Elon Musk is one of the most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs in the global business environment. Musk, a South African-born American, rose to the hall of fame in 2012 when he launched a rocket through his SpaceX frontier. However, his entrepreneurial journey can be traced to X.com, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors. I chose Musk because of his risky business decisions that demonstrates his passion for all his business entities. Unlike many business executives, Musk would not associate with a firm that does not promote his vision in the corporate world. I chose him in this assessment to demonstrate his impact on many young people in the U.S. and beyond. Many millennials embrace his ideals and keenly follow his entrepreneurial playbook with the hope of utilizing his trade secrets to accomplish their desired goals and objectives. Therefore, analyzing Musk’s entrepreneurial journey and sharing his high and low moments will not only fulfill the expectations of this task but also will highlight the approaches people can use to overcome hindrances in their surroundings.
Historical Background of the Leader
Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. As a child, his parents were affected by his state, which consisted of a lot of talk about inventions and other aspects of technology. At the time, the technological world was experiencing a stunted growth, as firms focused on improving manufacturing infrastructure and other industrial activities. However, by the time his parents were divorcing, Musk took the opportunity to teach himself how to code at the age of 10 (Neklessa, 2018). Two years later, Musk had developed his first game and sold it to a potential buyer. Given his troubled childhood, Musk indicated that he was an easy target for other children who took advantage of his height and shyness to bully him. At 17, Musk moved to Canada where he attained the country’s citizenship before shifting to the U.S. to pursue business and physics programs at the University of Pennsylvania. He would later enroll for a PhD in Energy Physics before dropping to leverage the internet boom where he launched his first company, Zip2 Corporation in 1995.
After Zip2 Corporation was acquired by Compaq Computer Corporation for $307 million. Elon Musk cofounded X.com, which would later become PayPal after disposing it, with Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne, and Ed Ho in 1999. In the following year, Musk’s online bank was approached by Confinity, Inc., which hoped to cash in from the elaborate payment system. After the merger, X.com transitioned to become PayPal, which was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion (Easto, 2017). It is believed that X.com was the world’s first online bank, which paved way for the revolutionary digital banking practice, which has improved the overall banking experience in the U.S. and beyond. In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX to facilitate the ambitions of developing a reliable commercial space travel operation. One year later, Musk introduced Tesla Motors to the world, where he oversees all design and engineering processes leading to the manufacture of Roadster, Model S, and Model 3 among others. 2016 saw Elon Musk found Solar City and The Boring Company in 2017, which have helped diversify the entrepreneur’s business portfolio.
Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial spirit is highly encouraging because of the outcomes attributed by his vision in the business environment. Musk is committed to his businesses and takes calculated risks, which enable him to maximize his outcomes in the business environment.
Passion for Tech
Musk’s passion for technology and innovation exceeds any other aspect of life. He has dedicated his time to non-profit entities that champion for the realization of favorable outcomes that benefit the technological world (Gilson & Abbott, 2017). Musk takes the necessary measures to develop feasible solutions that respond to various problems affecting the lifestyles of individuals. At Tesla and other companies owned by Musk, individuals are highly encouraged to embrace innovation to develop unique products that meet the changing needs of individuals in their surroundings.
Elon Musk is a leader many people relate with because of his unrivalled commitment and dedication towards his projects. His ability to lead by example influences the thought processes of other individuals and exposes them to an environment where they can pursue different projects that focus on fulfilling their desired goals and objectives. Besides, Musk’s personal values and aura influence other people to shift their attitudes towards investments and realign their ambitions in a move that enhance their productivity in the business environment.
Elon Musk’s leadership style can be best described as transformational because of his nature of interactions with other people in his surroundings. Musk believes in failure and its role in realizing desired outcomes in the workplace. Compared to other business executives who focus on perfection in the business environment, Musk’s ability to innovate and share his ideas with other professionals exposes him to an environment where he can influence the thought process of other individuals in his surroundings (Leary & Ashman, 2017). In the same vein, Musk’s ability to inspire other people by making them believe in his vision yields to favorable outcomes that are manifested by the successful nature of his corporations and different projects in the technological world. His ability to act fast on information defines his ambition, which serves as a compass to other individuals in the corporate world.
Transformational leaders idealize their influence and involve other people in their goals, a move that creates an enabling environment for the realization of desired outcomes in their surroundings. Instead of commanding respect from their team, transformational leaders earn it through their communication and perspectives towards resolving various problems that emerge in the business environment. In the same vein, transformational leaders stimulate people’s intelligence by creating unforeseen scenarios that guide individuals towards the development of unique solutions that respond to the market changes and other incidents in the business environment. This way, it becomes easier for individuals to accomplish their desired goals and objectives in the workplace because of the consistent source of inspiration from their leaders.
In the modern workplace, company managers embrace different leadership models that spearhead their interactions with other people in the workplace. By embracing this style of leadership, managers listen to the concerns of their employees and develop appropriate measures that respond to the emerging issues affecting their ability to achieve their goals. In the same vein, servant leaders demonstrate empathy, self-awareness, and persuasion, which yields favourable outcomes in the contemporary environment. A close look at Elon Musk’s leadership style and interaction with employees demonstrates a minimal aspect of servant leadership because of the way he expects employees to function and align their interests with his vision (Archwell & Mason, 2021). Despite his ability to influence the thought process of employees, Musk has a strict work ethic that requires workers to commit towards the development of his desired outcomes.
I love Elon Musk’s ability to venture into unthinkable business fortunes where many people express a strong dissent because of its inability to yield favorable outcomes in the business environment. However, his ambitions exceed those of many company executives in the tech industry, who might be afraid to take risks and venture into a series of innovations that disrupt the market. Notably, I relate with Musk’s passion for innovation and his commitment to solve modern problems through technology. His ability to connect with many individuals in the workplace and beyond exposes him to an environment where he can understand different issues affecting the thought process of individuals in their surroundings. Given the changing nature of individuals, there is a need to examine the different aspects of Musk’s leadership that can shape my managerial skills and experience.
Analyzing Musk’s entrepreneurial journey and sharing his high and low moments will not only fulfill the expectations of this task but also will highlight the approaches people can use to overcome hindrances in their surroundings. On many occasions, Musk has surprised the world with his commitment to unusual inventions, which have made his ambitious ideas stand out from those of other executives in the technology industry. Given his ability to influence the masses, Musk has built a name for himself and his technological innovations that have solved different problems affecting individuals in their immediate environment. This way, Musk’s contribution to the world through his leadership skills and experience have had a significant impact on my thought process and attitudes towards business.
Archwell, D., & Mason, J. (2021). Evaluating Corporate Leadership in The United States: A Review of Elon Musk Leadership. African Journal of Emerging Issues, 3(2), 1-10.
Easto, J. (Ed.). (2017). Rocket man: Elon Musk in his own words. Agate Publishing.
Gilson, S. C., & Abbott, S. (2017). Tesla Motors (A): Financing Growth. Harvard Business School case study (218-033).
Leary, T., & Ashman, J. (2018). Narcissistic leadership: Important considerations and practical implications. International Leadership Journal, 10(2), 62-74.
Neklessa, A. I. (2018). The Crises of History. The World as an Unfinished Project. Polis. Political Studies, 1(1), 80-95.
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