Elon Musk Is Bad at This – The Atlantic

With each passing day, Musk seems to be digging a deeper hole. This morning, to the dismay of many brand advertisers who strive to be apolitical, Musk used his 114-million-follower platform to endorse the Republican slate of candidates for tomorrow’s midterm elections. “The dude could’ve napped and saved billions of dollars,” Webb said. “Every decision he’s made has lost him money. It’s astonishing.”

This is awful, chaotic management. Johnathan and Melissa Nightingale, who run the Raw Signal Group, a consultancy that focuses on coaching managers in the technology industry, told me that Musk is putting on a master class in what not to do to run an effective organization. “Absolutely nothing he’s doing is cultivating an environment that helps people be creative, consistent, and innovative,” Melissa Nightingale said. For the employees who remain, Musk has created an atmosphere of panic and uncertainty, which destroys trust and leads to employee resentment. Musk has created a vast network of ex-employees who will go on to talk trash and share nightmare stories about Twitter. This is already backfiring spectacularly: Some of the employees had skills necessary to build products Musk actually wants to launch and were terminated by mistake, Bloomberg reported, and the company is trying to lure them back.

Had Musk listened to people with experience running social networks (like those I cited in this magazine two weeks ago), he might have understood that they are complex, fragile systems and that staff reductions must be managed carefully. But instead, Musk surrounded himself with a group of yes-men advisers, many of whom also lack specific expertise. These men and Musk all operate under a hyper-rationalist managerial framework: They appear to have reasoned that Twitter was bloated and losing money on payroll, that change needed to come quickly, and that layoffs are naturally messy, so there’s no need to handle them with care. That lack of care in particular is a hallmark of bad, shortsighted management, the Nightingales told me.

Elon Musk Is Bad at This – The Atlantic