Ray Dalio has a bit of advice for anyone stumbling with a career setback or problem at the office — talk it out.
The billionaire founder of investment management firm Bridgewater Associates, who earlier this month posted a picture of himself clad in a Technicolor coat and bell bottoms at the Burning Man festival in Nevada, said work troubles should be treated like any relationship that isn’t going well.
“You and many people I hear from sound stuck in a job that doesn’t allow you to talk about your problems openly, which is terrible,” Dalio replied to a user on LinkedIn during an “Ask Me Anything” event. “Think hard about whether you want to have that conversation to resolve your problem or not and think about what’s wrong with the other party if they can’t have a reasonable conversation with you about your problem.”
When asked how he managed his busy schedule, Dalio said it all came down to having a talented team and getting “the most possible leverage from others” which for him ends up being about 1 hour of input for 30-50 hours of output from his 30 or so direct reports. Still, Dalio said he’s a fanatic for quality control.
“Every word I write I check myself and everything that goes out is similarly reviewed by me,” he said on the social network, where he has about 1.2 million followers.
One LinkedIn user who asked about the possibility of a training course to supplement his book “Principles in Action” might be in luck, with Dalio saying one was in the works. In the meantime, he suggested the user check out his free app currently available in the U.S. on iPhone and soon to be rolled out for Android globally. He was less forthcoming when another user asked if he’d be willing to “ideate” on how the U.S. Congress could operate as an “idea meritocracy.”
“If it would have a practical purpose,” Dalio responded, without elaborating.
Here are other key quotes from Dalio’s “Ask Me Anything.”
- “One of the surest ways to have a life that doesn’t allow you to grow and blossom is to be trapped in an environment in which you can’t be reasonable with each other and make sense of things.”
On why leaders fail:
- “Quite often leaders in a hierarchy (like most people) exaggerate the value of their own opinions and are not willing to have them stress-tested.”
- “Make your passion and your work one and the same and do it with people you want to be with.”
On his future:
- “I know where I am on my arc in life and I know that over the next 18 months or two years, I want to pass along great stuff and then go quiet.”