Why Elon Musk Thinks It’s OK to Walk out of Meetings

Nope, he doesn’t think it’s rude at all.

Elon Musk at ACL Live, SXSW Festival, Austin, USA - 11 Mar 2018Suzanne Cordeiro/Shutterstock

Elon Musk basically runs a small empire. The fact that he’s CEO of multiple successful companies (Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, The Boring Company, to name a few) means that he has great time management skills and knows how to manage his employees to work as efficiently as possible. But, one of the rules Musk uses to keep everyone on schedule is something that might get you fired if you tried it at your job. See if you can solve this brainteaser that Elon Musk asks in interviews.

That rule: walk out of a meeting if you’re not adding any value to it. Musk isn’t a huge fan of meetings and he believes that too many can prevent growth. He wants all of his employees to be aware of how valuable their time is. If an employee has been invited to a meeting and realizes a few minutes in that they won’t be of any help to resolve the issue at hand, they should get up, leave, and get back to accomplishing a more important task.

“It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time,” Musk said in an email he sent to his employees at Tesla.

It’s one of his “productivity recommendations” to help his team meet their substantial goals. And clearly, having fewer meetings and making them optional to attend is working. Now, you just have to convince your boss to implement this business model so your days will be a lot more productive, too. Next, read about these attributes of wildly successful people that you should memorize.

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.