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Elon Musk shows how to be a great boss in one simple letter

By Marissa Barnes

A meeting with someone taking charge.For any company to be successful, it should have strong leadership and an equally strong team. Elon Musk has demonstrated how to become a successful business man and launch a billion dollar company. We can all learn a lot about Elon’s leadership skills by examining a letter he wrote to his employees after his team violated the “no negotiation, no discount” policy”:



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Elon Musk's email.

  1. He started the letter off on a positive note by complimenting the team on a successful quarter, which softens the upcoming criticism. 
  2. Musk then addressed the situation and referenced how the policy has been implemented since the company was founded (before it grew to its current size). His top priority is ensuring this doesn’t occur again, but he’s also willing to give his employees the benefit of the doubt. 
  3. “Never” is the keyword in this letter, and Musk stressed the significance of it by underlining and repeating it. Following the delivery of the email, no employee will have any valid excuse for not knowing about this policy. 
  4. This message is not a rant. As the CEO of Tesla, Musk reaffirmed his expectations for the company and its employees. He recognizes what needs to be fixed and isn’t focusing on anything else at the moment.
  5. Musk does not stand on the sidelines and expect his employees to fix the problem on their own. He added that he will personally evaluate any car sold for less than the listing price.
  6. Finally, he concluded by reminding his team that he is extremely appreciative of their hard work and that their presence is valued at the company. Thoughtfulness is key.

When leaders are clear with their expectations for the company, their communication with employees is easier and more efficient. Musk demonstrated his leadership skills by identifying problem areas, finding ways to improve, and appropriately addressing his employees. 


Outstanding communication is the foundation of good leadership, and we can all learn a thing or two from Musk. 


Inc.com originally published, “Elon Musk's Shows How to Be a Great Boss with 1 Simple Letter,” and we've summarized, expanded, and customized it.


Marissa is currently a rising senior at Michigan State University studying advertising management and public relations. She is an aspiring PR professional and is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about multiple areas of PR.


Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Topics: PR tips, corporate communications, internal communications

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