray Dalio’s #1 New York Times bestseller Principles: Life & Work is the ONE must-read book this year, both for your business and your personal growth. Even if you are not a “book” person, there is just too much great stuff here to let this one slip by another day.
RAY DALIO is the founder and co-chairman of the best performing hedge fund in the world. He’s made the list of the most influential people in the world by Time and Bloomberg Markets. Even if you have not a stiff of interest in hedge funds or investing, the stories he tells and the life principles he shares will keep you hanging on his every word.
There are two overarching themes that ooze through the richness of Dalio’s wisdom.
- Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of work and life, so identify and use your principles as a measuring stick for all you do.
- In applying these principles, be radically open-minded and radically transparent. This will assure that you learn quickly, and that you don’t get hung up on what things “should” be like, but what is reality.
It is impossible to highlight the favorite parts of this book, but from a staffing perspective, let me jump right to Part III where Dalio hits the very heart of building a business based upon solid work principles. Because there is just so much rich information, Dalio does us a tremendous service, and begins this section with a summary and table of these principles, indexed to the pages where each topic is covered in more depth. He begins by saying, “An organization is a machine consisting of two major parts: culture and people.” Then he proceeds to itemize how to get the culture right, and how to get the people right. These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas, but instead he outlines specific steps. For example, to support his principle that you need to create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes, but unacceptable not to learn from them, Dalio provides five specific steps any business leader can follow to assure this happens.
After learning how to get the culture right, my favorite section explains how to get the people right:
- Remember that the WHO is more important than the WHAT
- Hire RIGHT, because the penalties for hiring wrong are huge (then he adds eight steps to assure you succeed in this)
- Constantly train, test, evaluate, and sort people (and he gives you very specific strategies to accomplish this)
As a reader and a business leader, you are challenged to manage your business like someone operating a machine to achieve a goal. Just as a machine operator knows the components that produce the product, “…know what your people are like and what makes them tick, because your people are your most important resource.”
Ray Dalio admits that he is no different from you. "Whatever success I’ve had in life hasn’t been because of anything unique about me—it’s because of principles that I believe anyone can adopt."
So grab a cup of coffee, open the book, either hardcopy or audio, and enjoy a few moments each week as Ray Dalio fills you with the inspiration and wisdom that may make you think differently about your life and work. Oh, and Part III of Dalio’s book — that’s our sweet spot, so Innovative Outsourcing would be honored to come along side you to put these principles in motion as you build your team at your company.
Listen to Ray Dalio’s Ted Talk
Watch the Animated Series (30 minutes divided into 8 short episodes)
Book Summary Outline