Super Cities №173 — Meetings by Elon Musk

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

Elon Musk hates meetings

Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.


I don’t subscribe to the Cult of Productivity, but there are a few principles that resonate with me. One of them is the need to eliminate as many meetings as possible. Another one is to keep calls short; five-minute calls are best.

Structuring your day keeps you from defaulting to useless meetings. Paul Graham has a wonderful essay on this called “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.”

You want to be on a maker’s schedule most of the time.

Musk’s funniest line in this memo is “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

Tesla’s CEO is taking a beating these days, but we can all relate to the fire-in-your-belly urge to walk out of a soul-crushing, time-consuming meeting.

Imagine a world where walking away was the acceptable response to small talk, long-winded commentary, or inflated manager’s ego.

Can’t a man dream?

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