Elon Musk's Leadership Qualities

This study examines Elon Musk's leadership styles and techniques. The primary emphasis is on his ethical standpoint while working at Tesla Motors. The essay will next give the right proposal on how Elon Musk might alter his management during the adverse events in the organization that he experiences as a result of his directive leadership style's lack of capacity to establish strong interpersonal relationships. The study will next perform a self-reflection to assess how the writers' leadership abilities effect Elon Musk's resolutions and organizational challenges. Leadership is defined as the ability of an individual to motivate, influence, and enable others to contribute towards the success and effectiveness of a group or organization. The person needs to bring change so that he/she can be considered as a leader. Authentic leaders are said to possess universal qualities which include integrity, self-awareness, and courage (Vance 2015). The definition applies to Elon Musk who exhibits strong believe in need of sustainability in all products that Tesla invests in. It is further shown when Elon Musk decided not to charge his customers for using the charging stations for electric cars. Also, he allowed the sharing that Tesla had developed to be shared with other companies which encouraged the further advancement of sustainable technology (Davies 2013).

Elon Musk has exhibited main qualities of authentic leaders. One of them is the articulation of a powerful vision. Authentic leaders need to have a compelling vision which they share and lay pat to achieve the vision. Leaders need to be able to influence others to see their view. They need to have a vision which is evolutionary. Elon Musk has exhibited this quality by creating a revolutionary vision by changing the game. For instance, state of California is investing in a high-speed rail line costing $68 billion between San Francisco and Los Angeles that will spend 3 hours traveling at 20 miles per hour (Carmichael 2015). However, the project is on the schedule. Elon responded to the problem of traffic with a high-speed railway line called Hyperloop which can transport passengers from San Francisco in 30 minutes at a speed of 800 miles per hour. He has projected the cost of building at about $10 billion. The rail will be faster and less costly than the one constructed by the government. The other quality is confidence. Authentic leaders must have unshakable confidence and belief in oneself. In the success literature, leaders must notice that many of successful individuals believe in leveraging money from other to finance their projects (Bessen 2014). This is attributed to the reason as to why many projects fail since they do not lose their wealth.

Elon Musk has unshakable self-confidence that drives him to use his own money in financing his projects. Elon had enough confidence to invest more than $100 million of his wealth into Space X (Space Exploration Technologies Corp), about $55 million in Tesla Motors and $10 million in SolarCity. Perseverance is another quality. Elon Musk understands that failure is a feedback. Elon believes that he can cut the cost space travel and make it a reality to many (Bazerman and Tenbrunsel 2011). However, he faced delays along the way of testing and design pushing his schedule to five more years. His original schedule was a failure as the engine of spacecraft caught engine.

Also, his second test did not go to orbit as expected. Despite these challenges, Elon Musk did not abandon the project. Instead, he learned different lessons from the failures and made necessary corrections until his Falcon rocket was successfully launched (Weinberger 2016). Transformative leaders also have qualities of high integrity. Although Elon invested about $55 million of his money to Tesla Motors in the production of electric cars, he needed more money to complete the project. As a result, he borrowed more than $400 million from the government. Later, he repaid back the loan and thanked Congress members and others who helped him to turn his dream into reality. The other quality is prioritizing continuous learning. Authentic leaders like Elon Musk consistently generate new ideas. As an entrepreneur, he has been able to create companies worth billion dollars (Everatt 2016). Also, he is an accomplished reader who has the ability of reading and connecting what others cannot view allowing him to leap more.

Elon Musk has continued to demonstrate different qualities of leadership through his belief that Tesla had enough chances to be successful. Elon stated that it is good for one to try a new idea even if it has the high probability of failing. Authentic leadership has been criticized as a new phenomenon and practical approach which lacks empirical basis. The influence of active leaders remains ambiguous. However, the notion of authentic leadership is wide making it hard to measure. As a result, Sugerman (2009) developed a questionnaire of authentic administration to evaluate the four aspects leadership.

