Book Review: Principles on Work and Life by Ray Dalio

I listened to this one, and I really enjoyed it. Ray Dalio has a fascinating life story, and he illustrates his principles very clearly by talking about how he came upon each principle. I’m definitely going to have to go back and re-read parts of this book to really put it into application.

The book is well structured, and the language is clear. Starting with an autobiography, the book proceeds on to discuss the life principles, and then the work principles (which relate back to the life principles very clearly). This structure was helpful because it made the work principles feel very familiar.

If I were to summarise the book in a sentence I would say it something like: “Ray Dalio shows how he came to the view that an idea-meritocracy is the only sane way to run a company, and really sells you on it.” The idea of an idea-meritocracy, and data-driven decision-making really resonates with me. As a manager of a cost center, I have a strong desire to show that the work my team does delivers a return on investment, and the decision-making process described in this book seems like it would provide a strong foundation for teams to deliver the most value.

I also liked that Ray Dalio was instrumental in the creation of the chicken nugget.

Great book. Worth reading, and re-reading. Will take some work to apply to real life.

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