Willian Molinari's Reviews > Principles

Principles by Ray Dalio
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it was amazing
bookshelves: audio, non-fiction

I was between 4 and 5 stars for this one. I would say I would rate it with 4.5, but when I was editing my notes I realized the big number of notes I had and decided to go for 5 stars.

There are many good ideas in this book and many of the things I see here are logical. If you're a logical person (instead of an emotional one) you will understand many of the strategies he describe in this book.

Keep in mind that you don't have to agree with his way of doing things, that's not the point. This book was written to spread the word of about what he did and went good and bad. There are many discussions about meritocracy and this book is something like a study case in my opinion.

Writing down your principles and letting everyone know is a great idea, especially if you're the head of a company.

Here are my notes about this book:

* Sometimes we get principles from our parents or accept a holistic package of principles that come together with religion or legal frameworks. We have our own goals and nature; we should choose our own principles
* Instead of thinking: "I am right" think "Why am I right?"
* Learn how to weight people's input to have your own opinion based on that
* Write down your principles, especially if you are working with others
* Time is like a river that guides us to encounters with reality. We can't change its course but deal with it in the best way possible
* While making money was good, having meaningful work and having meaningful relationships was much better. It’s senseless to have to make money as your goal as money has no intrinsic value.
* It's important to visualize the economy as a complex machine and think about all its parts separately
* I don't like to work with people who put a facade of politeness. People should say what they think it's bad when it's needed. Operate in any other way would be unproductive and unethical
* There are two kinds of people in the workplace. The ones who work for a paycheck and the ones who work for a mission.
* Seek out for the smartest people who disagree with me so I can understand their reasoning
* Baseball cards for the company employees so you can give the right task for the right person. * They will do it better and feel satisfied doing it. In the beginning, it had some pushback, but it was well accepted afterward and studied by behavioral specialists
* The company grew fast for a long time and used bleeding edge technology, but they were not rock-solid and had to invest some effort to make things better
* Smart people working with good systems and computers are the key to success
* Shapers are people who change things. Einstein changed science, Jesus changed religion, etc. It's important to identify shapers when hiring, especially if you're looking for a change
* Things happen over and over again throughout the history. It's important to learn from it and be prepared for the next wave
* Many important philanthropists (like Bill Gates) received a diagnosis of "not caring for people." That happens because they usually have their goals as a top priority, even if it means someone not being happy about the decision
* The life is like a game where every problem is a puzzle you have to solve. When you solve it, you receive a gem that will help you with the next puzzle (gem == reflect about the solution)
* Be radical open-minded and radical transparent
* Every time I see something in nature that I (or humankind) think it's wrong, I assume I'm wrong and try to understand why nature is right
* Nature optimizes for the whole, not for one individual
* People kill each other in the name of their religion, both thinking they are doing the right thing
* Contribute to the whole, and you will probably be rewarded
* We are everything and nothing at the same time. Everything to ourselves, if we die everything is gone. Nothing in nature, just another human among billions
* When something you don't like happens (rain, weaknesses, death), remember that nature optimizes for the whole, not for yourself.
* We always transform. We are made of other elements, grow, die, and become part of other things. * The whole nature works like that.
* Don't be embarrassed about your problems. Everyone has them. Talk about them openly and improve yourself
* Your future depends on the choices you're making now. Something that's painful today may be something common in the future. You have to adapt to the situations you have.
* People who underestimate the second effect of things usually have bad outcomes. In exercises, the first effect is the pain and time spent, and the second effect is the health and good appearance. People usually neglect the first and lose the second by consequence
* It doesn't matter what kind of situation you're facing. You can still be happy if you face it in the right way because there are many paths to happiness
* People who have an internal locus of control outperform those who don't [check source]
* Don't worry if you like the situation or not; life doesn't give a damn if you like it or not
* You can't excel on everything (don't have Einstein on your basketball team). Find your weaknesses first and then decide if you want to convert them to strengths or decide to find someone else to do it. You're the planner and the worker of your life, and you can still manage how (and by who) some tasks are done
* Don't worry about looking good but about achieving your goals
* If you set your goals for things you know you can achieve, your setting the bar too low
* Write down your plan and write it down to everyone to see and measure your progress against
* Great planners who don't execute the plan go nowhere
* Develop good work habits. Have a prioritized todo list or something like that
* Establish clear metrics so you can estimate your progress
* Have an open mind everyone has blind spots, and it's ok to reflect and change your mind
* To be open-minded, you have to sincerely agree that you may now know the best path to follow
* Open-mindedness is considering that you may be wrong and encourage others to tell you
* Prioritize what you spend time on and with whom you're arguing
* It doesn't pay to be open minded with everyone, chose people you respect. The most believable people you have access to.
* You might agree to disagree if you find an impasse.
* Open-mindedness triangulate with believable people. He got three different diagnoses from three different doctors, but when they discussed with each other, they got to a conclusion that led to a right diagnosis of the possible disease.
