Why This Billionaire Hedge Fund Owner Has Meetings Filmed!

By Jatinder Singh, Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

When one of the richest men in the world and the owner of it's biggest hedge fund gives advice, it's a good idea to listen, even if some of his ideas seem to be beyond usual corporate practice. ūüôā Especially, as his firm only takes on new clients who have a minimum of $100m to invest!

In this article we look at why Ray Dalio, owner of Bridgewater Associates believes in an idea that he calls' radical transparency '- and why he is so big on continual learning from his employee manual, known as The Principles.

There Should Be No Back-Stabbing Or Employees Can Be Fired

Ray Dalio was very aware when the company was growing very fast in the 90's, that he needed consistency amongst the different types of employees and managers that the company was recruiting. He was also well aware how easily politics and competitiveness amongst staff could develop, and how this would hurt the firms growth and derail its success. He said;

"To be successful, we need everyone to think independently and work through disagreement to decide what's best. We call this an "idea meritocracy." And radical transparency is critical to having an idea meritocracy, because it shows what's actually happening without spin, and prevents people from maneuvering politically behind each others' backs. It brings problems and weaknesses to the surface and allows people to see how they are dealt with, so it's great for training people on how to deal with real problems."

Revealing People's Mistakes So That They Can Improve

One of the things the company does as part of its Radical Transparency initiative is film all meetings, wherein the employees rate each other with iPad apps! This may at first appear very scary to a lot of people. After all, how many of us have faults that we try really hard to hide?! However Mr Dalio reveals the intention behind this initiative is very positive, and is all about helping people to be more open and to continually improve with less fear. He said;

"Radical transparency fosters goodness in so many ways for the same reasons that bad things are more likely to take place behind closed doors.The biggest challenge is that it can make people uncomfortable to have their mistakes and weaknesses so transparently shown. Since everyone has weaknesses, that experience happens to everyone who comes into this culture. Some people come to love it because they find learning about their weaknesses to be invaluable. It helps them guardrail themselves against their weaknesses, and they can be more themselves because they don't have to continue to hide their mistakes and their weaknesses."

Ray Dalio is clearly someone who cares about helping people improve. His intention, like many legendary leaders, is to support people in their own journey and help them develop their weaknesses. He knows that this can only happen if people are honest with each other, however it is carried out in a way that is nurturing, and not competitive. Otherwise, people will clam up emotionally and hide their weaknesses even more. He knows, ironically, that the key to building trust, is to be very honest with others about our mistakes and weaknesses. To read more on Mr Dalio's philosophy, click here


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