What is it really like to work for Elon Musk?

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Manley Hopkinson from Compassionate Leadership Academy shares his views with Business Leader about the way SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk runs his businesses.

When you ask any internet search engine “What is it like working for Elon Musk”? There are two common themes that consistently emerge. First is the positive and inspirational concept of mission and purpose – Tesla wants to change the world! Wow, how exciting and inspiring is that?

But there is also a worrying consistency in the dissatisfaction and unhappiness that is shared through the employees not being valued. If you work for Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, you are expected to work 24/7 and at sub-industry standard pay and rewards. So you will be expected to sacrifice all other parts of your life; your family, your hobbies, your fitness & health, and to be poorly paid so that one man can become the richest man on the planet!

Creating enormous wealth on the back of others’ efforts is not ethical success. We have created a weird world when we idolise the mega-wealthy, no matter their journey.  It sacrifices all other factors of “wealth” over just the one. Surely, a more holistic and compassionate view on wealth must include happiness, health, well-being, family, community and crucially, the one and only system that keeps us alive and offers us so much opportunity – Mother Earth.

I would also argue that this ‘weird world vision’ is not effective. Long hours are unproductive; efficiency drops, errors rise. Creating a compliant and undervalued workforce doubles up on the inefficiencies. What is the cost to your dream of mistakes, inefficiencies and a continually revolving workforce taking their experiences and wisdom with them as they leave the door?

Like Elon, you may have a brilliant idea or a powerful dream of a new world, a deep intrinsic fire within you that drives you to never settle until it is realised? Brilliant, and we need people like this, but… rather than force compliance, create commitment by truly valuing the people on whom you will reply upon to realise your dream.

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