Bell heard that Dalio banned office gossip (if anyone says something about someone else behind their back at Bridgewater, according to the principles, three times, they’re fired) and the whole concept really, really grinds his gears. Listen to the whole thing after the jump.
Choice quotes pulled for their wow-factor:
- “What kind of a firm issues an edict to ban gossip? It’s kind of like saying, don’t spend more than 45 seconds in the lavatory. Is the guy going to monitor people by the cooler? Are you going to have to have a member of the compliance officer with you if you go out for a drink? No doubt, they’ll drink Perrier water or something.”
- “If a firm has a problem with gossip… it’s a problem with the firm. It’s a lack of management or motivation or whatever. I mean, a little bit of gossip lightens the air. I mean, what, you’re supposed to just sit there looking at your screen all day?”
- “Undoubtedly, it can be time-wasting, and that’s where I say: if you’ve got a problem with office gossip, you’ve probably got a problem more generally. And if you have got a problem, issuing a ban?! On people who you’ve heard said something 3 times?”
- “It seems to me it’s symptomatic of something rather seriously wrong with the firm.”
- “I suspect this means that it’s gotten too big.”
- “How many firms have failed because of an outrig (? British term?) of office gossip??”
And the mother of all insults:
- “I think someone’s got a bit of a meglomaniac trait if they’re starting to ban what is basically a relatively modest activity, in my modest opinion.”
Actually, we have 2 pieces of evidence to the contrary of the “meglomaniac” thing: He wears a nametag to work every day. At the company he founded. And Dalio thinks he has the intelligence of mould growing on an apple, so…
But let’s say we’re given the choice between Dalio, who runs Bridgewater, the second largest hedge fund in the world and bans gossip and has weird rules, and Bell, who works for GLC, a ~1 billion hedge fund, who likes gossip. I think we all know who we’d rather work for.
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