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Elon Musk by Lukas Endl

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Biography of Elon Musk as a leader in all parts of life, written by Wharton MBA student for a course on leadership from the point of view of the whole person.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Elon Musk by Lukas Endl

  1. 1. Leadership Biography Lukas Endl April, 10th 2017 ELON MUSK
  2. 2. Quick Biography • Born in 1971 in South Africa, raised in Suburbs of Pretoria • Grew up with sister Tosca and brother Kimbal; their parents split when they were young • Early on, developed an interest in reading and computers • He was severely bullied during his childhood • Elon and Kimbal emigrated to Canada with their mother, Maye to avoid conscription in the South African army • At the age of 24, he received a Bachelor in Physics from UPenn and a Bachelor in Economics from Wharton.
  3. 3. Key accomplishments/failures • Rejected from a job at Netscape after Wharton • 1995-1999: Zip2, but was removed as CEO • 1999: X.com (later Paypal). Musk ousted as CEO, but received $165 million in 2002 as part of sale to eBay • 2002: SpaceX, almost failed • 2004: Tesla. Almost bankrupt in early 2013 • In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on Forbes list of the World Most Powerful People
  4. 4. 4-Way Integration Work and Self • Elon loves what he does, solving problems with technology • He constantly comes up with ideas to new innovations and executes them • He characterized himself as an introverted thinker • After being ousted as CEO twice, he found his own personal leadership style (being real) Work and Community • Elon’s big visions are rooted in the desire to solve big problems for society • He is heavily engaged in Philanthropy: Musk foundation, X-prize
  5. 5. 4-Way Integration – Work and Home • Received support from his family • Family followed Elon to Canada • Father was investor in first company • Brother was cofounder of Zip2 and investor in X.com • Married and divorced to college partner Justine Wilson, 6 sons (the first one died 10 weeks after birth) • Musk makes priorities for his kids, taking them for half of the week and “spending a fair bit of them with them” • Comes home to family dinners, puts them to bed, travels with kids • Created a little school for his boys (4-way win!)
  6. 6. Take-aways • Elon is a fundamentally innovative entrepreneur (be innovative), living his dream of creating solutions for ley problems of mankind • Despite set-backs and challenging times, Elon was able to “be real” and express his unique personality (introverted, not very social) as part of his business • Even with a crazy working schedule, Elon spends plenty of time with his kids (be whole), yet he admitted that his passion for working long hours contributed to his divorces

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