Elon Musk: Leaked Tesla emails reveal his leadership style

carrot and stick
Leaked emails to Tesla’s workforce give an impression of Elon Musk’s leadership style

Elon Musk in Brandenburg in August: Mail from Tesla boss reveals little about his management style

© Patrick Plell / DPA

Elon Musk loves to communicate on Twitter. Even the bosses at Tesla like to write emails to everyone. The news gives an idea of ​​what a freak it is like to be a boss.

Elon Musk loves to knock you out. This is nothing new and new examples are updated almost daily on Twitter. The eccentric billionaire does not hold back from his opinion and his views. Sometimes the posts are about requirements that are pointless from his point of view (keyword giga factory in Grünheide), sometimes about cryptocurrencies and sometimes Musk only needs to cover those that ridicule him. and deal with disgrace.

He might also be doing it differently: He gave a young drone pilot an overflight permit to a Tesla manufacturing site near Berlin via Twitter. In at least 50 percent of his tweets, he announced earlier this week, he wrote “from a porcelain throne.”

But how is Elon Musk as a boss? Two emails from US broadcaster CNBC give an impression. The first message was sent on 3 October, the second a day later. The Tesla CEO sent both e-mails to the company’s entire workforce, saying “to: everyone,” in the address field.

Elon Musk wants his people to feel comfortable…

The first email is about music at work. Musk is more sociable and understanding, writing at the outset that he is very supportive of it if people listen to music at work – plus all the other little things that make work more enjoyable. An employee asked if it was okay to wear headphones in one ear so that the other ear was free – for example to look up safety-related information. “It seems acceptable to me,” writes the Tesla CEO. Background music from the loudspeaker is fine too, as long as everyone agrees with the selection.

“If there’s anything else you think will make your day better, please let me know,” Musk said at the end. And ends with the words: “It is very important to me that you look forward to coming to work every day”.

…but if you don’t sprint, you have to resign

In another email dated October 4th, Elon Musk takes a different tone. The message is also addressed to everyone, but seems to have been primarily targeted at company executives. The tone is calm, the sentences are condensed: “If an email is sent by me with specific instructions, managers are only allowed three different courses of action,” introduces the Tesla boss message. give. and immediately after that gives three options: “1. An e-mail back to me with an explanation of why what I said is wrong. Sometimes I’m just wrong. 2. Request for further clarification, if so So what I said was vague. 3. The instructions will be followed.” The boss also cites the obvious consequence of non-compliance: “If none of the above is done, the manager concerned will have to resign immediately.” will be asked for”.

Two messages, two days, two messages: Elon Musk tells his employees that it means a lot to him that they feel comfortable working for him. Despite all his generosity, he leaves no doubt in one thing: he is the boss.



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