Elon Musk Leadership



Elon Musk is an honourable leader because of both his achievement and qualities (Schoemaker, Heaton, & Teece, 2018). Born in South Africa and being able to overcome constraints like environmental challenges alone shows that he is a capable leader. His string of achievements from 1999 regardless of facing challenges and obstacles is the main reason why he is honourable. His passion for innovations which formed the basis of this career is one of the characteristics that make him an honourable leader. His passion is what led him to start Tesla in 2003 in a bid to create environmental friendly modes of transport. He was then able to turn his passion for innovation into a career and a success story. The second characteristic is his ability to tackle obstacles. He goes by the slogan that “failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating.”  To Elon, Musk failure is a sign that you are in innovation mode, and one option is bound to work out.  

Elon Musk style of leadership from a theoretical approach is the transformational form of administration (Transformational Leadership, 2020). A transformational leader is one who can model his management and team members so that they can work in line with the visions of the organization. This type of leader has excellent communication skills and can inspire his employees so they can strive to achieve the vision. Elon Musk can attribute his success from having a good and cooperative team. However, this is made possible through his use of emotional intelligence on his side. He creates an energy source that can empower his employees, and the results can be seen in productivity. His ideas on inspirational motivation towards employees and his taskforce team are another major contributor to his success with Tesla.

One of the main notable strengths of Elon Musk is his excellent communication skills. To be a transformational leader, one needs to be able to communicate effectively with his team (Hay, 2006). Communication skills are also a characteristic of a good leader. Another strength is he is an inspiring leader. Instead of using a negative push to get results from his team, he creates the power that they can derive energy from. Another strength is being a risk-taker. Elon Musk is a very high-risk taker, and most of his success comes from risks he took. His primary weakness is underestimating timelines. He acknowledges that he has a problem where he underestimates challenges, thus unrealistic deadlines. His other weakness is minimal delegation. His employees say that he needs to delegate more another problem Musk acknowledges. His desire to win every battle or overcome every obstacle he faces can also be viewed as a strength and a weakness as it comes with costs.

Conclusively, Musk is a good leader, and many people in the business world look up to him for empowerment. Some of the valuable lessons we get to learn from him are that we have the ability in us all we need is be ready to take risks and overcome obstacles. He also brings to certain light characteristics of a transformational leader which could prove helpful (Hay, 2006). One of them is being inspirational as he empowers his employees instead of pushing them towards deadlines. Another lesson is to be willing to make sacrifices. His success story in innovation shows how he failed a couple of times, but he did not give up. Lastly, we can learn that good leader or transformational leaders need to encompass moral development in their leadership for employees to follow in their example.


Transformational Leadership. (2020) Published by, MBA Skool Team. Retrieved from: https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms/8837-transformational-leadership.html

Hay, I. (2006). Transformational leadership: Characteristics and criticisms. E-journal of Organizational Learning and Leadership5(2).

Schoemaker, P. J., Heaton, S., & Teece, D. (2018). Innovation, dynamic capabilities, and leadership. California Management Review61(1), 15-42.