Elon Musk – A Leader who has led a Change Effort Essay

A Leader who has led a Change Effort – Elon Musk


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Elon Musk is an inspirational leader who is the founder and CEO of three revolutionary companies which include space x, Tesla, and the Boring company. He can implement changes in his organization to direct the employees toward a desirable goal which is why he could become the wealthiest person in the world. He created a change effort that was propelled by driving concepts that helped initiate the change. For a changer effort to be effective, the leader has to play a critical role which, in the case of Musk, was an inspirational role. According to Kotter, in leading change, a leader needs to communicate the change to ensure its success which is a concept that Musk kept active and open in his companies. The technological change effort was revolutionary since it introduced highly functional concepts that the world needs to adopt.

The main change effort driver in Elon Musk’s case is his mindset which pushes the need to be revolutionary to provide quality life and safety. He set out to revolutionize three industries in the technological spectrum (Mair, 2016). The other change effort driver is to increase the safety associated with daily human activities (Franken, 2009). The other driver for Musk is improving and taking care of the environment, reducing greenhouse emissions by creating electric cars. This means that Tesla vehicles will not contribute to carbon emissions, making the cars friendly to the environment, which is a desirable direction for the industry making them pioneers of the functional concept.

The vital role that Elon Musk had to take to ensure that his organization was geared toward the change effort is that he led by example. This means that he understood the need for the change in all three industries, then introducing the concept to his team and making sure they are invested in the need for the change so that they all are prepared to adapt to unfamiliar territory. Finally, Musk employed exemplary talent to help him develop a plan toward the vision he had to be practical and easy for his team to implement.

Elon Musk does not favor group meetings. He believes they are a waste of employee time, and he has suggested that the staff communicates directly to the person the information is intended for. He only recommends a meeting for emergencies which is how he introduced the change effort to the staff so that they are on board with his vision for the organization (Kotter, 2012). After he only met with critical specialists personally to discuss their role in the change, which he found compelling and saved time for the rest of the employees to continue with their duties. This type of communication is effective. It kept the communication line open so that anyone with a relevant concern about the change can approach the necessary person for clarification immediately instead of waiting for a meeting to get clarification (Kotter, 1996). Elon Musk combined a team meeting with one-on-one communication to help address any issues and to keep them on track toward the organization’s goal.

Elon Musk is keen and selective on who is hired in the organization to shape its culture. The culture most evident in the three organizations is the innovation culture, where all employees are challenged to come up with ideas that will help the organization lead the market (Muwara, 2018). Musk hires highly talented people with vast knowledge in their fields and is not afraid to experiment with their ideas, searching for a revolutionary concept. This culture has contributed to the success of the change effort, which is why we are familiar with the exceptional work done by space X and Tesla.

Elon musk was focused on a technological change effort to revolutionize his industries of concern. Having change effort drivers is crucial to ensure that the leader is focused on the result and can inspire the personnel to adopt the change. The leader is the central focus in the change effort, and they have to communicate with their team to make sure that everyone understands their role in the change. Elon Musk leads by example and can set standards that the employees can follow.


Franken, A., Edwards, C., & Lambert, R. (2009). Executing strategic change: Understanding the critical management elements that lead to success. California Management Review51(3), 49-73.

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review.

Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Harvard business press.

Mair, M. (2016). Enlightened entrepreneurship: the success of Elon Musk.

Muwara, D., & Uddin, K. (2018). A Critical review on Leadership: A Case Study on Elon Musk’s Leadership Style.