Elon Musk is changing the meaning of entrepreneurship in many ways. We can say that the unusual management style that Musk showed at Tesla and SpaceX is an example for many people who want to start a business.
In April 2018, Elon Musk emailed Tesla employees about the upcoming changes to the company. The changes mentioned are in the 3rd edition of the brand. It was about the production of his model. After this event, production increased by 2000 cars per week. Musk showed that he knows very well the production process and how to motivate his employees with his e-mail. So, what lessons can we learn from this e-mail?
1) Be clear in your offers.
“The design and production process of our vehicle should proceed with very sharp and clear lines. So much so that if one day a customer wants to measure the hood, panels and headlights of his car, if the measurements do not match the measurements we gave in the introduction, we can say that the meter he used was wrong.”
This sentence can be one of the strongest parts of the email. Here, we can say that Musk tries to kindle a fire in his employees by approaching them emotionally. You can only be as good in business as the confidence in what you say.
Remember, Elon Musk could have told this subject in a thousand different ways. But the path he chose was one of the most poignant and resonant with the company.
2) Control expenses and focus on profit.
“Some of the criticisms we received from the outside were ‘You can’t be a real company if you don’t make a certain amount of profit.’ was in shape. Simply put, our revenues should be greater than our expenses. Actually, it doesn’t make much sense to aim for profit until we reach a certain size economic model and start earning from the release, but today we are here.”
Musk then goes into some detail and talks about companies in the middle stages. He interprets his results as “many mid-level executives in the company who do not do any useful work but only incur costs”.
The biggest lesson we can take from this part of the email is that business owners should take a step back and investigate the costs and processes that create them. When things are going well, “If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” Although it is easy to act with its motto, allowing certain things to stay the same for a long time while your company is growing will cause your expense items to increase and negatively affect your profitability.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t be stuck with the process that works. If your goal is to increase your profit margins to high levels, you should accurately measure the return on investment at every stage of your operations and adjust your business models according to the process.
3) Eliminate anything that limits your productivity, big or small.
Ultimately, the main theme of this email was increased productivity and efficiency. Musk gave his employees a handful of tips to increase their productivity in all areas of their lives.
The first of these is about meetings. Musk urged his executives to refrain from holding meetings unless he is sure it will make a contribution to everyone. He mentioned that if they had to, they should keep it as short as possible.
“Unnecessary meetings are the bane of large corporations, and they almost always get worse.”
Research shows that a distracted person needs 25 minutes to focus on the same task again. When you hold a meeting, you are wasting 25 minutes of everyone attending. As meetings become more frequent, wasted minutes turn into hours.
Another issue that draws attention is communication. According to Musk, it is necessary to get rid of all unnecessary rules of communication.
“Communication doesn’t have to be with the chain of command. If the purpose of communication is to get something done, then it should be done in the shortest possible way. If I have managers dictating the chain of command to their employees, they will soon find themselves looking for a place to work.”
If you want to increase your productivity, you need to make internal communication clear and fast. After all, we live in the age of communication. There should be no barriers between employees and departments or even the CEO when there is a problem that needs to be resolved.
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