Ray Dalio runs one of the world’s largest hedge funds; Bridgewater Associates. His fund oversees $75 Billion and he is personally worth over $4 Billion. It’s a challenge for me to write a constructive comment about many of the people on Wall Street these days but this is worth reflection.
Money talks. People listen. And, Dalio has outlined 295 principles for his employees to follow in an 83 page manifesto (Wall Street Journal June 19), “Money Talks: A Hedge-Fund King Philosophizes on Truth and Weasels”:
“Principle 8: There is nothing to fear from truth …Being truthful is essential to being an independent thinker and obtaining greater understanding of what is right.”
Principle 11: Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to him directly. If you do, you are a slimy weasel.”
Okay, I haven’t read the rest of the billionaire’s principles and I’m not a fan of calling anyone a name (although there is something provocative about the word “weasel”) but seeking the truth by focusing on facts, data, behavior and not talking about people behind their backs are important ingredients for a respectful culture at work.
Respect in business is a fully compatible with getting business results. You and I can reinforce a greater culture of respect by seeking fact- and data-based truths and avoiding gossiping about others. When we present views, bring data. When we are tempted to bad mouth someone behind their back – don’t.