3 Leadership Lessons from Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover

Regardless of how you feel about Elon Musk, the man is a business genius. Many people have criticized the way he has been running Twitter after he purchased it for $44 billion. What he is doing with Twitter is a brilliant case study on business leadership. Those who pay close attention and look past the emotionally charged headlines will be able to see Elon’s genius at work, right in front of their eyes.

Only time will tell about Twitter’s future but Elon’s track record of building successful businesses will be maintained with what he is doing.

If you are an entrepreneur or someone that wants to have influence over people, listen up, because there are 3 leadership lessons that you can learn from Elon’s Twitter takeover.

Lesson 1: Change Starts as the Top

When Elon walked into Twitter HQ carrying a kitchen sink, the very first thing he did was fired Twitter’s key executives, including the CEO.

Elon know’s that to change the direction of an organization, you must change the people who are leading it. Firing the top executives and replacing them with people that he wanted ensured that there was no resistance to his mission of the company.

Application: it’s likely that you are not acquiring a company, so the “top” that needs to change is YOU. If you haven’t gotten the results in life that you wanted. You need to fire your old self and replace it with someone better. Change starts with you.

Lesson 2: Surround Yourself with People Committed to your Vision

The next thing that Elon did was begin mass layoffs. He eliminated people that were not providing value to the company.

Then, to further ensure that he kept only the committed, he issued an ultimatum to all remaining employees: work long, intensive hours or leave the company. Hundreds of employees left after that, leaving only those that were truly committed to Elon’s vision of Twitter 2.0.

Elon took a large corporation of 7500 employees and cut it down to a startup-like company of only several hundred people.

Application: To advance your vision as a leader, you must surround yourself with people who are also committed to your vision.

Lesson 3: Have a Cause to Fight for

As Elon started making radical changes to the company, Twitter’s top 50 advertisers stopped running ads to the platform, causing them to lose millions of dollars in revenue. Twitter was bleeding about $4 million a day. This was on top of the mountain of criticism from celebrities, politicians, and social media influencers.

However, Elon is an evangelist for free speech and having an open platform for idea exchange. He truly believed that this was vital for humanity to move forward. To him, the financial pain and public ridicule was a price he was willing to pay to further his cause and purpose.

Because of this commitment, his influence has only gotten even greater.

Application: As a leader, you must be on a mission. You must fight for a cause that is greater than yourself. You must be willing to die for that cause and combat all resistance that is thrown your way.

A person obsessed with their cause will attract loyal followers and influence the masses.


Post-Elon Twitter has continued to run with no technical issues and the user base has grown even more since. Draw your own conclusions with that.

If you are paying attention, you can observe, in real-time, key leadership principles in action. It’s an opportunity not to waste.

Which one of these lessons can you apply to your own life to make positive change? Let me know in the comments.

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