With a Single Tweet, Elon Musk Just Gave a Master Class in Effective Leadership

April 4, 20175min

Last week, SpaceX made history. Then, Elon Musk showed us what great communication looks like.

Last week, SpaceX successfully launched and recovered its first recycled rocket, Falcon 9. As CNN reported, this is “the first time in the history of spaceflight that the same rocket has been used on two separate missions to orbit.”

The day after this historic accomplishment, Musk went on Twitter to deliver the following message:

The tweet is only 19 words, but it packs a major punch. And it holds some important lessons for anyone who is leading a team.

Here are two major takeaways:

1. Focus on your team’s accomplishments. Not your own.

It would be easy for Musk, the founder and driving force behind SpaceX, to take credit for this achievement.

Instead, he focuses on his team.

It’s sincere, specific praise like this that motivates employees, makes them feel like part of the team, and builds an environment where the whole becomes much stronger than the sum of its parts. (Musk isn’t the only one to figure this out. Just check out this recent letter from Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, or this old email from ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.)

So how can you put this into practice?

Take a moment today to gather your team. Tell them what you appreciate about their work and why. Keep it real.

Do this, and your people will go on to accomplish great things–because you convinced them that they could.

2. Keep moving forward.

Musk does a great job of recognising the accomplishment, but he’s not satisfied to sit and bask in the glory–and he doesn’t want his people to do so either.

By immediately stating SpaceX’s next goal, Musk demonstrates a mindset of continuous improvement. He also shows us what clear, unambiguous communication looks like.

If you’re leading a team, you need to:

  • Maintain a clear vision, and set the milestones that will lead the team to bring that vision to fruition
  • Keep challenging your people to the right degree, because they’re looking for opportunities to grow

Your people are capable of great work. The leader’s job is to show them which way to go, and to keep them on course.

As Musk demonstrates, great communication isn’t made up of long, drawn-out speeches.

In fact, a single tweet can go a very long way.

Written by: Justin Bariso

Source: Inc.com

Successful leaders get recognition. The lessons and initiatives presented along with the thought processes behind these successful organisations can be seen in the case study we’ve prepared exclusively for you.

CXM Editorial Team

CXM Editorial Team

Published for all CX professionals, the digital Customer Experience Magazine is packed full of industry news, blogs, features, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience. CXM will help you learn what makes an outstanding customer experience that wins both awards and the hearts of customers. And sometimes we share some cool music as well.

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Paul Ainsworth

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
Tel: +44 20 86385584

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN


Find a job in customer support with Jobsora