Billionaire Ray Dalio says this is how to be 'truly successful'

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio wrote "Principles," a book that has been has hailed by a range of leaders and entrepreneurs for its insights.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio knows plenty about success: He founded Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund with roughly $160 billion in assets. But he says there's one lesson it took him decades to learn about how to be "truly successful." That lesson has to do with surrounding yourself with people who are even more talented than yourself.

The self-made billionaire explained the idea on Thursday in a post on Facebook. He says that, as a good manager, you should "hire someone better than you," and likens it to being an orchestra conductor. 

"After decades of hiring, managing, and firing people, I understand that to be truly successful, I need to be like a conductor of people, many of whom (if not all) can play their instruments better than I can—and that if I was a really great conductor, I would also be able to find a better conductor than me and hire him or her," Dalio writes.

In other words, Dalio says, a successful business leader is someone who recognizes that managers should focus on finding employees who each bring special skills to the table. And, if your employees can even perform certain tasks better than you, that makes your role that much easier and allows you to focus on the big picture, rather than being forced to micromanage each of your employees' roles.

"My ultimate goal is to create a machine that works so well that I can just sit back and watch beauty happen," Dalio writes.

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Dalio also points out that people are often too focused on a task that needs to be done rather than on deciding which person will perform that task, which he calls "the more important question."

"Remember that the who is more important than the what," he writes.

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