Elon Musk just gave himself a new title.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Musk described himself as a “nano-manager.”
It’s a wonderfully scientific descriptor for his management style.
While other leaders might have a reputation as micro-managers, Musk said he’s a nano-manager. In scientific pursuits, micro- means a thousandth of something, while nano- means a billionth. In essence, Musk is saying that he’s exponentially more hands-on than the average boss.
“I have OCD on product-related issues,” he told the Journal. “I always see what’s … wrong. Would you want that? When I see a car or a rocket or spacecraft, I only see what’s wrong.”
“I never see what’s right,” he continued. “It’s not a recipe for happiness.”
Musk is famous for his high standards, the kind that helped make the Tesla Roadster and the Model S so eye-catching. He has a reputation for always being the smartest guy in the room, no matter if it’s filled with engineers, designers, or finance professionals.
It makes for a demanding work environment.
“You can always tell when someone’s left an Elon meeting: they’re defeated,” wrote a Quora user claiming to be a SpaceX engineer. “[Musk] won’t hesitate to throw out six months of work because it’s not pretty enough or it’s not ‘badass’ enough.”
That’s the nature of a performance-pushing reality distortion field.
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