As you may have noticed, Ray Dalio hasn’t had the easiest time letting go of the hedge fund he founded and piloted to unparalleled success, Bridgewater Associates. Over the last eight years, there have been (alleged) false starts, (alleged) coup attempts, (incontrovertible) failed hires, and finally one exceptionally convoluted plan to keep things going until the Raybot is ready to take over the company, and then the world.
Dalio knew he’d leave a nigh-unfillable void in his wake. He even has a nickname for it, the “Ray gap.” He knew that it would take dozens, maybe hundreds or thousands, of people to fill it. But what kind of people? Apparently, people who could otherwise have gone on to found world-changing companies of their own.
To find out exactly what was missing from Bridgewater in his absence, he sent out a test to other CEOs and company founders to find their defining qualities…. The test was given to the shapers Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and Reed Hastings (Netflix). When they were faced with the choice between achieving their goals or pleasing others, they chose to achieve their goals every time.
What do we learn from this, other than confirmation that Elon Musk is a huge asshole and that Bridgewater is definitely not a cult but you might see them next to the Scientologists on card tables in subway stations conducting personality tests sometime soon? Well, frankly, Dalio didn’t learn much. After all, he only had to turn to his final (and arguably most important) Principle to find the same.
210) Don’t try to please everyone. Not everyone is going to be happy about every decision you make, especially the decisions that say they can’t do something.