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Kayfabe

Intentionally unreal.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
1 min read
Kayfabe

In professional wrestling—a form of mock combat mixed with acrobatics and theatrics—athletes assume roles of specific characters and play them out to entertain the audience. Think Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and so on.

Kayfabe is a mutual agreement between the fans and wrestlers, that the former will suspend disbelief and the latter will be "in-character" whenever encountered. For all intended purposes, what happens is considered real.

Here comes the catch. The moment a wrestler starts truly believing their kayfabe is real, their mythology has any solid grounding, and they are capable of more than their body actually is—is the moment of their rough downfall.

Business publications are full of corporate successes, great innovations, and stellar leaders. Everything is great, everything always goes according to the plan, and when it doesn't, the Great Leader saves. Such narrative makes for a nice book, article, or interview.

Here comes the catch. The moment a leader starts truly believing their rose-tinted PR and marketing pieces are real, that all successes are theirs and theirs alone, and their organisations are invulnerable and impervious—is the moment of their rough downfall.

LeadershipEntrepreneurshipCognitive BiasKnowing

Bruno Pešec

I help business leaders innovate profitably at scale.

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