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Four ways Elon Musk activates ‘beast mode’ to succeed
Posted on January 07, 2020 by Matt Pressman
It's not slang anymore — beast mode just got added to the dictionary. The definition: "Beast mode refers to a state of performing something, especially difficult activities, with extreme power, skill, or determination... a person can unleash their 'inner beast' and destroy any obstacles in their way." Who embodies this characteristic? In business: Tesla's Elon Musk.
Above: Elon Musk closely examines a FANUC robot at Tesla's Fremont factory (Flickr: Steve Jurvetson)
In sports: NFL's Marshawn Lynch. And of course, Lynch says his favorite car is a Tesla. I'm sure Elon is proud. Musk even plays "Beast Mode" (by Ludacris) before his calls with the press. But there's more to it than rap music. How does Elon activate beast mode to face off against Big Auto's behemoths? CNBC Make It recently identified four ways Elon Musk is able to continuously crush it.
If Elon Musk wants something, his laser-like focus is unbreakable. The man is persistent. “He would call very insistently,” Justine Musk, Elon’s first wife, told Musk's biographer Ashlee Vance about her time dating Musk back in college.
Justine goes on to explain: “You always knew it was Elon because the phone would never stop ringing. The man does not take no for an answer. You can’t blow him off. I do think of him as the Terminator. He locks his gaze on to something and says, ‘it shall be mine.'"
Justine says Musk would also compare his grades with hers in college. She and Musk took the same abnormal psychology class, and after an exam, Justine received a 97, Musk a 98. “He went back to the professor, and talked his way into the two points he lost and got a hundred,” says Justine in Vance's biography. “It felt like we were always competing.”
Above: "Elon Musk is a beast," says the producer of this popular YouTube channel which counts nearly one million subscribers (YouTube: MulliganBrothers)
Musk's roommate in college, Navaid Farooq, also says Elon went head-to-head with classmates when it came to test scores. After an economics exam, Musk, Farooq and their classmates compared notes to try to estimate their exam scores, when it became clear that Musk had a much better handle on the material than the rest. “This was a group of fairly high achievers, and Elon stood way outside the bell curve,” Farooq said.
Filter out distractions
"When Elon gets into something, he develops just this different level of interest in it than other people,” says Farooq. “This is what differentiates Elon from the rest of humanity.” Farooq recalled when strategy video game Civilization was released in 1991, the two spent hours playing together. “Elon could lose himself for hours on end,” Farooq said.
According to Farooq, Elon’s intensity was a “constant” during the pair’s long friendship, even beyond video games. He explains, “We were the kinds of people that can be by ourselves at a party and not feel awkward. We can think to ourselves and not feel socially awkward about it.” Research, it turns out, has linked the ability to filter out distracting information to high intelligence.
Elon Musk isn't the kind of CEO that relaxes on golf vacations while delegating the difficult tasks. In 2018, Musk told Recode's Kara Swisher that he was busy working 120 hours a week in a remarkable effort to ramp up Model 3 production at Tesla's Fremont factory.
“There were times when, some weeks ... I haven’t counted exactly, but I would just sort of sleep for a few hours, work, sleep for a few hours, work, seven days a week. Some of those days must have been 120 hours or something nutty,” Musk said. Hard work, bold risks, and beast mode are paying off. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk has completely captivated the internet.