Last week Tesla hit a significant milestone in their business which prompted an unusual reaction from one of the world's largest car maker. The reaction was surprising and lead to some important leadership branding lessons for us all to consider.
If you missed the news last week, Tesla announced the first 7,000 cars rolled off the production line of the new model 3; their version of a family electric car. Elon Musk was pretty proud of the team and tweeted to his 22.2 million followers about achieving the milestone. Great leadership, recognising the team for their efforts.
Not everyone was as pumped as Elon however. The CEO of Ford Motor Company Europe decided to chime in with his own thoughts, trying to belittling Tesla with his larger production capacity, saying they make more cars. Whoopdeedoo.
The impressions I had about this response was that it was a petty remark and one that doesn't boost the confidence of his team or his leadership. If you were on his team what would he say to you about your success?
That someone in the team does it better? I am sure his intentions were to help the team morale, but snide remarks doesn't boost morale. Focus on the positives.
Secondly, while Ford does produce many more cars than Tesla, the market capitalisation of the business has fallen under the Tesla brand. Meaning Tesla, with their much lower revenue and production, is actually worth more than Ford.
Thirdly, Elon could have replied and mentioned said market cap or many other benefits that Tesla has over Ford currently. But that's not great leadership either. So what were his next tweets about? Responding to Steven with a counter tweet, reminding him that he only has 3k Twitter followers compared to your millions? Nope.
Elon tweeted about working on building an underwater submarine from rocket ship parts to get the Thai soccer team kids out of the cave in Thailand. Now that's leadership.
In this situation what would you do as a leader?
The reason I follow Elon, as so many do, and regard his brand of leadership as more authentic is that his actions speaks louder than words. That's the reason I follow Elon and not others. Authentic action.
What do you think?