CNBC: Elon Musk’s Career Advice For Young People: Don’t ‘Try To Be A Leader For The Sake Of Being A Leader’

13 Jul 2022
When he’s not pontificating about missions to Mars, self-driving cars and freedom of speech on Twitter, Elon Musk has some surprisingly practical career advice for young people.

Originally found at CNBC

On a December 2021 episode of the “Lex Fridman Podcast,” hosted by MIT computer scientist Lex Fridman, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO recommended that young people should never pick a career based on whether or not it could make them famous. Rather, he said, focus on something much simpler: Find a job that you’d be good at, and matches the skillset you’ve built over time.

″[Don’t] try to be a leader for the sake of being a leader,” Musk, 51, said. “A lot of times ... the people you want as leaders are the people who don’t want to be leaders.”

The idea that power-hungry people don’t make for effective leaders is backed by scientific research: Last year, researchers from the Technical University of Munich found that “highly narcissistic leaders can derail teams independent of context.” Correspondingly, a 2015 study published in the Academy of Management Journal found that humble and empathetic leaders often improve team performance.

To become that humble and empathetic leader, Musk advised that young people focus on the job immediately in front of them — and trust that overperforming in that role will help them rise up the career ladder. A desire to be in the spotlight won’t necessarily help, he added.

“Try to find something where there’s an overlap of your talents and what you’re interested in,” Musk said.

Continue reading the original article at CNBC.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

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