Wrestling and CEOs sabotaging their business

The conventional investing wisdom is that owner-operators should outperform since management has a lot of skin in the game.  In the case of WWE however, that’s not the case at all.  Vince McMahon, the CEO, does what he wants with his company and has left a lot of money on the table by interfering in his own business.  WWE’s shows are fairly cringeworthy because Vince McMahon insists on micromanaging the creative, sometimes even writing dialog himself.

But it’s not just Vince McMahon who does this.  One reason why Vince ended up with a quasi-monopoly in the wrestling business is because his competitors were even more poorly managed.  The lesson is that some (but not all) human beings will interfere in their own success.  It’s like hiring a brain surgeon and telling him/her how to do brain surgery.  Some people will engage in dangerous meddling rather than stepping aside to let competent people do their job.  These behaviours are likely hard-wired (nature rather than nurture).  While the detrimental effects of counterproductive micromanagement will eventually become obvious, some owners will repeatedly continue their mismanagement regardless.

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