* Surround yourself with open-minded people, and you tend to learn a lot in the process
* Don't let your lower level you control the discussion. Take some time, think about it and use open-minded thinking to the debate
* If a bunch of believable people is telling you that you're wrong, start asking questions to understand why is that. Consider that you are indeed wrong, and challenge your assumptions
* Remember: it's not an argument, it's an exploration on what the other person is saying -- Socratic method?
* Bipolar disorder is related to the chemicals in the brain. It doesn't make sense to be angry with a bipolar person because he/she is not thinking logically because of these chemicals
* Rewire your brain to love learning and get the positive rewards from it. -- I would love to have had help with that when I was a child
* Planners vs. perceivers: Planners stick to the plan while perceivers like to adapt to the environment.
* Thoughtful disagreement and open-mindedness
* My objective, in the beginning, was to have fun at work with the people I like. I was looking for meaningful work and meaningful relationships.
* The better we are with each other, the toughest we can be and the better will be our personal growth
* There should be no hierarchy in the giving or receiving of criticism
* Make your passion and your work the same and work with people you like towards it
* You have to work in a culture that fits you and also products the outcomes that will keep you motivated
* There are no worse things in leadership than to hold up false truths and then be swapped away
* Threat one person with different rules than other is an insidious way of working with goes against meritocracy
* Dishonest people are dangerous, and it's not very smart to keep them around
* Strive for the majority of your community to have meaningful work and meaningful relationships but consider a minority to go against the community
* The best students are usually the ones who have a hard time to learn from their mistakes because mistakes for them means failure. People who learn from their mistakes usually outperform those who don't
* Open minded people usually ask many questions and want to be with people who know more than them. Closed minded people want to tell you what they know, even if they don't know much. Don't have anything to do with closed minded people
* It's ok to disagree. People can have wonderful relationships even if they don't agree on many things
* Believability weighted answer. People with more knowledge on the matter will have more influence in the voting
* Disagreeing has to be encouraged, but people must know how to disagree well
Companies don't make decisions, people do. Think about the people and culture in the organization.
* When hiring, think about values, and skills, in this order. People fight for their values. Abilities are about ways of thinking and behaving. Some people focus on the details while others have the ability to see things in a higher level.
* Values and skills usually don't change much, but skills can be learned in a limited amount of time
* If you're less than excited to hire someone, don't do it.
* Don't hire people for the short term, hire people you want to share a life goal
* Hire people who have smart questions instead of pretending they have all the answers
* Be generous to people and expect them to be generous to you.
* Provide constant feedback to the person you're mentoring will understand what is expecting and how is his performance regarding that
* Don't confuse what it with what to do about it when receiving feedback. These are two separate things
* Evaluate employees with the same rigor as you evaluate job candidates
* What I worry about is doing the right thing, not what people think about me
* You are responsible for your work even when you go on vacation. Nominate someone to continue the work and, if needed, take some time to keep the ball running -- I do not agree with the ladder
* When mitigating a situation with a subordinate, start with what you expected from the situation and then ask them to describe what happened.
* When evaluating the "process machine" ask yourself "who should do what differently."
* Drill down: list all problem and people involved. Get to the root cause (ask why to every question until you get there)
* It's important to make your most important principles into actions
* Companies are the opposite of buildings. The company foundation relies in the top, not the bottom. Hire great managers and directors to build a great base
* What out for department slip. A support department should know the goals of the people they are supporting and not mandate how they are supporting. They will know the goals and provide feedback on how things should be done, but they should not provide the vision
* When someone breaks the rules, you should let everyone know about the consequences
* Technology is great for leverage. Document training and most common questions in audio, video, or text. Assign someone to organize it on a regular basis, just like a manual
* Good people with good technology usually bring great productivity
* It's better when people know each other's strengths and weaknesses so the group can adapt to it
* Have protocols to help people achieve their goals. One example would be providing a template to tell people one way to proceed with the work they will receive. You should have a way to produce the internalized learning required.
* Final points: make your passion and work the same. Struggle well along with other people to meet your goals. You will evolve quickly and contribute to the overall evolution in a significant way.
Daily update tool: all people reflect for 10 or 15 minutes about what they are working on, and it is working. By triangulating this, a manager can get the feeling of his environment.
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Reading Progress

August 2, 2018 – Started Reading
August 2, 2018 – Shelved
August 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 2, 2018 – Shelved as: audio
August 2, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
August 10, 2018 –
September 25, 2018 –
September 26, 2018 –
September 28, 2018 –
October 1, 2018 –
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October 2, 2018 –
October 3, 2018 –
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October 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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