Elon Musk is a man who dreams big. Getting humans to Mars and weaning the world from fossil fuels is not exactly easy to achieve Goal. Can Musk make that happen? It remains to be seen. By all accounts, he is making some serious progress. Carmine Gallo at Inc. recently attempted to outline Musk’s three key steps needed to accomplish the impossible.
It turns out that Eric Berger, author of Liftoff, had unprecedented access to Musk and dozens of SpaceX employees, many of whom are still in the company today. Inc.‘s Gallo teamed up with Berger to better understand how Musk inspired his SpaceX employees during the company’s “desperate early days” to do what no one thought was possible.
According to Gallo, in the early days of SpaceX, “Musk’s [far out] vision of getting to Mars was ‘insanely hard’ and almost impossible. But it was not quite impossible. The challenge motivated scientists and engineers to figure out a way to do it. ”
People often overestimate what they can achieve in a year (Musk is guilty of missing out on many self-imposed deadlines), but they underestimate what they achieve in a decade. By keeping his team focused on the big picture, Musk made sure that his employees never forgot what they were striving for, ”notes Gallo.
Celebrate small victories
After formulating the big vision, Musk drilled down and “kept his team focused on achieving one step after another. Musk found ways to challenge engineers. For example, Musk promised a researcher working on computer simulations that he would buy a frozen yogurt machine for the office if the employee reached an ambitious deadline. Musk lost the effort. The yoghurt machine is still in the cafeteria at SpaceX headquarters, ”Gallo quotes.
Gallo notes, “Successful entrepreneurs know that the only way to grow big is to take small steps. So take small steps even if the final destination is difficult to reach. And be sure to celebrate every victory. ”
When you are knocked down, you must come back
Musk is a relentless optimist who refuses to accept defeat. “After the failure of the first rocket launch, SpaceX’s 300 employees felt demoralized, but Musk was able to make a sharp change in their attitude,” Gallo said.
“First, Musk offered perspective. He told them about other iconic rockets that had failed their early tests. Second, he focused on what was going right and praised the team for the performance of the rocket’s main engine, its aviation system and more. Musk concluded, ‘SpaceX is in this for the long term, and come hell or high water, we’re going to make this work.’ “
Gallo says: “An employee said that even if the initial launch failed, they would go through walls for Musk after listening to his pep talk.”
Originally posted on EVANNEX.
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