Leading Tesla: Here's why Elon Musk has a 98% approval rating from his staff

This week, Elon Musk received another accolade. He was recognized as one of the top CEOs in the world based on his insanely high 98% approval rating with jobs-website, Glassdoor*. What are his employees saying? “Insanely intense magic,” “challenging but highly rewarding,” and “a family like relationship.” Recognized for his work as CEO at SpaceX, Musk also (somehow) finds time to run Tesla [NASDAQ: TSLA] as well. 


Above: Musk has been the inspiring leader of both SpaceX and Tesla (Image: Marketwatch)

In an exclusive interview with Glassdoor*, Musk gives some great advice. How to lead: "Your title makes you a manager but your people make you a leader." Increasing productivity: "I’d say focus on signal over noise." Advice for leaders: "Hire great people…this is 90% of the solution as hiring wrong can cost you so much." What's most important to a CEO: "To be doing something that is useful to the rest of society."


Above: Elon Musk confers with staff at SpaceX (Image: Glassdoor*)

There were more pearls of wisdom. Musk explained his morning routine: "Deal with critical emails for 30 minutes; Say goodbye to the kids when they go off to school; Shower; Drive to work; Have mostly engineering and design discussions." And how does Musk spend his free time: "Burning Man, playing team first-person shooters with my kids, movies, hanging out with friends, occasional wild parties."

Above: A look at how Elon Musk spends his time (Image: Quartz)

Just how dedicated is Musk? "My desk is at the end of the production line," Musk said during a Tesla earnings call last year. "I have a sleeping bag in a conference room next to the production line that I use quite frequently." But, the Iron Man also believes that some sleep is necessary: "The right number for me is around 6 to 6.5 hours per night." Too little could be counterproductive, "because my mental acuity would be affected."


Above: A deeper look into Musk's approach to productivity (Youtube: CNBC Make It)

Apparently Musk has scaled back his workweek from a grueling 100 hours after launching his companies to a more tolerable “80 to 90 hours per week.” To sustain the pace, caffeine has been his co-pilot. At its peak, Inc. reportsMusk’s habit consisted of eight cans of Diet Coke and several large cups of coffee daily. “I got so freaking jacked that I seriously started to feel like I was losing my peripheral vision,” he says. Musk claims he has cut back: “Now, the office has caffeine-free Diet Coke.” 


*Source: Glassdoor