Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio is an excellent read and background of Bridgewater and origin story. Getting to go this deep on how the firm began, has been run for so long, and understanding the open culture was fascinating. One of the more interesting takes within the book is the archetypes described and how they work together, my favorite being; shapers.
By his own definition;
I use the word to mean someone who comes up with unique and valuable visions and builds them out beautifully, typically over the doubts of others. Shapers get both the big picture and the details right. To me, it seems that Shaper = Visionary + Practical Thinker + Determined.
I love that he describes shapers as on the verge of rebelliousness, and also being able to hold conflicting thoughts at the same time.
Being a shaper, and surrounding myself with them often has definitely been a pattern if I reflect back. It is interesting to think about these types of personalities and how they can (or cannot) fit into a company culture and how necessary they are.
Dalio goes on to talk through the importance of other personalities – especially those that need to be around shapers to make things happen. The world doesn’t work without all kinds of people. We need folks that are meticulous and pay attention to details. We need visionary thinkers who can look at things from the highest levels. The combination of all types are what makes a machine run smoothly, and identifying who everyone is is critical.
Finally, its great to hear this acknowledgment is such an open an honest way
If you’ve learned anything from Principles I hope it’s that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has an important role to play in life. Nature made everything and everyone for a purpose. The courage that’s needed the most isn’t the kind that drives you to prevail over others, but the kind that allows you to be true to your truest self, no matter what other people want you to be.
It should go without saying, but if you are a shaping/building something interesting please get in touch. Here is to the shapers.
Tags: Bridgewater, Principles, Ray Dalio, Shapers