10 Leadership Lessons to Learn from Elon Musk


Elon Musk has become a global figure and a symbol of invention, innovation, technology, entrepreneurial creativity, and leadership. The younger generation wants to be like him. He motivates individuals by showing them what is achievable and how to manage a high-performance team to develop a worldwide corporation. Musk is the creator of numerous futuristic firms that have become brands in their own right, such as Tesla, Neuralink, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, but he is most known for the electric vehicle manufacturing company Tesla. Musk has amassed a net worth of $57.9 billion via hard work, perseverance, and of course his smart work. But, what young and fresh entrepreneurs or leaders can learn about leadership from this renowned and ambitious billionaire? Here are the top 10 leadership lessons that you should be learning and inculcating from Elon Musk. 

Elon Musk Asks This Strange Question When He Interviews Potential Hires at  Tesla or SpaceX
Credits: Entrepreneur

1. Always Believe in Having a Vision

One of the most important tenets of leadership is to have a vision and further inspire people and your followers to make that vision come true. Musk explains, “You need to have a very compelling goal for the company. Then, putting yourself in someone’s shoes who is talented at a global level, they have to trust that there is a potential for a great outcome and must believe the leader of the company that you’re the right person to work with.” 

2.  Stretch Goals Like Musk!

Elon Musk is a wildly ambitious individual when it comes to innovation and chasing his vision to come true. He has proven it to the world multiple times, whether by creating brain chips to revolutionize neuroscience or finding ways to colonize Mars. These are all a part of his ‘stretch goals’ strategy. Such objectives are considered as truly important sources of individuals and organizational achievement & motivation. 

Did you know? Elon Musk created and sold a video game to a magazine when he was 12 years old. The space battle game ‘Blastar’ was sold for $500 to PC and Office Technology magazine. Musk also worked at ‘Rocket Science,’ a game start-up.

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Elon Musk believes that one should have his way of looking at everything. It’s definite that to achieve things that have never been conquered before, one has to do things that have never been done before. He is a firm believer in questioning and challenging the status quo. This approach has led SpaceX to create a truly innovative vehicle on its terms. 

4.  Believe in Micromanaging 

Being a well-known workaholic, this serves as both a blessing and a curse for his employees. He has always led by example by taking an interest in every single aspect of his projects. Musk describes, “If you are a co-founder or CEO of a brand, you have to perform all the kinds of tasks you might not want to do. If you don’t do your chores, the company would never succeed because no task is too menial.” 

Did you know? PayPal, formerly X.com, was the source of Musk’s fortune. Paypal was founded in 1999 and was later bought by eBay for $1.5 billion, $165 million of which was handed to Musk in shares.

5. Talent Plays a Vital Role

Elon Musk has always been meticulous about hiring employees of his company. There is no question that he sees the value in building an excellent team. Talent plays an extremely important role. To create such a fruitful team, Musk said, “Hire great people; this is 90% of the solution, as hiring wrong can cost you so much.” 

Credits: TED

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6. Embrace Failures

Failure never derailed his visions. Instead, he has always embraced it as a way to prove that his team is doing something disruptive. Musk said, “A failure is always an option; if things are not failing, you are not innovating.” 

Did you know? Both of Musk’s triumphs and accomplishments, SpaceX and Tesla, were on the verge of failure. While the first three rockets failed to launch, the fourth did, and the Roadster had many production issues.

7. Always Use Feedback to Find Solutions

When an individual uses failure as a lesson, it allows them to tackle solutions and finally reach the goal. Musk’s piece of advice is, “I feel it is important to have a feedback loop, where you are constantly thinking about what you have done and how it could have been done better. Always think about how things can be done in a better manner and keep questioning yourself.” 

8. Communication is the Key 

Communication is something Elon Musk has always urged his friends to do as efficiently as possible. The issues come from poor communication between departments. The only way out is to allow the free flow of information at all levels. To make something work between departments, people must talk to each other directly and make the right decisions. 

Did you know? Elon Musk was awarded the FAI Gold Space Medal by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 2010 for developing the first privately constructed rocket to reach orbit.

9.  Waive the Need for Unnecessary Meetings 

Musk has waived unnecessary meetings because that usually results in wasting time that doesn’t result in meaningful takeaways. He describes, “Excessive meet-ups are the blight of the big companies and almost always get worse with time. So get off the large meetings unless there’s something valuable to the audience, in which case keep them precise.” 

Did you know? Elon Musk also made an appearance in The Simpsons episode, “The Musk Who Fell to Earth”, Iron Man 2, The Big Bang Theory, and Rick and Morty

10.  Adapt to Change

The billionaire is well-known for changing his mind based on whatever needs attention at that moment or to quickly change course on projects. Elon Musk has an erratic sense of decision making, especially in reaction to things he reads on social media platforms, and can sometimes give his employees a breakdown. 

Did you know? Musk named one of his sons Xavier, after Professor Xavier from the X-Men, as he admitted.

Elon Musk
Courtesy: Forbes

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know Elon Musk is all over the news and it makes sense to look at exactly what Musk is doing and what you can learn from him. We hope you found our blog on 10 leadership lessons you can learn from Elon Musk thought-provoking. For more insightful content, keep reading on Leverage Edu

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