Black and white portrait of Ray Dalio: Narrator and Creator of Life Principles

Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.

Work Principle

Make clear that the organization's structure and rules are designed to ensure that its checks-and-balances system functions well.

Every organization has its own way of doing this. The diagram below is a sketch of my conceptualization of how this should work for Bridgewater, which is currently an organization of about 1,500 people. The principles it follows, however, are universal; I believe that all organizations need some version of this basic structure.

There are one to three chairmen working with seven to fifteen board members supported by staff, whose purpose is primarily to assess whether: 1) The people running the company are capable; 2) The company is operating in accordance with its agreed-upon principles and rules. The board has the power to select and replace the CEOs, but doesn't engage in the micromanagement of the firm nor the people running it, though in the event of an emergency, they can drop into a more active role. (They can also help the CEOs to the extent they want it.) While Bridgewater's idea meritocracy is ideally all- inclusive, there need to be various circles of authority, trust and access to information, and decision-making authority, which are shown in the chart's three circles.

Work Principle

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