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Leadership by Elon Musk with Tesla and SpaceX

This presentation shows the leadership skills shown by Elon Musk in different areas including Tesla and SpaceX

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Leadership by Elon Musk with Tesla and SpaceX

  1. 1. ELON MUSK  CEO and CTO of SpaceX.  CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors.  Chairman of SolarCity.  He is the founder of SpaceX.  Cofounder of Zip2, PayPal, and Tesla Motors.
  2. 2. • Elon Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. Childhood wasn’t a great time for him—he had a tough family life and never fit in well at school. • Elon was constantly buried in the Encyclopaedia Britannica at the age of four. • At the age of nine he got his hands on his first computer, the Commodore VIC- 20 and completed “how to program” guide in just three days. • At 12, he used his skills to create a video game called Blastar, “a trivial game.” • Musk never felt much of a connection to South Africa—he didn’t fit in with the jockish, white Afrikaner culture, and it was a nightmare country for a potential entrepreneur. Early Life
  3. 3. • At the age of 17, he left South Africa forever and started out in Canada, and a few years later, used a college transfer to the University of Pennsylvania as a way into the US. • In college, he thought about what he wanted to do with his life, the answer he came up with was a list of five things: “the internet; sustainable energy; space exploration, in particular the permanent extension of life beyond Earth; artificial intelligence; and reprogramming the human genetic code.” • After finishing college, he enrolled in a Stanford PhD program to study high energy density capacitors. But two days into the program, he got massive FOMO because it was 1995 and he “couldn’t stand to just watch the internet go by. He wanted to jump in and make it better”. So he dropped out and decided to try the internet instead.
  4. 4. • Musk took second Internet startup company—originally called but by then merged with another company known as PayPal that had been sold to eBay for $1.5 billion. This was after his first,, had sold for $305 million in 1999. Fabulously wealthy and barely into his 30s.
  5. 5. “He goes into his brain, and then you just see he is in another world. He still does that. Now I just leave him be because I know he is designing a new rocket or something.” — Elon Musk’s mother describing how as a child Elon sometimes seemed to drift off into trances. He wouldn’t respond when spoken to and would have a distant look in his eyes. Musk’s parents and physicians thought maybe he was deaf and removed his adenoid glands thinking that would improve his hearing. It made no difference.
  6. 6. • Insanity and godlike genetics are the qualities needed to achieve extreme success according to the intimate perspective of Justine Musk, who was Elon’s ex wife. Justine met Elon as students at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and married in 2000. They have 5 sons. • As Musk achieved astronomical success, Justine, who is a writer, watched herself slowly take a back seat to his work. • Marital woes aside, Justine walked away with a courtside view of success that many don’t get to see. One of her key takeaways is that “pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an insane work ethic, so if the work itself doesn't drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.”
  7. 7. • Six weeks after they separated, Elon texted Justine to let her know that he was now engaged to be married to a young, British actress named Talulah Riley. • Musk began dating English actress Talulah Riley, and in 2010, the couple married. In January 2012, Musk announced that he had recently ended his four-year relationship with Riley.] However, in July 2013, Musk and Riley remarried. ] In December 2014, Musk filed for a second divorce from Riley; however the action was withdrawn and the couple remain married.
  8. 8. “I do think of him as the Terminator. He locks his gaze on to something and says, ‘It shall be mine.’ Bit by bit, he won me over.” — Justine Musk, Elon’s ex-wife
  9. 9. “I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.” — Elon Musk
  10. 10. “I remember him saying, ‘Being with me was choosing the hard path.’ I didn’t quite understand at the time, but I do now. It’s quite hard, quite the crazy ride.” — Talulah Riley
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  12. 12. SpaceX  In 2002, he started one of the most unthinkable and ill-advised ventures of all time: a rocket company called SpaceX.  Its purpose was to revolutionize the cost of space travel in order to make humans a multi-planetary species by colonizing Mars with at least a million people over the next century.  On 24th march 2006, they lauched their first rocket called FalconSAT – 2.
