Elon Musk is our generation’s equivalent of Benjamin Franklin.
He is the most forward-thinking businessperson of the last one hundred years. However, despite his tremendous accomplishments, he is often the subject of public criticism owing to the fact that his conduct and beliefs are contentious. Because he is such a good businessperson who is unconcerned with how much he pisses you off, he has managed to earn your dislike.
He is a cruel and unscrupulous businessman
He is a harsh and selfish guy who dismissed his personal assistant after she had worked for him for 12 years just because she requested a raise. This demonstrates his lack of morality. It doesn’t bother him in the least that she schedules his meetings and coordinates his appearances in the media. Musk decided that he no longer need her services and thus sacked her.
Ashlee Vance, who is Elon Musk’s biographer, said that this horrible tragedy affected individuals within SpaceX and Tesla and verified the perception of Musk’s brutal stoicism and lack of humanity. Musk has low respect for anybody or anything that gets in his way of achieving his objectives.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that he has consistently shown poor business judgment, he is not considered to be among the world’s worst businesspeople. Instead, it makes him a good business manager and gives him a persona that some can’t stand while others can’t help but be drawn to. Some people can’t stand him, while others can’t help but be drawn to him.
He is of the opinion that democratic rule and authoritative rule cannot coexist
The vast majority of Musk’s choices are made without consulting other people or seeking agreement.
When it comes to the management of his businesses, he is not a democratic person. He sits as both the judge and the jury in this case. He is the one who makes the final choice. Musk is aware that stockholders have faith in him as a consequence of his productivity and his capacity to achieve achievements. Investors have a strong preference for him even if the general public does not like him. When he demanded that workers come into the office for a total of forty hours per week and put a stop to the company’s policy of allowing remote work, Wall Street rewarded him with higher stock prices a few months ago.
People reacted to Musk’s suggestion that everyone should work 80–100 hours per week by working harder and staying by his side since they knew he had the ability to make them wealthier. In an interview in 2010, Musk gave the following piece of advice to his peers: “Extremely tenacious, and work like hell.” You must commit to working between 80 and 100 hours every week.”
Musk is opposed to the notion that workers should only be required to put in a maximum of 40 hours of labor per week. He has been quoted as saying, “If other people are putting in 40-hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100-hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
People that work under Musk don’t seem to mind the workaholic tendencies of their coworkers. It is difficult for me to imagine that his workers are able to juggle the demands of their jobs with the responsibilities they have at home. Nevertheless, as I indicated before, Musk is not interested in hearing anyone’s view on the matters at hand, including mine. Additionally, his staff continues to show up for work despite the fact that they are paid more than everyone else in the technology industry.
Put an end to your efforts to turn Musk into a democratic leader
Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX are not models of democratic or participatory leadership because they are not democratic enterprises.
Musk does not hang out by the water cooler to get his team’s feedback on what they are thinking. He gives no consideration to the opinions of others. Some people believe that the fact that he is one of the wealthiest persons in the world is due to his incapacity to entirely filter out detractors and to not respond to the demands of his employees.
Musk doesn’t delegate decision-making
Some leaders delegate decision-making responsibilities to other members of the team. That is not something that Musk does. Instead, when he is confronted with a question, he immediately thinks of a response and then provides it to the interrogator.
When I worked for a corporation in the past, we had to get everyone on a committee to decide what color the uniforms should be. The group was comprised of six distinct workers, and they held eight separate meetings before settling on six unique uniform color options from which employees could choose. Some people may call it democracy, but Elon Musk and I both believe it’s ridiculous.
We need to mainstream the concept that workplaces are not democracies and that corporate executives are not elected politicians who are required to gain agreement before making any decision. This is an important step toward achieving our goal of achieving workplace democracy. It’s not always easy to make wise choices, and the solutions that are best for the situation may not always be the most popular.
Five Pitfalls that terrible chief executive officers face
Consider the CEOs of all organizations that have struggled to put an end to their remote work policy or to implement a hybrid version of it. They are all having financial difficulties and have had to fire or lay off a large number of employees because they wanted everyone to be satisfied, which is impossible in the commercial world. These CEOs prioritized fame and not financial success in their lives.
In his book titled “The Five Temptations of a CEO,” Patrick Lencioni makes the observation that some executives are unsuccessful because they are fixated on one of five things, one of which is popularity.
- Putting one’s prestige ahead of one’s accomplishments:
Imagine being in a position of leadership and hearing someone declare, “Getting this job was the most important thing I’ve done in my life.” As soon as they have secured the position, they immediately shift their attention away from producing results and onto maintaining their status, and they are petrified of offending anybody.
However, Elon Musk is not included in that group. Instead, Musk makes public commitments to his objectives and does not let anything or anybody stand in the way of his achieving them.
- Putting one’s popularity ahead of one’s responsibility:
Musk could have huge concerns interacting politely with other people or showing concern for the personal well-being of others, yet he has no trouble at all holding individuals responsible for their actions.
For instance, as soon as he assumed control of Twitter, he dismissed the CEO of Twitter due to the fact that the firm was losing $4 million per day. Since that time, the media has had nothing but contempt for him, but he is well aware that he is operating a business and not a popularity contest.
- Prioritizing assurance above understanding:
Musk does not use consensus as a management strategy for his firms. He elucidates and conveys his vision to them, then gives them instructions on how to carry out the assignment. He is not interested in obtaining assurance, yet his words are crystal clear.
Musk would rather be straightforward than smart. Although it has room for improvement, his strategy is more productive than sitting on the bench for many days before deciding what color shirt to wear than any other alternative. He will make judgments, and if they turn out to be incorrect, he will pivot at a later time.
- Prioritizing peace and tranquility above fruitful conflict:
The tendency to seek harmony is hardwired into the human psyche, yet it may be detrimental to sound decision-making. Good judgments involve some healthy disagreement and the ruffling of some feathers, but most CEOs want their employees to get along with each other and be in agreement with each other.
Musk considers disagreements to be an indication of progress, but he is also aware that his staff must carry out his decisions once he has made them.
- Putting a premium on invulnerability rather than trust:
Even if it doesn’t appear like Musk is susceptible, but can be. The best chief executive officers have no problem owning up to their mistakes. They are aware that showing vulnerability is essential to building trust.
When Elon Musk took over Twitter, he immediately began making several errors, all of which he later confessed. He said, “In the beginning, I made a lot more mistakes since I’m new to this. In the future, I believe there will be fewer blunders made by us.”
You are making Musk out to be a far more villainous character than he is.
Musk is not a model of effective leadership, but he is also not the scourge of the earth that you make him out to be. People have a negative opinion of him because they are unable to comprehend the mentality that motivates him. You can also find him annoying because he serves as a constant reminder of how influential you are capable of becoming if you give yourself completely to the pursuit of your goals.
It is difficult to be a person who masters the art of producing results, holding people responsible, speaking clearly, cultivating healthy conflicts, and choosing to be vulnerable on a daily basis. Therefore, you need to stop criticizing Musk and give him the benefit of the doubt.
I am obligated to recognize that his unquenchable desire is both the most potent strength and the worst vulnerability he has. It was his drive and desire that made him the most successful man of the last one hundred years, but those same qualities may work against him over the next one hundred months. I know I’m not the only one who has had that thought. There is widespread skepticism over his capacity to successfully manage many businesses at the same time.