Principles

Life and Work

This week’s book summary is Principles by Ray Dalio.

Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the fifth most important private company in the United States (according to Forbes), does a stellar job in laying out his Personal History (for context), Life Principles, and Work Principles. I highly recommend this book to all business leaders. It is full of great business advice, leadership advice, personal advice, and practical application.

My takeaway from this book are the 16 Work Principles that Dalio describes in detail in the book (listed below for your reference):

How To Build a Powerful Performance Review System That Works

By many accounts, Ray Dalio is a very successful person. He is most well known for being the founder and the driving force of  Bridgewater Associates, which Forbes calls “the fifth most important private company in the United States.”

However, what many people don’t know about Dalio is that he is the creator of some amazing systems that, among other things:

  • Measure performance
  • Spur innovative thinking
  • Motivate people to develop and grow
  • Position businesses for success

He credits much of his personal and business success to the creation and implementation of these systems.

One of these systems is for employee performance management. Although performance reviews are typically the bane of every employee and manager’s existence, Bridgewater has created an engaging system that gets beyond many of the pitfalls of traditional performance assessments.

How to Focus Your Business and Make More Money

Most of us are totally unaware of how much our lack of focus impacts our lives and our businesses yet the impact is huge!

Among many things, lack of focus:

  • Damages relationships
  • Results in missing sales opportunities
  • Increases our cost of doing business
  • Derails us from our vision
  • Impacts our ability to achieve goals
  • Results in increased work hours and workload

Essentially, lack of focus is, at best, a drag on our business and, at worst, will bring our business to its knees!

I think all of us can recall a time in our lives and/or businesses when our lack of focus cost us something. If not, maybe some of these examples will jog your memories!

What is the Secret Ingredient to Effective Meetings?

There is probably nothing so maligned in the modern world as the business meeting. There are countless blogposts, articles, vlogs, and books written about how much time and money are wasted in business gatherings. Similarly, there is the same amount of effort detailing how to conduct effective meetings . . . yet the business world continues to make the same mistakes!

Meetings still lead the business world as one of the largest wastes of corporate time and stakeholder money!

However, effective meetings do serve a crucial function in any organization. Without effective face to face time for leaders, the corporation would wither and die. It is in meetings that innovative ideas are born, visions are cast, fortunes are made, and empires are created.

A great example of an idea that was created out of a series of productive meetings is the modern day GPS.

How to Build a High Performance Business

A high performance business is created by building a high performance team. A high performance team is created by studying, building, and expecting excellence from all your staff.

I have had the opportunity to lead quite a few high performance teams over the years. I can say that it is so much easier to spend the time and money to build a high performance team than it is to limp along with “bums in chairs!”

High performance teams can overcome incredible obstacles.