Elon Musk is a famous entrepreneur and innovator who co-founded Tesla and PayPal. However, he sold the PayPal company for $1.5 billion. Additionally, he also co-founded SpaceX and Neuralink and founded the Boring company. All his foundations have made a greater impact in the world today. Currently, he is the CEO of the two companies, Tesla and SpaceX. He has the goal to open up space for humanity. Elon says his main goal is to get humanity to Mars before his death. He also refers to himself as an entrepreneur and engineer who develops and operates companies to tackle social, environmental, and economic problems. This paper discusses the background, education, aviation innovations, management successes and styles, and failures of Elon Musk as a CEO.
Backgrounds and Education
Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. (Tran et al., 2020). His mother, Maye Musk, is a model from Canada, and his father, Errol Musk, is an engineer from South Africa (Tran et al., 2020). Elon showed a talent for innovation and computers at an early age when he was still young. When he was just ten years old, he discovered the Commodore VIC-20, and at 12 years, he made a video game at 12 years, which was bought by a computer magazine (Khan, 2021). He started school in Pretoria and moved to Canada after high school in 1989. He studied at several universities where he got a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After moving to California in 1995 at the age of 24, Elon Musk joined Stanford University for his Ph.D. in physics, only to drop out after two days to start his own business in sustainable business, internet, and space (Muegge & Reid, 2019). The business grew four years later, and Elon sold it to Compaq at $300 million. By 2002 he had already become an American citizen and continued with his inventions.
Inventions in Aviation
Elon Musk has had a great impact on innovation and inventions generally. In aviation specifically, he has an aerospace company just as famous as his automobiles. In 2002, he cofounded Space X’s Falcon 1 and 9 rockets which are reusable to help in minimizing space transportation costs and allow mars colonization (Muegge & Reid, 2019). The business has completed six cargo resupply flights to the International Space Station (ISS) and has been given a NASA contract to build a spaceship capable of transporting crew members to and from the ISS. The Space X invention is what he aimed at developing so that he could put humanity on Mars. Lately, Elon Musk has started working on the electric jet project. He wants to develop a supersonic jet that can vertically take off and uses an electric motor to turn a fun, propelling the aircraft. Such planes are projected not to require a long runway; hence they will require smaller airports.
Management Styles and Successes
Elon Musk uses the transformational leadership style, which focuses on promoting positivity in the world (Khan, 2021). He is action-oriented. Instead of just sitting and coming up with philosophies and theories to change the world, Elon outlines and executes a strategy that makes this vision a reality achievable through hard work. For example, at Tesla, the management style focuses on meeting the company’s goals. There is more emphasis on delivering abilities because for the business to survive and grow to fulfill its vision of Musk, the team members need to meet the objectives. Elon musk focuses on hard work to achieve a meaningful purpose to continue setting a constant improvement. He is also a visionary man and wants to unite his team to achieve those objectives. With a transformational managerial style, he has managed to succeed in the inventions of PayPal, the Boring Company, Zip 2, X.com, Apace X, and Tesla companies (Muegge & Reid, 2019). Currently, he is the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla automobiles. He has managed to achieve much success due to his effective managerial style.
Elon musk also has some failures that he has faced in his life over time as he struggles to better humanity and live the best life that he can through different innovations and inventions. First, there will be the first robotics by 2020. Musk promised with the launch of Tesla 3 in 2019 that the electric car model would be used in the future for an automatic ‘taxi fleet.’ The cars were to generate income for their users by transporting other individuals on autopilots in cities (Tran et al., 2020). He had promised that the company would have millions of these electric cars, but there was not even one manufactured electric car by 2020. The autopilot technology requires constant human technology supervision to work fully and efficiently. Secondly, there is the hyperloop of the Boring Company, which was also a failure (Khan 2021). It referred to a new system of transportation that has a wide logistical and social problems variety. The hyperloop was a solution for car traffic overwhelming the American cities. However, it was a failure since it is expensive to build, can only carry a few people at a time, and is more prone to accidents compared to the subway.
Elon Musk is an ambitious entrepreneur, innovator, and business nan focused on making a huge impact on humanity before he dies. So far, he has made a significant contribution through the invention of the electric cars through his automobile company Tesla and the invention of the Space X rockets, which are a whole new development for the aviation sector. Elon musk has achieved great success through using an effective managerial style where he focuses on bettering all humanity and not just himself. In addition to Elon Musk being hardworking in his work, he is also a genius and workaholic individual. However, Elon Musk also had some failures in his work, which means that he is human since all of us make mistakes. With all that said, I believe Elon Musk will achieve his goal of putting humanity on mars as predicted before he dies.
Khan, M. (2021). A critical analysis of Elon Musk’s leadership in Tesla motors. Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40497-021-00284-z
Muegge, S., & Reid, E. (2019). Elon Musk and SpaceX: A Case Study of Entrepreneuring as Emancipation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 9(8), 18–29. https://doi.org/10.22215/timreview/1258
Tran, B., Zhang, D., Gafly, M. A., Akhter, T., Lilithcleopatra, J., Daim, T. U., & Meissner, D. (2020). Elon Musk Transportation Projects. In Innovation Management in the Intelligent World (pp. 213-232). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58301-9_14