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Elon Musk Has Three Rules For Managers That Work For Him
Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Elon Musk Has Three Rules For Managers That Work For Him

As the richest man in the world, Elon Musk knows a thing or two about how to run a business

As the richest man in the world, Elon Musk knows a thing or two about how to run a business, and he has some strict rules for those working for him to abide by. 

The Tesla CEO has offered numerous insights into his unique managerial style over the years, including three rules he has for the managers at the electric car company, which just opened up a new Gigafactory in Texas.

In a pair of emails obtained by CNBC, Musk maintained his reputation for spontaneous mass communication by sending the two messages to all Tesla employees back in October last year. 

Elon Musk is now the world's richest man, according to Forbes.

Among the messages, he outlined the three ways managers must respond to any emails he sends that contain explicit directions. 

It reads: “If an email is sent from me with explicit directions, there are only three actions allowed by managers.

“1. Email me back to explain why what I said was incorrect. Sometimes, I’m just plain wrong!

“2. Request further clarification if what I said was ambiguous.

“3. Execute the directions.”

If none of the above are done? Musk said that the ‘manager will be asked to resign immediately’. 

Well, you can’t knock him for being straightforward. The other email wasn’t quite as harsh, describing his leniency for employees listening to music on the job. 

The message states: “Just wanted to say that I very much support music in the factory, as well as any little touches that make work more enjoyable.

“An associate just sent me a note asking if we could have one ear bud for music so the other ear can listen for safety-related issues. That sounds fine to me.

“Also, ambient music from speakers is also totally cool so long as there is reasonable agreement among your colleagues as to the music choices.

“If there are other things that you think would improve your day, please let me know. I care very much that you look forward to coming to work every day!”

Unless, of course, you’re a manager who breaks the three response rule – in which case, you’re out. 

Another email obtained by Electrek in April 2018 saw the SpaceX boss offer up a further set of rules for Tesla staff to follow, many of which referred to streamlining meetings. 

Per the email, he wrote: "Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [out] of all large meetings, unless you're certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.

The Tesla CEO has a unique managing style.

"Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.

"Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren't adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time."

Musk also highlighted the importance of common sense, writing: "In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a 'company rule' is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change."

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Topics: Elon Musk, Tesla