The Lesson Of Elon Musk: There Is No Lesson From Elon Musk

What a relief to be able to stop your next board meeting’s planned strategy session about defending the $50 billion in options you gave your CEO!

Are you getting an email in-box full of Elon Musk each morning? I am. PR pitches about takeaways from the pay showdown. Auto-generated updates from his latest Twitter moves. Management consultants with essential lessons (My favorite subject line: “Expert: Musk is not putting his people first.” You think?) And the endless, endless headlines from every publication chronicling every one of the Days of Musk’s Lives.

Through it all, I keep seeking the big, applicable takeaway for other business leaders in what we’re witnessing unfold. Is it: If you have a one of a kind genius running your company, you need to be careful with not letting them have $50 billion in options? Um, probably not. How about: While your CEO is off resetting the communication standards for hundreds of millions of people while democracy teeters in the balance, make sure it is SASB compliant? Nope, that doesn’t seem to nail it, either, does it?

That’s how, after very careful study, I’ve come to the radical conclusion that big lesson for other business leaders from the saga of Elon Musk is that there is no lesson.

Whew! What a relief. But just to be sure, a Quick Quiz. Is your CEO:

  • The richest man on earth.
  • In personal control of one of the most important communication nodes on the planet
  • The wildly successful creator of actual, real-live space ships
  • Ushering in a new era of human transportation based on electric motors and autonomous driving
  • All at the same time

If so, then yeah, you need to pay attention to Elon Musk because, well, you work for/with Elon Musk. But the rest of us? We’re off the hook!

What a relief to be able to stop your next board meeting’s planned strategy session about defending the $50 billion in options you gave your CEO in the hopes of keeping them focused amid interests that include colonizing Mars and taking over a global social media platform.

So be grateful this holiday season and take a moment each day to read with fascination about whatever Musk has done now, relaxing in the knowledge that you no longer need to seek the big lesson for your board. Whatever is happening in Muskville, it’s just fascinating and entertaining and on a planet all its own. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.

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