Having a Boss Like Elon Musk Good or Bad?

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Suraj Jaiswal
Suraj is a passionate blogger who writes for a global audience. His writings can be inspired from a myriad of topics to anything distinguishable that keeps a reader hooked. He has written for many websites and also been showcased as a guest author. Suraj lives in India right now.

The answer is both ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’

I know you might be thinking, “Isn’t this answer supposed to be revealed at the end of the discussion?” You’re right. But in some cases, the arguments are more important than the answer. So let’s dive into the meaningful parts now. 

Elon Musk is not your average business owner who’s out there making millions and billions by designing an ecommerce app or investing on pro entrepreneurs. His fortune is a product of mass-shifting breakthroughs and ideas that were otherwise deemed impossible or over-futuristic. For instance, one of his companies, The Boring Company, was conceived after Musk got stuck one day in an LA traffic. He has often cited this billion-dollar venture as “a personal hobby.” 

Time magazine named him “Person of the year” for 2021. Also, he was unanimously ranked as the most inspiring leader in the tech industry. In 2022, he became the world’s richest person. This aside, you must consider the fact that his rise hasn’t always been linear like his competitors. For instance, SpaceX was on the verge of bankruptcy if the fourth falcon rocket wouldn’t have landed intact after the first three mishaps. Tesla was on loss for most of the years since its inception. And there also was a time when he had to borrow from friends. 

Compare that with Jeff Bezos, who has only grown since Amazon launched. Or Mark Zuckerberg, whose company has not seen one downtime in several years despite Antitrust lawsuit and data breach. 

Now setting aside all that, the question here is, “Would you like people like Elon Musk as your boss?”

A question always has two definite answers – ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Let’s see who would like and who would despise Elon-type bosses. 

ALSO READ: Your Guide to SHRM 2022—Workplace Policy Conference

Who might say “no”

On Friday, June 3, Musk talked about the recession that has gripped America and how he plans to layoff 10% of his Tesla workforce owing to the poor economy. 

Announcements like that never go well with a workforce. We have seen how “The Great Resignation” disrupted companies like Microsoft and other MNCs who initially ignored its impact. For an overpopulated world where skills and talents are abundant, big companies always view employees from an asset-liability perspective. Asset when they make genius moves that go in favor of the revenue and liability when they behave like a human. Every company today who experienced resignations-at-scale are today resenting their let-go behavior and hiring talents for twice the amount they previously paid. 

A leaked email by Musk reads, “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of forty hours in the office per week. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

Yes, it has been difficult for employers to get workers back to the office. Companies are trying incentives, increase in salaries, and other lucrative options to lure out employees from their at-home workstations. And some of them are running out of options because many are refusing to return at all. That’s because people have weighed their career options ever since the pandemic happened. COVID has introduced a new culture of work. Unlike before, there are plenty of new opportunities. 

Clearly, the regular 9-to-5 workforce that wants a perfect work-life balance would not be completely at rest under bosses like Musk. 

Who might say “yes”

When working for Tesla projects, Musk spends most of the time in the factories. In one interview, he even confessed that he actually sleeps on a makeshift bed in the factory itself. He is seen most of the time working with his engineers of SpaceX and Starlink without taking breaks. 

Now tell us when was the last time you saw your own boss making his/her hands dirty working alongside you? For most companies, CEOs or bosses are like those star celebrities whose one glimpse can be a rarity. If your hierarchy in the order is low, you might not even get an opportunity to directly meet them, let alone work alongside.

Jeff Bezos has a private yacht, and it was recently in the news for dismantling the iconic Koningshaven bridge of Netherlands, as it was too low to let the superyacht pass. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly splurges on mansion, private-jets, super cars – and in 2014 he also bought land in Hawaii. 

Now coming back to Musk. He reportedly sold “almost all his physical possessions” and moved to a tiny, portable house in texas. When out of town, he tries to spend nights at his friends’ houses or the factories of his several companies. An uber-expensive item he still has is a jet because it “helps save time” and allows him to work more.

So, minus the jet and few other possessions, he lives an average life. Workaholics who love intrigue, challenge the status quo, and are not always attracted by worldly possessions, would give Musk a go for sure.

We can conclude that while the regular workforce that makes the majority of the world might not be happy with Musk-type bosses, some would still like to share the space with this tech genius. Do tell us which one is you?

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