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Showing posts with label Principles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Principles. Show all posts

December 19, 2017

What would Ray Dalio, a billionaire, do with a personality assessment tool?

Ray Dalio is a Hedge Fund founder who is also a self made billionaire. His recently released book, Principles, shocked me as it features more about how tomeditate, build habits, manage your monkey brain and learn how to use pain to achieve your dreams. in short, Dalio shares the soft issues that built his success and zip on the schematics of hedge fund algorithms. I am full of admiration as Dalio is sharing his true secret sauce at great risk to his reputation.

One of the tools Dalio reviews is the simple personality tool - achiever, promoter, analyst and supporter. I am very familiar with this tool and have used it throughout my career so it was wonderful to read Dalio's positive views.

Back in the 1990s and I was part of the merger of Deloitte. We were requested to take personality tests to help the newly formed team understand each other better. The tool was a simpler version of Myers-Briggs personality test. Very quickly, I observed that the insights I gained from this test were a game changer for my attitudes to all the different personalities I encountered in my work at Deloitte. Different styles clashed with my more creative style but armed with my newly gained insights, I changed the way I reacted. I began to recognize that what I thought were odd ways of working were, in fact, a great asset to my project work. With the personality models tool, I could respect others and their different ways of approaching work. It would help me go on to leverage my ability to sync with teams very quickly anywhere in the world.

But, back then, when I asked my new Deloitte leader what he thought of these personality tests, I got an earful. When my senior partner at Deloitte answered my question about a management tool with, "It's useless and a waste of time!" I took that advise to heart and did not pursue using personality types in my consulting work for many years. Boy, was that wrong advice. This senior pertner was stressed but also, ironically, I noted that his personality profile did say he would be skeptical of most information until he could analyze it to death.

Later, that leader would go on to be head of Deloitte, Canada, and then London, and finally, the world. When I caught up with him in Toronto a few years later, I mentioned his comment about personality tests. I was shocked when he said that, in fact, he had done a complete right turn on his assessment quite soon after our conversation. In contrast to his early scoffing, he had gone on to use the tool extensively, and credited it as one of his most valuable tools as a top management consultant.

Dalio goes through how I could have learned from this experience, I learned two lessons from Dalio:
  1. To speak up and explain my truth - why I thought the tool was particularly a stand out and why I valued its impact on my ability to be a better team player.
  2. To speak up to my seniors with the attitude to share and to have an open mind. I did not need to be afraid but realize that my worth came from adding insights.
Ray Dalio says personality tools were invaluable in understanding his people and their significant alternative ways of thinking and feeling. He started using these tools in the 90s, at about the same time my newly forming Deloitte team was struggling to grasp the different personalities.  I do think that the Deloitte merger change group achieved a tremendous jump-start by having the courage to get the teams to apply the analysis. These are the very same tools named by Dalio who also had the courage to build a unique culture, starting with nothing and growing his business to make him a billionaire.

One of Ray's Principles is truth.  He has created a corporate culture where the team is encouraged to understand different personalities and the way they will view the world. The culture at Bridgewater then encourages everyone to speak up about their opinion.

In my case, speaking my "truth" back then may have pushed me along my career path faster. Also, my Deloitte leader may have picked up those personality assessment tools far quicker too. In a world of speed, we both would have benefitted.

I give Ray's book five gold stars and am amazed that he has chosen to share his Principles with all of us but grateful. Thank you, Ray!