  13. 13. SpaceX – FalconSAT - 2
  14. 14. SpaceX – Falcon 1 Demoflight 2
  15. 15. SpaceX –Trailblazer
  16. 16. SpaceX  By 2008, SpaceX had figured out how to build rockets, just not rockets that actually worked.  In order to bring in any serious outside investment or payload contracts, SpaceX had to show that they could successfully launch a rocket—but Musk said he had funds left for one and only one more launch. If the fourth launch also failed, SpaceX would be done.  On september 2008, Ratsat, the fourth flight of falcon 1 took place.
  17. 17. SpaceX  First, in September of 2008, SpaceX launched their fourth rocket—and their last one if it didn’t successfully put a payload into orbit—and it succeeded. Perfectly.  NASA took a gamble and offered SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract to carry out 12 launches for the agency. Runway extended. SpaceX saved.  to this day, the four entities in history who have managed to launch a spacecraft into orbit and successfully return it to Earth are the US, Russia, China—and SpaceX.
  18. 18. TESLA  In 2004, as that “project” was just getting going, Musk decided to multi- task by launching the second-most unthinkable and ill-advised venture of all time: an electric car company called Tesla.  Its purpose was to revolutionize the worldwide car industry by significantly accelerating the advent of a mostly-electric-car world—in order to bring humanity on a huge leap toward a sustainable energy future.  In 2007, they had yet to deliver their first car—the Tesla Roadster—to the market, which didn’t look good to the outside world.  This would have been more okay if the global economy hadn’t suddenly crashed, hitting the automotive industry the absolute hardest.
  19. 19. TESLA  Without outside money, both Tesla had a short runway. So it’s not that Tesla were bad—it’s that it needed more time to succeed, and Tesla was running out of time.  Musk scrounged up the last money he could manage to keep Tesla going, Tesla’s investors reluctantly agreed to match his investment.  A few months later, Tesla’s Model S had become a smashing success, blowing away the automotive industry with the highest ever Consumer Reports rating of a 99/100, and the highest safety rating in history from the National Highway Safety Administration.
  20. 20. TESLA  Now they’re getting closer and closer to releasing their true disruptor—the much more affordable Model 3—and the company’s market cap is just under $30 billion.
  21. 21. PERSONALITY TYPE INTJ Founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, founder of PayPal along with Peter Thiel. Musk: "My career has been focused on finding practical, effective solutions to real- world problems.” Musk: "[I started SpaceX because] if we're not on a path of ... expanding to the stars, then what we're effectively saying is [that] we're going to consign ourselves to Earth until an extinction event wipes us out.” [His brother:] "Elon's psyche is tied up in the idea of changing the world." Jon Stewart [to Musk:] "I am astonished at your entrepreneurial spirit, your tenacity, and your ability to get things done.” Steve Jurvetson : "I don't think I've ever seen an entrepreneur with so much resolve."
  22. 22. Leadership The Blessing And Curse Of An Opinionated Leader Dolly Singh, former HR head at SpaceX: "The thing that makes Elon Elon, is his ability to make people believe in his vision." Jim Cantrell, SpaceX’s first engineer, adds, "The guy is pure ambition. He's three or four steps ahead … Most of us can’t conceive these things working; he can’t conceive it failing. Period." This is the hallmark of an opinionated leader. A good leader needs to be extremely persuasive to get people to follow him, and to push people hard to stretch what’s possible. That persuasion comes with expressing strong opinions. Think of the best leaders in history—Mandela, Churchill, King, etc.—and you’ll see a pattern: they tell great stories, with boldness, absolutely convinced that they are right. They both inspire and grab attention.
  23. 23. So it turned out you were wrong… The problem with opinionated leaders is that even the smartest people get things wrong, and many leaders fear changing course once they’ve expressed an opinion for fear of appearing weak. The fastest-climbing people and companies are willing to deviate from their original business or career plan. Whereas a strong leader needs to be resolute and persuasive, an innovative leader needs to be open to changing her mind.
