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):

  • To Get the Culture Right
    1. Trust in radical truth and radical transparency
    2. Cultivate meaningful work and meaningful relationships
    3. Create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes and unacceptable not to learn from them
    4. Get and stay in sync
    5. Believability weight your decision making
    6. Recognize how to get beyond disagreements
  • To Get the People Right
    1. Remember that the WHO is more important than the WHAT
    2. Hire right, because the penalties for hiring wrong are huge
    3. Constantly train, test, evaluate, and sort people
  • To Build and Evolve Your Machine
    1. Manage as someone operating a machine to achieve a goal
    2. Perceive and don’t tolerate problems
    3. Diagnose problems to get to their root causes
    4. Design improvements to your machine to get around your problems
    5. Do what you set out to do
    6. Use tools and protocols to shape how work is done
    7. And for heaven’s sake, don’t overlook governance!


Note that I have previously reviewed the following books in 2017:

  1. Les McKeown’s Predictable Success
  2. Exponential Organzations by Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and  Yuri van Geest
  3. Smart Thinking by Art Markman
  4. Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution
  5. RG LeTourneau’s Mover of Men and Mountains
  6. Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable
  7. Ram Charan’s The Attacker’s Advantage
  8. Jeff Goins’s The Art of Work
  9. Ron Karr’s Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way
  10. Timothy Ferriss’s Tools of Titans
  11. Dr. David Perlmutter’s Grain Brain
  12. Howard Schultz’z Onward
  13. Nicholas Eberstadt’s Men Without Work
  14. Jason Fried’s and David Heinemeier Hansson’s Remote
  15. VALVE Employee Handbook
  16. Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Ultramind Solution
  17. Jeff Goin’s Real Artists Don’t Starve
  18. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law
  19. Dr. David Perlmutter’s Brain Maker
  20. Jesse Tevelow’s The Connection Algorithm
  21. Jesse Tevelow’s Hustle
  22. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s Extreme Ownership
  23. Shep Hyken’s Be Amazing or Go Home
  24. Russell H. Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds


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