1-How important do you believe it is to be task-oriented and relationship-orientated? How would you describe Musk?
2-Why do you think Musk is successful in overcoming obstacles and handling conflict? How do you overcome obstacles in influencing individuals in your life?
3-Besides the personality traits given in chapter 2, what other traits attribute to a great leader?
Recognizing Your Traits
The definition of intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Elon Musk knew little about rockets and space exploration, so he decided to learn it. He learned that he needed rockets to launch probes into space and to prolong his money supply he needed cheap rockets. So he bought cheaper launch vehicles and focused his time on reusable rocket boosters (Cantrell, 2017). He now saves 75 to 80 percent of the flights total cost (Moon, 2017).
Musk's confidence is not easily deterred. In an earnings call in 2018, he admitted that Tesla became overconfident with their ability to produce battery modules, which led to significant delays in production (Zipkin, 2018). He then said: “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve the Model 3 production.” Nothing seems to get him down.
Musk has the determination of a great leader. When getting SpaceX off the ground, the company failed 3 times to get a rocket into orbit. During a 60-minute interview, he was asked if he wanted to pack it up after the 3rd failed launch. His response: “I will never give up unless I am dead or completely incapacitated.” On the fourth launch, the rocket made it into orbit.
Last but not least, Musk displays integrity. Back in 2013, there was a recall on Tesla cars and he told every customer that Tesla would pick up their cars, offer a loaner if needed, perform the work and then bring the car back a few hours later. No need to bring it into the service center; It was Tesla’s fault and they were solely going to take care of it (Musk, 2013).
Attending to Tasks and Relationships
Given Elon Musk is the pioneer of many technological advances that proceed our time, it’s essential that he builds good business relationships while simultaneously ensuring tasks are done effectively and with the least amount of effort. As Peter Northhouse, author of Introduction to Leadership elaborates, “The essence of leadership behavior has two dimensions - task behaviors and relationship behaviors. Certain circumstances may call for strong task behavior, and other situations may demand strong relationship behavior, but some degree of each is required in every situation” (Northouse, 2015). I believe carrying these dictations between the two allows for effective business behavior.
One quote from Musk himself states, “Managers should work hard to ensure that they are not creating silos within the company that create an us vs. them mentality or impede communication in any way. This is unfortunately a natural tendency and needs to be actively fought.” The conclusion I draw from this is that Musk cares deeply for the company, and believes everyone is equal in the participation of success of his companies. He holds his companies to an intense degree of standard - so he aligns his visions and perspective to near perfection. I believe allowing space in a company for us vs. them mentality to fester is essentially where the downfall of a company arises. Everyone should work collectively towards one common goal - and one department can’t do any better than the other. The better one does, and the worst the other does doesn’t compensate for the deficit in the collective company.
Establishing A Constructive Climate
The climate created in the workplace where somebody, on average, spends 40 hours per week or more, has to be one in which the employees feel valued. As stated in the Textbook, “a positive climate is shaped by the degree to which people feel they are supported, appreciated, and encouraged for their roles in the organization”. (Northouse, 2015)
I believe Musk has established a constructive climate for his employees at Tesla and SpaceX. All actions taken within a business contribute to the final product of how the business is performing. By creating a constructive climate, Musk is able to have a successful company because he helps his employees perform at their highest levels of excellence.
As Musk said in an email he sent out to his employees, “for Tesla to become and remain one of the greatest companies of the 21st century, we must have an environment that is as safe, fair and as fun as possible. It is incredibly important to me that you look forward to coming to work every day. For that, we must be a fair and just company – the only kind worth creating.” (Elon, 2017) He points out that the climate has to be fair, for that to occur, structure must be provided. By doing so, he gives a clear picture of assignments and responsibilities that are expected to achieve. This allows for employees to have a better sense of direction.
Building cohesiveness is an important trait that a CEO like Elon Musk must provide towards establishing a constructive climate.
When determining a successful business leader, we should look at
how effectively they can manage conflict and produce positive
change. According to the textbook “Introduction to Leadership”,
conflict is defined as a “felt struggle between two or more
interdependent individuals over perceived incompatible difference
in beliefs, values, and goals” (Wilmot & Hocker, 2011). Musk
handles interpersonal conflicts by continuing through to make his
innovative ideas a reality. In 2008, Musk had multiple SpaceX
rockets explode, Tesla was going bankrupt, a main investor of his
company trying to throw him out while also getting divorced from
his wife (Huffington Post, 2016).
