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The truth about what it's like to work for Tesla's Elon Musk



Like most movers and shakers in history, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a complicated figure. There has been no shortage of "What is it like working with Elon?" Articles. Many of them have a predetermined premise: fans think he is a wise and inspirational leader, an outsider thinker; The anti-EV crowd is eager to paint a picture of an impulsive, warm-tempered prima donna.

  • This article comes to us with permission from EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Author by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own with InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (Flickr: Daniel Oberhaus)

This year we have seen a couple of conflicting public reviews of Musk's management. He was named the most inspirational leader in the technology industry in a survey of 3,600 technicians conducted by the Hired career site (as reported by Business Insider). On the other hand, he dropped out of the job review page Glassdoor's ranking of the top 100 executives, having ranked 49th in 2018 and 8th in 2017 (based on rankings from SpaceX employees).

For some reason, the space tag Musk seems to be a little easier to get along with than car innovator Musk: according to Glassdoor, he earned a 67% approval rating from Tesla employees, compared to an 89% approval rating from SpaceX employees.

Regardless, according to technical career information firm Dice Insights (via Teslarati), Tesla still has an advantage over old watchmaking carmakers like GM when it comes to their ability to attract software development talent. And it turns out that Tesla's employment is up 33% since June.

Above: In a recent survey of 3600 technicians, Elon Musk topped the list as "most inspiring" leader in tech (Chart: IEEE Spectrum via Hired)

Mark Matousek, who wrote in Business Insider, recently added another entry to the corpus of what are-he-like pieces, this a collection of comments from former Tesla employees who had extensive contact with Musk.

Tesla employees interviewed by Business Insider shared both good and not-so-good impressions. [19659005] It is no surprise that many of them commented on his brain power. "He's very intelligent. He's already 10 steps ahead of you," said a former manager. "You have to think 10 times more daring than he does to be able to succeed."

Above: A handful of Elon Musk's Success Chokes (YouTube: Inc.)

Several employees told BI that Musk's example helped them improve their performance, saying that 90% of the time he disagreed with Musk, he later realized that Musk was right. " that I'm 10 times smarter now than when I first joined. "Musk's legendary energy level – he has said that 85 hours of work per week is the optimal amount – is also" very contagious. "

A couple of former senior employees noted Musks response on social media and said he would sometimes change priorities in response to a customer's post on social media. "What ultimately makes him take action and make a decision is what he reads on social media," said one of the them to Business Insider. ”When in a business meeting with him, v he literally swings the direction of the organization literally overnight. So production can be a problem today, and as soon as it ceases to be reported on social media, as soon as it ceases to be reported in the news, he will move on to what the news claims to be the new problem. ”[19659005] Musk has always been known as a micromanager – during the design of the Roadster he had strong opinions on details such as headlights and seats. Three former senior employees told BI that Musk didn't give them much autonomy: "It was just a decision maker at Tesla, and that's Elon Musk."

Above: Elon Musk (Flickr: Daniel Oberhaus) [19659004] Another musical trait that is no secret is his tendency to set overly ambitious goals – he admits he has always had problems with time. A former manager told BI that Musk would sometimes set "unrealistic stretch goals without a realistic plan to achieve them."

Like most high-achieving leaders, Musk has high standards, and he can be ruthless toward those who can & # 39; t follow along. As mentioned above, this can be a positive thing and inspire others to raise their games, but it also has a dark side. A couple of former employees told Business Insider they were afraid to tell Musk that they disagreed with him. One said he dreaded attracting the big man's attention, which he compared to the Eye of Sauron. "Because of the pressure he puts on his entire executive team, his senior leadership team, even though they have experience, they would not dare speak to him," said another.

Perhaps those who fear Musk (a group that certainly includes many in the automotive and oil industries) can take comfort from learning that he himself is no stranger to fear. "I feel fear pretty strongly," Musk said in a 2014 interview with Auto Bild. "But if what I do is important enough, I just overpower the fear."

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Posted by: Charles Morris; Source: Business Insider

  • InsideEV Editor's Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket equipment to Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of the content with our readers for free. Thanks our thanks to EVANNEX. Check out the page here.

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