Legendary investor Ray Dalio recently warned leaders to avoid making the simple mistake of leading like an authoritarian.
- Dalio is a popular figure and public speaker with an estimated net worth of $16.5 billion. He has regular speaking engagements about economics, workplace cultures, politics, and foreign policy.
- In a recent tweet, Dalio encouraged his followers to avoid being an “authoritarian manager,” saying that those who want to be followed pay a price in the long term.
- “Don’t give orders and try to be followed; try to be understood and understand others by getting in sync,” he says.
Why It’s Important
The legendary former Bridgewater investor has had much time to think about leadership. When he handed over his CEO position in 2017, he had to consider the next generation who would inherit his power and position. He thankfully says he feels “great about the people and ‘machine’ now in control.”
Dalio’s approach contrasts with recent reports about X.com owner Elon Musk and his infamous leadership style. As we previously reported, Twitter’s former director of product management Esther Crawford recently revealed details about working with the company through Musk’s buyout—saying that Musk is a brilliant visionary prone to being demanding, ill-tempered, chaotic, unpredictable, and unempathetic.
Dalio warns that this leadership style is dysfunctional in the long term and is usually driven from a place of ego or expediency. It creates a toxic workplace atmosphere and damages the morale of employees. Learning the difference between leadership and authoritarianism is vital.
“Authoritarian managers don’t develop their subordinates, which means those who report to them stay dependent. This hurts everyone in the long run. If you give too many orders, people will likely resent them, and when you aren’t looking, defy them. The greatest influence you can have over intelligent people—and the greatest influence they will have on you—comes from constantly getting in sync about what is true and what is best so that you all want the same things,” tweeted Dalio.