Elon Musk is a household name across the world. A world-famous businessman with a large fanbase online. But, what about Musk makes him so fascinating as a positive leader? First, we need to understand who he is and how he came to be.
Elon Musk was born in South Africa. His family was extremely wealthy thanks to his father owning an emerald mine. Later in life, Musk became interested in computers and coding. He even made his own game code and sold it for $500.
He would go to the United States and Canada for college. Then, as the Internet started to become a bigger and bigger phenomenon, Musk began to focus on that.
Elon, his brother Kimbal, and a business partner started their first company which was an online city guide. They slept in a little rented office space and focused all their time on this. They would later move on to create the first form of PayPal in 1999.
In the early 2000s, Musk became fascinated with Mars and space exploration. Musk would found Space X and was the CEO and Chief Engineer.
Since then, Musk has started up several other businesses and has become of the most powerful and richest men in the world. However, along the way, he has suffered from controversy, usually because he opens his mouth when no one asked him to.
But, regardless of his reputation, he has proven to be a successful entrepreneur and a fairly positive leader. It is also clear that he does something that makes it work and that comes from his leadership style.
Musk encourages his teams to have an open mind and to find new solutions to our problems. He cultivates that mentality because it helps build relationships and loyalty. Musk has been quoted on his thoughts on trends, “…advice I would give is to not blindly follow trends. Question and challenge the status quo. Make sure you understand the fundamental principles of what you’re trying to do before you get into the details, otherwise you could be building on faulty ground.”
Failure and Fear as a Motivation
In 2018, Musk tweeted out about the difficulty and stupidity of starting up and running a rocket company. He had been removed as CEO of two tech companies and Tesla and Space X were on the verge of collapse from bankruptcy a decade prior.
Musk, however, has been successful with his career. Anyone will have ups and downs, but it is the determination to continue to push through. When Musk pushes through, so does his team. Fear and failure often go hand-in-hand. There is a fear to fail, but it’s okay because everyone goes through it, even Musk. But, sticking to your guns and being brave and confident in your business decisions will often make the employees feel better.
Always be Learning
Elon Musk can brag that his rockets can travel to the International Space Station. That is not an easy feat nor is it a common brag. But, Musk had to learn a lot along the way. That is also key to becoming a great and positive leader.
You should never in your life stop learning, even if you just finished your graduation. There are trends, new reports, and markets going up and down. Many factors indicate where our society is heading and so, one needs to be keeping an eye out for new knowledge.
Musk himself has been quoted saying, “If you read a lot of books and talk to a lot of people, you can learn almost anything.”
Saying no can be a daunting task for some of us. It can feel awkward and even shameful. But, can you imagine saying no to the President of the United States? That’s what Elon Musk did in 2017.
Musk was a part of the United States Advisory Council in the Trump administration. However, when the administration pulled out of the Paris Agreement, Musk resigned. That is because he has values that he cherishes and that is more important and valuable than any high-ranking position or power. He cares for the environment and wants sustainability for our world. That’s why he had to say no. As a leader, you have to put your foot down sometimes if something does not match your values.
Have a Mentor
A mentor is a wonderful way to help with success. They have experience with the ins and outs of the industry. They are a role model to look up to as well. But, what if you don’t know who to go to? Do what Elon did.
Read biographies of leaders that inspire you. For him, it was Issac Newton, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and many more.
Elon Musk is a successful businessman because of his leadership style and his way of thinking. He wants to push humanity forward for the better as a positive leader. Dreams of colonizing Mars are in his cards. But, it’s his words that matter a lot and while not every leader is perfect, Musk still has room to grow.