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- The Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio gave a one-hour personality test to today’s biggest innovators, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, and Reed Hastings.
- They had four things in common: mental maps, resiliency, vision, and passion.
- Despite running vastly different companies – Tesla, Microsoft, Twitter, and Netflix – these leaders have similar personality types.
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The billionaire hedge-fund founder Ray Dalio once set out to discover what tech moguls like Bill Gates and Elon Musk had in common – by having them take a one-hour personality test.
Dalio heads Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. In his 2017 bestseller, “Principles,” he wrote about a test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that was used to screen prospective employees at his hedge fund. Originally, the test was crafted for founders like Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Reed Hastings (Netflix), and many others.
When Dalio read the results for these tech moguls, he found that they had four things in common.
Mental maps kept them all organized, Dalio wrote. “They have very strong mental maps of how things should be done, and at the same time a willingness to test those mental maps in the world of reality.”
The second thing they had in common was vision. Dalio said they could all “see both big pictures and granular details (and levels in between) and synthesize the perspectives they gain at those different levels.”
They’re also incredibly resilient. Dalio said he thinks this was such a common trait because “their need to achieve what they envision is stronger than the pain they experience as they struggle to achieve it.”
But most importantly, according to Dalio, they have passion. “They are passionate about what they are doing, intolerant of people who work for them who aren’t excellent at what they do, and want to have a big, beneficial impact on the world,” he said.
This same passion led them to score poorly in one category: concern for others. Dalio said he thinks it was because “their extreme determination to achieve their goals can make them appear abrasive or inconsiderate, which was reflected in their test results.”
Dalio added that these leaders “experience the gap between what is and what could be as both a tragedy and a source of unending motivation.”