Maybe Elon Musk should follow his own advice
Tesla founder Elon Musk saw his net worth shrink by more than US$700m last week after unveiling his futuristic cybertruck. To his embarrassment, a stunt to showcase the new electric vehicle’s ‘’bulletproof’’ windows backfired when they shattered from the impact of a metal ball thrown at them.
Musk is a controversial CEO, but equally brilliant, who has found himself in the spotlight on numerous occasions for his outspoken views, erratic behaviour and how he treats his employees.
The SpaceX and Tesla founder is known for his high levels of productivity and expects the same commitment from his staff. Last year, he sent them a detailed email outlining the rules he likes observed in the workplace. These included a ban on large-scale meetings, avoidable jargon and never leaking anything to the press.
He is also a big fan of direct communication. “Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ‘chain of command’. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere,” Musk said in the internal email.
One might question the communication between himself, his public relations team and the vehicle’s designers to check the cybertruck’s windows could withstand a metal ball being thrown at it. Not just once, but twice.
Musk’s famous email also told staff not to waste time following silly rules. “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.”
Maybe one of those ‘’silly rules’’ was fully testing out a prototype or new model before unveiling it to the public.