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What It's Really Like to Work for Elon Musk

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell gave some insight into her working relationship with Musk

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Once you get your idea off the ground and start running your company day to day, you want to do everything you can to inspire your employees to do great things.

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SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwel

In conversation at the 2018 TED Conference in Vancouver this week, SpaceX’s President Gwynne Shotwell revealed what SpaceX and Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is like as a boss.  

Related: 25 Weird Things We've Learned About Elon Musk

Shotwell has worked with Musk for almost 16 years, and shared that she enjoys her work with him due to his sense of humor and his motivational presence.

She also characterized her role at the company as one that helps her fellow employees get “comfortable” with executing on Musk’s big swings. Shotwell explained that over the decade-plus of her tenure at SpaceX, she’s had to learn that her default position should always be to think bigger.

"When Elon says something, you have to pause and not blurt out 'Well, that's impossible,'" Shotwell noted. "You zip it, you think about it, and you find ways to get it done. I've always felt like my job was to take these ideas and turn them into company goals, to make them achievable."

Nina Zipkin

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Entrepreneur Staff

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.