Why Elon Musk Hates Meetings
He called them a 'blight' on effective company operations.
Whether a meeting is a dramatic negotiation or a time suck, they are an aspect of business that are tough to avoid. One business leader who really isn’t a fan? Elon Musk, whose days have recently consisted of sleeping on his factory floor and skipping showers as he endeavors to get Model 3 production back on track.
In an email about the current plans to stem the production woes that was obtained by automotive news site Electrek, Musk laid out his top productivity tips to help streamline the process. Chief among them: no meetings if you can help help it.
“Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of [sic] all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short,” Musk wrote. He also urged his employees to do away with frequent meetings unless something is truly urgent. Once is the problem is solved, the meetings should stop too.
For all those people who wish that they could banish conference calls completely, this tip is for you: “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value,” Musk advised. “It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”
Apparently, Musk isn’t the only one who has adopted this tack. In something of a high stakes brainwave, President Donald Trump recently said of a planned upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that, "If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting."
Musk also noted that when it comes to communication, that if a manager is favoring the “chain of command” over transmitting the information in a timely fashion to the person most able to solve the problem, then that person would quickly be out of a job.
“In general, always pick common sense as your guide,” Musk wrote. “If following a 'company rule' is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.”
Have you ever walked out of a meeting?— Entrepreneur (@Entrepreneur) April 19, 2018
Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.