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I have been working for a creative agency for almost two years and I’m always happy whenever my boss thanks me or admires my work for him. Working for an agency that provides SEO services to grow every small business is not an easy task. You have to deal with people’s expectations and high hopes every day. For that reason, my boss’ compliment means a lot to me. I actually have my own business, and this is what makes me consider my employees’ feelings. I always put myself in their shoes. Doing this doesn’t make my business a failure; in fact, my employees do not only appreciate me more, they are also doing their best for my business to succeed. With this in mind, I suddenly thought of you. I have searched more examples to be shown to you so that you can learn from them and I found one. This time, it came from one of the world’s most popular entrepreneurs; Elon Musk, the leading man behind Tesla, SpaceX and OpenAI. Over the years he has been in the business, his successful life didn’t come easy. Challenges and obstacles are always in his way but he tackles every single one of them. Of course, he is aware of the fact that in order to tackle the hassle, he can’t do it alone. His employees, those behind his projects are also the ones who have helped him achieve his success and of course, he never forgets that. His recent email to his Tesla employees is the proof of Elon Musk’s outstanding leadership and maybe you can learn from him.

CEO Elon Musk sent an email in response to a report that showed injury rates in Tesla’s Fremont factory that were dangerously high the evoked his emotion to tell his employees that he cared about their safety. Here’s a part of his email:

No words can express how much I care about your safety and wellbeing. It breaks my heart when someone is injured building cars and trying their best to make Tesla successful.

Going forward, I’ve asked that every injury be reported directly to me, without exception. I’m meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured person as soon as they are well, so that I can understand from them exactly what we need to do to make it better. I will then go down to the production line and perform the same task that they perform.

This is what all managers at Tesla should do as a matter of course. At Tesla, we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower. Managers must always put their team’s safety above their own.

From his email above, we can see that while Musk doesn’t protect his employees, he connects with his employees instead through these lines:

  • He expresses his personal regret (“It breaks my heart“)
  • He demonstrates actions that show how he cares about them (“I’ve asked that every injury be reported to me… I would like to meet with every injured person… I will work on the production line“)
  • He defines the culture’s identity and makes it very clear (“At Tesla, we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower“)

Small words and small actions like that may not impact the whole safety procedures, but it proves that his cultural leadership is not about perfection, but it is more about connection. This connection is what strengthens a company. Once a company is built with trust, solidarity, strong friendship, faith and hope, a company will succeed. That’s what Elon Musk does. What would you do?