  24. 24. So it turned out you were wrong… The problem with opinionated leaders is that even the smartest people get things wrong, and many leaders fear changing course once they’ve expressed an opinion for fear of appearing weak. The fastest-climbing people and companies are willing to deviate from their original business or career plan. Whereas a strong leader needs to be resolute and persuasive, an innovative leader needs to be open to changing her mind.
  25. 25. Focus “One night he told me, ‘If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat. I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal.’ ” — Nicholson Resilience “We all worked 20 hours a day, and he worked 23 hours.” — Julie Ankenbrandt on working with Musk at the start-up, which would later merge with Confinity and lead to what we know as PayPal. Adaptability Reimagining Visionary
  26. 26. TASK ORIENTED Situation favorableness occurs when the three dimensions - leader- member relations, task structure, and leader position power - are high. Leader-member relationships refer to the degree of trust, respect, and confidence that exists between the leader and the workers. Task structure refers to the degree to which tasks are clearly explained and structured for workers. Leader position power refers to the degree to which the leader possesses inherent power in his or her position.
  27. 27. LEADERSHIP STYLE Pace Setter Leadership Examples: Elon Musk , Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates Key Phrase: “Let’s dream big and set standards” Description: These leaders set the pace for their own company and others in the industry to follow. Strengths: 1. True visionaries can revolutionize an industry and cater to future markets 2. Will be “two steps” ahead of their competitors 3. Will lead by example and empower people with their own deep-seated values Weaknesses: 1. Can be outdone by other transformational leaders 2. Staff can get easily burnout by trying to keep pace
  28. 28. Charismatic Leadership Examples: Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton Key Phrase: “Let’s do it together” Transformational Leadership Examples: Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg Key Phrase: “I can do it better”
  29. 29. Laissez-Faire Leadership Examples: Warren Buffet, Richard Branson Key Phrase: “I’ll give you the tools and autonomy to execute” Authoritative Leadership Examples: Alex Ferguson, Margaret Thatcher, Jack Welch Key Phrase: “I direct, you follow”
  30. 30. Elon Musk: Relentless innovation CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, has revolutionized entire industries with his focus on moving beyond the status quo. Both companies faced bankruptcy in 2008, and Musk was forced to decide between allocating his remaining funds between the companies or focusing on one. He felt compelled to support both ventures, and the risk paid off. Tesla is trumping Ford and General Motors with gross profit margins well over 20 percent, while SpaceX was one of two companies chosen by NASA to develop the next generation of systems to take U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.
  31. 31. The hallmark of innovative thinking is the ability to be open and adaptable. Continuing on a path just because you’ve committed to it is not a formula for success. Musk. He is fiercely opinionated in his vision, highly charismatic in his delivery, and often abrasive with those who didn’t agree. But when he changed his mind about something, he became fiercely opinionated in the opposite direction.
  32. 32. MUSK V/S OTHERS Elon Musk Steve Jobs Jeff Bezos Innovative, courageous, persistent and creative ways all three built their businesses. What is disheartening is how little care and appreciation any of them give to hard-working and loyal employees, and how unnecessarily cruel and demeaning they could be to the people who helped make their dreams come true
  33. 33. Given the extraordinary success of these men, the obvious question is whether being relentlessly hard on people, and even cruel, may get them to perform better. The first answer is that they can. Genius covers a lot of sins. A great product is a great product, and you don’t have to do everything right to be successful. Most customers don’t care how the sausage gets made, as long as it tastes good. Employees, in turn, are willing to sacrifice a lot to work for a visionary. Much as Mr. Jobs was, Mr. Musk and Mr. Bezos are passionate, inspiring and charismatic leaders. Mr. Jobs drove around without a license on his car, and he regularly parked in spaces reserved for the handicapped. As Mr. Ive said of his attitude, “I think he feels he has a liberty and a license to do that. The normal rules of social engagement, he feels, don’t apply to him.”
  34. 34. “Elon said ‘I will spend my last dollar on these companies. If we have to move into Justine’s parents’ basement, we’ll do it.’ ” — Antonio Gracias recalling a dinner with Musk during the 2008 financial crisis.