Musk’s persistence to maintain two big projects in a time where his life seemed to fall apart shows that he can manage conflict. “Musk had to lean on friends just to make payroll from week to week as he negotiated with investors” (Quora, 2015). Elon basically put everything on the line, only with the thought that SpaceX and Tesla would eventually become successful. By doing this, Musk used the compromise method in handling conflict. Tesla suffered through multiple product delays, management changes and costs overrun (Quora, 2015). He took money that was made into prepayments for employees and used that money to keep the company going. He had to compromise everything that he owned to put towards a business that was drastically declining while hoping that none of the many investor’s money would go to waste. As for Salzman, Musk and Tesla’s main investor, he declined one the investment round because it undervalued Tesla forcing Elon to continue taking loans. To handle not getting thrown out of the business while also generating funds for it without the help of Salzman, Musk funded it as a debt round because he knew that VantagePoint wouldn’t interfere with debt (Quora, 2015). His ability to keep going although he was drowning in loans and his funds were low shows that Elon Musk can handle conflict in the time of need and as he did in 2008.
What exactly is an obstacle? “ Hinderous, problem, or hurdle that gets in the way of followers and makes it difficult for followers to reach their goal.” Musk faced many obstacle not only being the CEO of Tesla but also SpaceX. Alex Davis, from Business Insider puts it perfectly by saying owning both companies he has to handle many challenges “like broken-down cars, economic collapses, and failed rockets.” ( Davis, 2013 ) Being the automotive business, it is very expensive and comes with multiple risks factors. Although, “Elon Musk was the second entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley who managed to create three companies with the market cap of more than $1 billion.” ( Elon, 2018) there was still a history of failure.
According to Success magazine, "the first three rockets built by SpaceX produced crash-and-burn videos." In 2008, Tesla nearly collapsed during the financial crisis. These obstacles did not stop him but motivated him to persevere through and save his companies. Through the rough patches it showed Musk’s leadership. Path-goal-theory is a great example of techniques he used in his leadership style and dealing with negative obstacles. Path- goal- theory involves four different leadership skills. Musk demonstrates participative and supportive leadership very well. Many say Musk is introverted, yet he gets individuals to succeed and excel. Musk does not work 40 hour weeks, he works 80 hour weeks and is known for being a taskmaster. He pushes his employee to the highest and believes in working hard and not stopping. Some believe he works them too hard and it has been said that working for Elon Musk can be extremely stressful. Although, it can be stressful, Musk is very motivating and knows that pushing his team can be hard on their end but in the long run will be rewarding and successful. ( Feloni, 2014) Although there are many obstacles a good businessman like Musk must overcome, that’s what makes him successful and a excellent leader.
1. How important do you believe it is to be task-oriented and relationship-orientated? How would you describe Musk?
It is important to be a task oriented in certain situation where the company's objectives to be achieved. The rules and policies are framed by these leaders by themselfs and also for the employees, then clearly defined to employees whta they have to pwerform in order to achieve a particular task. So that employees get clear ideas and only to follow the directions given by their leaders. This usually results in high productivity and good quality.
In reationship oriented they can understand the importance and needs of their employees. So that they usedd to concentrate in motivation and for their team members well being for the effectiveness of work which finally results in productivity and quality. Mostly employees are allowed to participate in decision making. The ideas and inputs also accepted by the superiors from employees. At the same time the leader one who is having strong leadership to control, maintain the positivity among employees and for the overall performance.
Hence both the leadership style is most important to manage business situation.
2. Why do you think Musk is successful in overcoming obstacles and handling conflict? How do you overcome obstacles in influencing individuals in your life?
Elon musk believed both the leadership styles to be important to achieve best results. And he faces many obstacles at that time he followed Path -goal theory which he leads with negative obstacles. He wont work for more hours but he works for less hours. Even though he is more task oriented he also knew the importance of motivating his employees. He pushes his employees to work hard at the same time they knew it end with successful and rewarded. Hence he is most successful in overcoming his toughest obstacles.
In my life, i overcome with relationship oriented still it gives me good relationship at the end and participative style. By discussing with the individuals about the issues or obstacles and by motivation the individuals and by myself i can overcome the negative obstacles.
3. Besides the personality traits given in chapter 2, what other traits attribute to a great leader?
There are dfferent leadership traits in business world.
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