William Thorndike’s book is one of my favourite investing books of all time. (Bill, please write another equally good for your next book.)
It’s always stuck with me that Thorndike’s observations is that the best CEOs that have compounding shareholder value the most in the 20th century would he would called “polymaths”. Someone great with everything, can scrutinize dispassionately and use it ruthlessly to track progress.
After all, the numbers don’t lie (that much).
So it’s great to see a reminder of this in the latest post about how this one characteristic of a company founder and/or leader can be signals to a compounding company.
Some past CEOs or investors come to mind, Charlie Munger, John Malone, Mark E. Leonard, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk. Lessor know ones are the Copart founder and Henry Singleton.
I also love the idea that Compounders as Capital Allocators are at their core: artisans. They are collectors of great “art” or “plants” (businesses) that they buy reasonably and add it to their collection.
Putting it all together a masterful compounder means someone who is focused on tracking and maintaining costs low, being multi-disciplinary and know when to pick the best “horse” for the race.
No small order.