How to Be Elon Musk at Work: Walk Out of Long Meetings, Ignore the Rules

Tesla CEO might be more stressed than he admits.

Flickr / jurvetson

Elon Musk has portrayed himself as an ambitious yet laid back CEO with a sense of humor on social media even when the going gets tough. But in light of the recent Model 3 production shut down and financial pressure that Tesla has been under, this once seemingly chill tech mogul might begin taking a more abrasive approach to managing his electric-car company.

A leaked company-wide email revealed that Musk is aiming to speed up operations and trim Tesla’s fat wherever possible. His new business tactics involve walking out of drawn-out meetings, disregarding the company’s chain of command, and keeping a close eye on Tesla’s contractors, who Musk said in some cases have been “worse than a drunken sloth.” The CEO has been candid about saying that the lofty goal of producing 20,000 Model 3s per month has been stressing him out. This email is evidence that Musk is set on this goal and that this pressure could mark a change in Tesla company culture.

The email, leaked by Electrek, offered suggestions on how staffers could be more productive. One stated that employees could feel free to break company rules if they felt they “make for a great Dilbert cartoon.” Musk also seems to not be a fan of acronyms, stating that he’d much rather have someone explain something than “memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.”


Besides offering his view on how to make day-to-day interactions more effective, the email also stated that Tesla’s Fremont factory will soon go into hyperdrive. Upgrades being installed in May will allow the company to produce 6,000 a week and the company will be hiring hundreds of more employees to enable the factory to function around the clock.

If the factory improvements mentioned in this email are true, it could put Tesla in a place to meet investors’ expectations. But it’s too soon to tell if Musk’s “productivity recommendations” will be adopted throughout the company, his call to bend rules and production pressure could inflame past trouble Tesla has had with worker’s rights and company culture.

It seems like the gloves have come off all in the name of keeping Musk’s April Fool’s from becoming a reality.

Related Tags