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Unveiling ‘Principles’ by Ray Dalio – A blueprint for success

April 16, 2024

Unveiling ‘Principles’ by Ray Dalio – A blueprint for success

Have you ever delved into the wisdom of Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’? This 570-page masterpiece is not just another book—it’s a treasure trove of valuable insights.

But what exactly is ‘Principles‘ all about, who is Ray Dalio and what can this do for me you may be asking?

Ray Dalio is more than an American philanthropist and entrepreneur; he’s the visionary founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. In ‘Principles,’ Ray shares an organically grown set of rules that have guided him in building his business. He emphasizes that anyone can create a thriving organisation by following these principles.

At its core, ‘Principles’ revolves around fundamental truths that serve as the bedrock for behaviours that lead to success in life. Being principled means consistently operating with clear and explainable principles.

However, Ray’s approach might surprise you.

‘Principles’ advocates for clarity and alignment—both with yourself and with the people who matter to you. By comparing your articulated principles and actions with those of others, you can identify where alignments exist and where they don’t.

When misalignments surface, ‘Principles’ offers a pathway: embracing thoughtful disagreement and employing protocols for resolving disagreements in an idea-meritocratic manner. When actions align with great principles, they pave the way for extraordinarily effective work and relationships.

Among the myriad principles outlined in the book, three stand out as essential:

  1. Idea-meritocratic decision-making – This approach, where the best ideas determine actions without egoistic attachments, is immensely powerful. Holding on to wrong opinions due to biases can lead to tragic decisions. Opening oneself to learning and better decision-making is key.
  2. Thoughtful disagreements – Engaging with smart people who disagree with you can stress-test your thinking and enhance learning. The goal isn’t to prove you’re right but to discover the truth and decide accordingly. Respectful disagreement encourages better decision-making and harmony in all aspects of life.
  3. Radical truthfulness and transparency – Being radically truthful and transparent leads to better decision-making and relationships. When people speak their minds and show their actions, it promotes alignment, efficiency, and trust. Shedding light on matters eliminates the negative consequences of operating in the dark.

These concepts, among many others, are meticulously explored in ‘Principles.’ They are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life and work.

Watch Ray’s animated mini-series, Principles for Success. He’s taken the book and distilled it into a 30-minute ultra mini-series that focuses on the life principles that have helped him the most.

If you’re curious about an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency then read ‘Principles’, we highly recommend it. It’s a transformative read that can benefit you and those around you. Businesses can also access PrinciplesUs, a platform that creates an extensive picture of each person’s personality. With PrinciplesUs, teams can gain a better understanding of one another, leading to improved collaboration and productivity.


ELLA are partners and Principles coaches, certified to conduct workshops to help provide a hands-on experience that gives you a rich picture of your team’s dynamics and how to interact most effectively to achieve shared goals. 

Workshops are anchored by the Principles assessment which provides the foundation for the participants’ learning of how they can collaborate with others more effectively by understanding and appreciating personality differences.

We also help turn colleagues into trusted coaches creating a continuous development culture. The Dot Collector is a feedback tool which empowers collaboration and inclusivity, builds trust, creates transparency and promotes high-performing teams. Dots are systematically collected and shared so you can make adjustments in the moment and learn from them over time. The Dot Collector empowers employees to help each other reach their highest potential.