As many of you know, Bridgewater Associates is a mega-successful, multi-billion dollar hedge fund run by Ray Dalio. One of the secrets-- if not the secret-- to Bridgewater's success? Principles, a company handbook written by Dalio, which instructs employees to go on radical truth-seeking missions in order to better themselves as humans and in turn, better the firm. While similar manuals at other companies are typically tossed aside from day one, used as a place to put one's coffee or simply thrown in the trash, Principles is like the bible at a church camp or whatever leaflets they distributed at Jonestown. It is taken extremely seriously, and every employee is given his or her own spiral bound copy to read, highlight, and get to know on a cellular level. While the idea of Truth above all else is the overarching tenet of the manifesto, there are literally hundreds of principles (such as 12. "Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to him directly. If you do, you’re a slimy weasel." 31a. "Ask yourself whether you have earned the right to have an opinion," 130. "…Firing people is not a big deal…" and 184. "Use checklists"), which span 123 pages and are broken down into outline form after being explained at length. And there are quizzes.
If the idea of "constantly challenging [your colleagues] and doing things they don't like you to do (e.g., probing them)" doesn't sound like a very pleasant way to spend the workday, know this: according to Dalio, almost everyone is uncomfortable with the Principles way of life initially but after a short 18 months of adaptation, most people come around and, in fact, find it impossible "to work anywhere else."
Want to know more but are worried about venturing up to the Wesport campus and never being heard from again? Above, please enjoy an unauthorized guide to the Tao of Dal.
Then join us on June 24th, for a whole lot more probing from "Ray," plus Sage Kelly, Wilbur, he-who-loves-asses, Penn Station Taco Bell, A Trip Down Mammary Lane, and so on and so forth, at the 5th installment of Dealbreaker Dramatic Reading Night. Buy your ticket here, now:
Related: Brigdewater Associates: Be the hyena. Attack the wildebeest.; It Only Takes A Year And A Half To Get Adjusted To Bridgewater Corporate Culture: Ray Dalio; Ray Dalio Explains His "Principles"; Bridgewater Employees Speak Out: What "Principles" Has Done For Me; A Wildebeest Leaves New York Traveling North At 10MPH. A Hyena Leaves Westport Traveling South At 15MPH. At What Time Does The Wildebeest Get Eaten?