Working with Elon Musk is apparently quite an inspiring experience.
On Quora, SpaceX employee Dolly Singh answered the question, “What is it like to work with Elon Musk?”
She gives a long story about SpaceX’s first rocket launch. It had technical problems, and people were feeling demoralized.
As soon as the launch was done, Singh says he spoke to SpaceX’s ~300 employees and said something to the effect of, “We knew this was going to be hard, it is after all rocket science; then listed the half dozen or so countries who had failed to even successfully execute a first stage flight and get to outer space, a feat we had accomplished successfully that day.”
He followed that by saying, “We need to pick ourselves up, and dust ourselves off, because we have a lot of work to do … For my part, I will never give up and I mean never.”
Singh says, “I think most of us would have followed him into the gates of hell carrying suntan oil after that. It was the most impressive display of leadership that I have ever witnessed. Within moments the energy of the building went from despair and defeat to a massive buzz of determination as people began to focus on moving forward instead of looking back.”
She says, “Working with him isn’t a comfortable experience, he is never satisfied with himself so he is never really satisfied with anyone around him. He pushes himself harder and harder and he pushes others around him the exact same way.
“The challenge is that he is a machine and the rest of us aren’t. So if you work for Elon you have to accept the discomfort. But in that discomfort is the kind of growth you can’t get anywhere else, and worth every ounce of blood and sweat.”
Singh leads talent acquisition at SpaceX, so she’s naturally going to be as positive about Musk as possible. However, another anonymous user backs her up, saying he’s an “amazing visionary” who is “crazy smart”.
This person worked with Musk through Tesla and says, “He focuses on getting work done, executing to plan, and driving positive change. And nobody at Tesla had more skin in the game than Elon. I’d choose to follow him over any big talker with empty promises.”
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