Elon Musk emailed some productivity suggestions for Tesla employees a few days ago:


  • Cancel large meetings or if you have to have them keep them "very short"
  • Walk out of a meeting or end a phone call if it is failing to serve a useful purpose.
  • Avoid acronyms or nonsense words. "We don't want people to have to memorise a glossary just to function at Tesla"
  • Sidestep the "chain of command" to get the job done. Managers insisting on hierarchies will "soon find themselves working elsewhere"
  • Ignore the rules if following them is obviously ridiculous.


Corporate management styles are changing. Emails become informal, memos turn into visual documents, more and more people know how to avoid boring bullet point presentations, and the attitude towards meetings changes as well.

It is easy to simply walk out of a meeting if you are the one paying everyone's salary at the end of the month. A junior analyst is not expected to stand up say "my presence is not serving a useful purpose, goodbye". Instead, these people would just mentally leave the meeting by glancing on their phones.

However, there is something you can do. Especially in smaller project teams, you could include and agree a walk-out policy in the kick off meeting of the work. In that case, your superiors might actually feel embarrassed when it is time to exercise that walk out option.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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