In his book “Principles,” Ray Dalio talks about “shapers” as “someone who comes up with unique and valuable visions and builds them out beautifully, typically over the doubts and opposition of others.” His perfect example of a shaper is Steve Jobs.

He talks about conversations he had with “proven shapers” that he knew, people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Geoffrey Canada and Jack Dorsey (of Twitter).

They had all visualized remarkable concepts and built organizations to actualize them.

He then had them take personality assessments for an hour to dive deeper into their values, abilities and approaches.

I turns out they have a lot in common. They are all independent thinkers who do not let anything or anyone stand in the way of achieving their audacious goals.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 and change the way they do things to make them work better. They are extremely resilient, because their need to achieve what they envision is stronger than the pain they experience as they struggle to achieve it. Perhaps most interesting, they have a wider range of vision than most people, either because they have the vision themselves or because they know how to get it from others who can see what they can’t. All are able to see both big pictures and granular details (and all levels in between) and synthesize the perspectives they gain at those different levels, whereas most people see just one or the other. They are simultaneously creative, systematic and practical.They are assertive and open-minded at the same time. Above all, 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.

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