Effective leadership is considered to have similarities to that of ethical perspective about individual attributes. For instance, both authentic ethics and leadership emphasize on a teleological nature with the focus on the outcome of the action taken and high integrity. Ethics represents standards to determine the decision of the organization on a daily basis. These affect the operations of the organization and how it treats its customers, employees, and the community. Ethical considerations have ramifications of social entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and practices of hiring. Although leaders are required to respect some ethics like behavior, leaders need to start. The sign of leadership as driving force cannot be undermined (EEITV 2015). Usually, executives set a tone of every decision made in the organization no matter its weight. Those who lead have ethical leadership usually considered as the role models who can hold employees and themselves accountable. Leaders need to build ethic as the cultural function of the organization (Vance 2015). Due to the high standard of ethics exhibited by Elon Musk, Tesla employees regard him as a role model and usually work on embracing and practicing the ethics that he installs in them.

Elon Musk has different traits that have positive effects on his style of leadership. Elon is a determined individual who has learned how to persevere when faced with different challenges. For example, Tesla was losing a lot of cash in 2008 and needed high investment to keep it afloat. He became unrelenting and did all he could to save the business by securing the financial loan. Elon Musk demonstrates another significant leadership trait by exhibiting critical traits of leadership through high moral values and integrity (Musk 2014). Possession of high morals allows the leader to influence his subordinated enabling the benefits to hierarchically flow down in the organization and become the culture of the organization. Approach trait considers leadership as the ability that is possessed by specific individuals.

However, critics argue that skills are an approach that can be developed over period though training. Leaders need three skills, human, technical and conceptual. For effectiveness, they need to establish the three skills although the extent of forming depends on the level of leadership occupied by leaders. Senior managers like Elon Musk requires acquiring conceptual skills and developed human. Possession of low level of technical skills is enough to manage the technical aspect of the organization. Elon Musk studied economics and physics enabling the leaner to acquire necessary technical skills of being an engineer. This has empowered Musk to take an active role in the development of new products and resolving issues which may arise in Tesla (Musk 2014).

As stated earlier, Elon Musk takes high risk, and this influences his action as a leader in Tesla. Although considering the risk can be termed positive ad attribute, Elon undertakes excess risk which can have a significant impact on the organization and personal life. For example, Elon considered investing all his money in the creation of Tesla. Also, most of his time is spent at work which has dramatically affected his personal life. From the perspective of the organization, it had led to a directive approach of leadership undertaken by Musk to ensure that teams he has invested in remain successful and make profits. Other forms of strategy could lead to high debts since Elon had spent the considerable amount of money. As postulated by Sauer (2011), use of directive leadership style shows that Elon exerts influence in the organization to his power. As a result, he enables other leaders to acquire more skills which allow them to emerge as competent leaders. Direct leadership allows large companies to overcome different challenges through close supervision of experienced leaders. Another significant issue that arises from the approach of directive leadership is that there is the high rate of turnover in some roles at Musk's organization's style of leadership. However, some critics argue that the style has the negative impact on the public relation with the employees of the group. Consequently, Musk has ignored leadership as a two-way process which has demotivated employees over time (Musk 2015).

From the personal perspective, I suggest that Elon Musk should consider utilization of situational leadership approach. According to Huang and Paterson (2014), this can be facilitated through conducting a survey within Tesla which should involve both followers and leaders to identify the level of development of all workers within workers in the organization. Utilization of this approach would allow Elon Musk to adopt the effective leadership style that would apply to differing requirements of his workers (Snow 2015).

Study into the different development of employees lacks to stipulate the boundaries between four essential stages. This makes the necessary determination on how directive leadership style of Elon Musk becomes challenging to determine (Vance 2015). However, it will provide crucial guidelines which need to be followed. Also, the essential corporate decision that is necessary for the organization is usually carried out by Elon Musk. Although he allowed feedback from his friends, he was the one to decide as to whether the opinion was right or wrong. He fails to listen to advice from stakeholders concerning the organization. For instance, Musk assumed criticism which was raised on the SpaceX concept model and considered to follow his idea despite numerous feedbacks which criticized it (Miao, Newman and Huang 2014). The issue of controlling all the decision of the organization was also evident during his service as CEO of PayPal.

