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Ray Dalio – A Leader Worthy of Study, On Achieving Personal Success, Enterprise Success & Learning How the Economic Machine Works

The title to this article does seem to be much too diverse and wide ranging!  Right?  How can one person be looked to as a valuable resource for each topic? Please stay engaged.

Ray Dalio is the only Forbes 400 Member who has developed a set of principles that guide him and his firm that are also published and available to the public via his firm’s website.  We understand that every human is coming to this place with your own set of experiences, knowledge and needs as compared to myself or the next person.  Yet we share this 123 page document with you because we believe that any person hungry to learn new and better ways to become more effective individually or as an organizational leader, will find great value here.

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates.

Ray is an amazing study.  The firm he founded in his two bedroom apartment in 1972 has since become the largest and highest performing hedge fund in the U.S. at $150 Billion.  While the fact that Ray has built such a firm is very impressive and the fact that Ray is on the Forbes 400 List at around $12 Billion, neither are the attributes that impresses us most about Ray.

We find the culture and the manner in which Ray operates the firm and “leads oneself” is most impressive.  Ray strongly encourages differences in opinion at the firm and he leads / operates in a non-egotistical way.  He believes that we each have to get beyond our ego barrier before we can then go about consistently discovering what is true.

Please think for a minute about any time that you might have thought you knew what was true only to learn later that the truth was elsewhere.  Take yourself back to that time and consider your frame of mind around that topic.  Might you find that you operated with a strong ego?  When we lead with ego, might we block our opportunity to learn differing views and hold the risk of holding onto something that is not true?  Our ego can be a barrier for learning from others and what really is true.  Getting beyond our ego barrier can also be the gateway for us to take our effectiveness as a leader to a much higher level and to be able to pursue and determine with much greater consistency, what is, in fact, true.

If we can get beyond our ego barrier while at the same time lead and help create an organization that is open, trusting, non-defensive and non-political, then we position ourselves to be able to grow, to enrich our learning opportunities and to be able to process information such that we can more consistently discover what is true.  Applying this key guidance and some or all of Ray’s principles gives each one of us the opportunity to become much more effective and achieve what we desire to achieve.

So let’s learn from Ray Dalio.  This morning Charlie Rose interviewed Ray.  Here is the link:

Ray Dalio operates the world’s largest Hedge Fund.  He also leads in a non-egotistical way and encourages difference in opinions.  He asks “can you get over your ego barrier?  Can you find out what is true?”  He refers to working at Bridgewater Associates, the $150 Billion Hedge Fund as going into the Intellectual Navy Seals.  He speaks of being able to live and operate without fear.

Members of our Peer Advisory Groups have also discussed the work of Book Author and Sports and Leadership Psychologist Stan Beecham.  Stan has visited our CEO Forums.  The name of his new book, which is #1 on our recommended reading list is Elite Minds.  Stan puts forth thatwhen fear dies, you begin to live.  Fear is keeping you from reaching your potential.  Conquering fear should be your primary goal in life.”    

Ray recently released a YouTube video on How the Economic Machine Works. You can find this video here:

Ray is the only person on the Forbes 400 list that publishes his Life & Management Principles.

You can find Ray’s Life and Management Principles here:

Our first introduction to Ray was while watching a Charlie Rose interview on October 25, 2011.  Acclaimed Interviewer and Broadcast Journalist Charlie Rose engages America’s best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers and business leaders.* We also recommend studying Ray and his way of thinking in this interview, the first with Charlie Rose:

Thank you Ray Dalio for sharing and enlightening us.  We are most grateful!

How Elevate Can Help You

Elevate Performance, LLC delivers services to help leaders elevate performance including but not limited to CEO Forums, Elevate Forums, advisory services and One-on-Ones.

Please find below information about one of our programs, a special program for C- Suite Leaders, the CEO Forum.

One Board Room | Up to Fifteen CEO’s or Leaders of Organizations | Representing Up to Fifteen Separate Industries | One Morning a Month | Trust and Confidentiality is Established by Every Member Including Signed Confidentiality Agreements | Each Month, One Member Formally Presents His or Her Largest Opportunity or Issue for Greater Success | Every Member, During the “Go Around” is Afforded the Opportunity to Tap into the Peer Group for Insights & Experience Relative to a Specific Opportunity or Challenge | Every Member Learns About the Challenges, Issues and Uniqueness of Several Industries | Differences in Opinion are Welcome & the Hunger to Find Out What is True is Strongly Encouraged | Perspective, Knowledge and Wisdom One Cannot Access Any Other Way

 “We are all better when we can access the insights and experiences of our peers in a trusting setting.  Issues do not fester or Opportunities do not pass due to hesitation because we have yet to have experience around that issue or opportunity.  We help one another with new and different ways to achieve results, how to better attract, retain and lead high quality co-workers, strategic direction & implementation, market behavior & trends.  There is no topic or issue that is off the table as real life presents a wide range of topics or issues with which leaders are looked to for response,” Tim McFarland


  •  CEO Forum I is held on the first Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  CEO Forum II and III meet on the second and third Friday’s from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Currently working to launch a forth forum based in Benton County; will be based at  Arvest Bank, Bentonville; founding member of this forum is Dennis Smiley, CEO of Arvest Bank, Benton County.
  • Everyone learns from everyone; the more diverse the membership, the richer the experience
  • Cost – $1,300 per quarter payable in advance of each quarter; to encourage diversity in leadership, those representing diversity receive a reduced rate of $1,000 per quarter
  • Forums are currently “chaired” by Tim McFarland, who has lead organizations through growth and restructuring periods in healthy and challenging economic times in three states including financial institutions and private enterprises. Expansion plans call for additional “chairs” for new forums.

Membership to the CEO Forums is being expanded & is by invitation.  If you would like to learn more about becoming a member or about becoming a chair of future forums, please contact Tim McFarland at or 479-310-5570.