Elon Musk recently sent shock waves when he issued Tesla executives an ultimatum: Return to the office or find a new job.
As one of the nation's most highly regarded employers, Tesla is a model for many business owners when navigating difficult workplace decisions. But whether you like Musk's decision or not, it's worth noting how his approach to practical decision-making and effective leadership makes decisions easier.
While copying Musk's every move certainly won't be the solution to all of your business quandaries, you'd do well to follow his path by fielding decisions with his simple leadership strategy: the 3 C's rule. It's as simple as choices based on results, convictions based on confidence, and communication with clarity.
1. Choices: Let Results Drive Decisions
Part of the surprise for many surrounding Musk's message was how inflexible the innovative company was when it came to bending to new norms. Despite the initial optics, Musk isn't blind to societal standards--even if he still uses a decades-old four-word innovation strategy. Instead, Musk looks at options in terms of results, seeing through any emotional biases or short-term benefits. With that, he can clearly identify the best long-term option that benefits the organization on the whole.
To make good decisions, leaders need to look at the big picture and remove both individual and personal elements from the equation. Look at the prospective outcomes and consider which option will help bring you closer to your overarching, long-term goals. (That approach is also part of Warren Buffett's powerful life advice for those who want to be highly successful.)
2. Conviction: Be Confident
Elon Musk's strong convictions make him a very confident leader. Since he makes decisions based on results, he can rest assured that he is making the right ones. In other words, Musk's convictions are a very powerful tool in leading his businesses--just as they can be for any entrepreneur.
Psychologically, people want to feel as though those guiding them know what they're doing, even if they can't necessarily understand why. It's what has led troops in battle, as well as professional athletes on the court. People follow the orders of others whom they trust--and they trust those who are not only experts in their field, but steadfast in their decisions.
3. Communication: Be Clear
Musk is so direct that he leaves no margin of error when it comes to communication. When it comes to his expectations and plans, he tells it exactly as it is. As abrasive as it may be for some, there's tremendous value in being straightforward.
For staff, it means never having to guess what is expected of you and knowing exactly where you stand. It takes the guesswork out and in return leads to better results and a heightened sense of job security.
By using the 3 C's rule, anyone can make more strategic decisions and effectively lead organizations by rooting decisions in results, having conviction in our choices, and being clear in our communication. In a world of indecision and anxiety, those who can make decisions confidently and communicate them clearly to others are those who become top leaders and leading entrepreneurs.