A creator, an innovator, a visionary; these words don’t even begin to describe who Elon Musk is. CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, chairman of SolarCity, co-chairman of OpenAI, co-founder of Zip2, and co-founder of PayPal; Elon’s success story seems almost too good to be true!
His ideas and concepts (SpaceX, for instance) look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. It takes amazing level of confidence to be as extraordinarily ambitious as he is.
He has left all of us wondering; what’s the secret of his success? Most importantly what does he has to be say about career, success, and the world of business? We all want to know.
Below are some of the most inspiring quotes by him that will give a lot of food for your brain. Managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in particular should listen to his pearls of wisdom –
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
Feedback fosters communication. And when people are communicating regularly, they are more aware of project’s current status. Also, feedback sharing facilitates an exchange of knowledge and more room for improvement.
“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
This is the only antidote to procrastination, which majority of us struggle with. Persistence and perseverance are the keys to success in life. Because often we end up giving just when we were almost near to the goal.
“It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.”
Project managers in particular should take this advise seriously. Employing way too many people to do a job is only going to make it more complex. More number of people is never a replacement for talent. One skilled person who knows what he/she is doing is way better than two who are clueless.
“A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. I just happen to be the face of the companies.”
It’s the people that make a company. And a company is only as good as those working for it feel about it. Project managers need to always remember that it’s humans working for them; not robots. Feeling good about being associated with the brand name is important.
“If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial.”
You know what they say – there are no small roles, only small actors. For a true leader, no job is ever too menial. The most important thing in a project is meeting with the deadlines. And that may sometimes translate into breaking the shackles of hierarchy and doing what is not expected of you.
“Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s clearly not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution.”
Sometimes we ignore the fact that there’s a problem because that would imply dealing with an unpleasant situation. Admit it when a problem has begun to creep in and be quick in implementing corrective measures. Otherwise it won’t be long before a series of small issues starts making big impacts.
“It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable.”
This applies to everyone who is part of professional world. Every job has a dynamic aspect. You’re never functioning alone. You are always in interaction with people. And interactions will be at their best when there’s harmony in professional relations. Any sort of sourness in relationship with those around you is eventually going to impact the quality of your days.
“Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell.”
Simply having a product that sells is not enough. In order to keep innovating and keep refining the product you are going to need people who are driven towards success, determined, and allowed to think outside of the box. Innovation is the only thing that will avoid you and your product from falling into a rut.
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
Embracing change; that one is the most important of all. Nobody likes change. But things happen for a reason. And, while you may not see it in that very moment, just stay assured you will be thankful for it later on.
“You have to be pretty driven to make it happen. Otherwise, you will just make yourself miserable.”
True that! In fact I would say that being driven to succeed is probably a bigger trait than talent. There’s no lack of talented people. What companies lack is people who are driven.
“My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”
If it’s coming from one of the most ambitious and successful entrepreneurs, then it must be right. I think it’s about time companies worked on retaining good-hearted people.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
Establishing a sustainable habitat on Mars. That’s the level of impossible that Elon has set his mind to achieve. If he can be determined about something with this magnitude of complexity, I’m sure it shouldn’t be too hard for managers to fight the odds against what sometimes may seem like impossible to achieve.
“Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.”
Patience is a rare commodity. Definitely one of the toughest things to practice, it’s is something that can take you a long way not just career wise, but in every aspect of life. It’s often impatience that makes people give-up midway or just when they were real close to the finishing line.
Although, there are a lot of Elon Musk quotes floating around on the internet. But, these are some of my favorites and most interesting ones. Hopefully, they will give you some direction career-wise and bring about a positive change in your professional life.
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Image Credit: Ted Conference on Flickr