Elon also ignored advice of other members of senior executive management which lead to disagreements within body of administration and led to him being fired. Some argue that the high workload of Elon results in high levels of stress which make him more irritable. It implied that Musk has high levels of ethnocentrism degree which indicates that he has a belief that his ideas are the best building him ignore advice from other people (Northouse 2016). It has been speculated that he possess the behaviour due to his South African upbringing and focusing on applying the culture that he learned in American firms. His explanation supports the position that in the western organization, even if the leader makes the correct decision, employees will always ignore to listen to their perspective.

From the perspective of the organization, Elon Musk needs to aim at adopting another approach of leadership style where he can observe different situational challenges which are occurring in Tesla and be able to gain a more comprehensive intricacies understanding of the issues encountered. Also, it will appropriate to examine the interpersonal dynamics which occur in the company. It is articulated that the adoption of this approach will help in development and empowerment of workers since the path is follower centred (Vance, 2015). However, the research needs to be examined further since it provides the unclear definition of the behaviours recommended. This has led to varied interpretation by different groups. Despite this, Elon should consider following the offered advice. This will improve the interpersonal relationship with diverse stakeholders. Also, Musk will be termed as a more ethical leader since he will exhibit different moral values and skills while promoting his sustainability values (Thompson and Glasø 2015). Such qualities will enable him to be termed as an authentic leader who will use the moral values that he has in driving Tesla growth in future and allow their products to be considered as commodities of the mass market.

From an individual perspective, I possess leadership styles which are more inclusive that the ones presented by Elon Musk. This involves listening to the opinions of people which are useful in making the rational and informed decision. The preference enables me to focus on logic rather than emotions offering me an opportunity of coming up with a sufficient resolution. Utilization of a leadership style which is perspective influences the decision made by the leader and other stakeholders. The action result in useful trust and commitment which encourages a healthy relationship between the leader and workers. The action fosters employees who consider joining in-group which promotes the performance and productivity of the organization (Stevenson 2014). Also, a stable and productive environment of operations is created in the company which leads to the conducive atmosphere which suite workers. However, according to the model of DISC personality, Elon need to ensure that he increases relationship with people and be more interactive. This will ultimately influence the relationship with employees positively (Vance 2015). Analysis has shown that he has the introvert relationship and considers spending most of his time at work.

Elon should also change his approaches to management. He should consider the fact that directive leadership style is not appropriate in organizations that need to make the conclusive decisions. The directive approach can result in making the decisions based on emotions as opposed to situational analysis. Such decisions will lead to a conflict in the organization delaying the process of attaining its goals and objectives. Also, Elon needs to change the behaviour of ignoring the opinion of other stakeholders as it leads to discouragement. Discouragement affects the productivity and performance of employees in the organization as they feel that they are not part of the firm (Sauer 2011). Due to this, the company is not able to retain employee as most of them consider moving to other organizations where they are provided with a conducive environment, and their opinion and contribution are appreciated.

The study has shown that Elon Musk utilizes the authentic style of leadership which is integrated into his ethical, moral and belief values. It is more advisable Elon should learn on how to use situational approach and focus on improving the relationship with his workers to strengthen the commitment of employees and reduce the rate of employees' turnover. The plan that he has adopted is hindering employees from making any contribution to issues resolution (Sugerman 2009). Although Elon fails to demonstrate some leadership qualities, it is considered that he is more focused on entrepreneurship making him avoid the use of the two-way process which is inherent in management. This was attributed to the heading of different business which he holds high ranks were minimizing the time of efficiently leading all the firms (Stevenson 2014).

Based on Analysis of different sources highlighting the leadership skills attributed to Elon Musk, it can be observed that Elon has adopted some of the leadership skills which are considered unethical to inspire his workers and public so that they can absorb his idea and work toward achieving his goals. Vital ethical challenges that Face Elon Musk as shown in the analysis include excessive engagement on activities of the firm, lack of individual consideration, inability to listen to criticism and opinion from stakeholders and failure to involve other parties during the process of decision making (Yandle, 2010). The adoption of more efficient styles of leadership and collaboration with all stakeholders is recommended as the best solution of eliminating the challenges Elon Musk faced in his management of the above discussed organisations.


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