Elon Musk In 'A Very Vulnerable Position' As Experts Say 'So-Called Friends Are More Like Followers'

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk is one of the most followed people in the world but might show signs of not being open to criticism.
  • Musk's decision for the next Twitter CEO could show how much control he wants over decisions for the platform.
Elon Musk In 'A Very Vulnerable Position' As Experts Say 'So-Called Friends Are More Like Followers'

Elon Musk is one of the most followed people in the world, whether it’s on social media or in traditional media coverage. Musk built a close group of friends, but a new report said they may not be as friendly as believed.

What Happened: Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Inc TSLA, SpaceX and most recently Twitter thanks to his recent $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform.

Running three businesses could leave Musk trusting several close business associates to help make important decisions.

A report from Business Insider showed Musk might not be surrounded by friends but instead by “yes men” who agree with him and are afraid to speak up.

“It’s the classic scenario where the emperor has no clothes, but everybody’s too afraid to tell him,” Columbia Business School professor William Klepper told Insider. “It’s a very vulnerable position to be in because no one in the CEO ranks is immaculate.”

At a recent Dave Chappelle comedy show, Musk was brought on stage and faced a choir of boos from the crowd. The Insider report highlighted this event because Musk was surprised by the public booing as he is probably showered daily with praise from his inner circle.

Some of Musk’s closest friends and business associates sent text messages praising his Twitter acquisition. None of the leaked messages about the acquisition pointed to questions or concerns about the acquisition.

Investor Jason Calacanis, who was considered a potential Twitter CEO replacement, told Musk “you have my sword” and may have offered to jump on a grenade for him, showing his utmost loyalty.

Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter compared the close associates of Musk to a cult.

“People want to be close to people with that much power, which often means your so-called friends are more like followers,” Kanter said.

The article also pointed out Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk was on the board of directors of Tesla.

Related Link: Elon Musk Now The Subject Of A Fictional Movie Character: 'A Weird Relevance In Exactly The Current Moment,' Director Says 

Why It’s Important: Musk was likely a talent for the current generation that may not be replicated. His work with electric vehicles and space exploration will go down in history as changing the sectors.

While Musk changed sectors, he might also be unwilling to accept criticism or see things outside of his own viewpoints. Musk recently fired several Twitter employees who spoke ill of him on internal communication platforms.

Musk surrounded himself with friends and his brother to help lead the companies of which he is the CEO.

When Twitter was acquired by Musk, Calacanis and friend David Sacks were among the people who were brought in to help oversee immediate changes. Musk also brought in trusted Tesla engineers to help with Twitter coding after the purchase.

Business leaders often find themselves loved by many, but also need to be open to criticism and have voices near them that can question decisions or provide alternative thinking.

Musk indicated he will step down from the Twitter CEO position when he finds the appropriate replacement. Hypothetical betting odds list Sacks and Calacanis among the favorites to get the job.

Replacing himself with one of his “yes men” could show Musk would continue to maintain control over the social media platform and oversee all the major decisions.

Bringing in someone from the outside could help put some of the criticism around Musk to rest with a new person bringing in new ideas and making changes Musk may not always agree with.

Read Next: Elon Musk Has Lost $110B In Wealth In 2022 But He's Still Worth More Than Bezos And Zuckerberg Combined 

Photo: U.S. Air Force, public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Posted In: NewsMovers & ShakersManagementTop StoriesMediaGeneralDave ChappelleDavid SacksElon MuskJason CalacanisKimbal MuskSpaceXtwitter