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The Personality and Management Style of Elon Musk and Mohamed Al-Abbar

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The last century witnessed a huge industrial and civilization revolution that led to the formation of our present world and among the most prominent figures who contributed to building and shaping our present are Elon Musk and Walter Disney.

Elon Musk and Walter Disney contributed in completely different sectors, but we cannot deny what each of them presented to the world, and somehow we can all agree that they have met on one thing and that is their phenomenal leadership and management skills that in turn put both of their names on the list of the greatest Business Leaders of the 20th Century.

I choose Musk and Disney for their interesting and impressive success stories that will inspire whoever going to read this. However, In this paper, I will be presenting and analyzing Musk and Disney’s biography, what each of them faced in his life before they reached to where they are now, and what they have provided us with in the field of leadership and management in order to benefit and learn from their experiences and apply them to our reality and our present world to keep growing and progressing day after day not necessarily in the business industry but in our personal lives as well.

Elon Musk

Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur and businessman who founded in 1999 (which later became PayPal), SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003. Musk became a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his start-up company, Zip2, to a division of Compaq Computers.

Musk made headlines in May 2012, when SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. He bolstered his portfolio with the purchase of SolarCity in 2016, and cemented his standing as a leader of industry by taking on an advisory role in the early days of President Donald Trump's administration.

Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. As a child, Musk was so lost in his daydreams about inventions that his parents and doctors ordered a test to check his hearing. At about the time of his parents’ divorce, when he was 10, Musk developed an interest in computers. He taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he sold his first software: a game he created called Blastar.

In grade school, Musk was short, introverted and bookish. He was bullied until he was 15 and went through a growth spurt and learned how to defend himself with karate and wrestling. At age 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid mandatory service in the South African military. Musk obtained his Canadian citizenship that year, in part because he felt it would be easier to obtain American citizenship via that path.

In 1992, Musk left Canada to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics. After leaving Penn, Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, his move was timed perfectly with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation in 1995. Musk became a U.S. citizen in 2002.


Zip2 Corporation

Musk launched his first company, Zip2 Corporation, in 1995 with his brother, Kimbal Musk. An online city guide, Zip2 was soon providing content for the new websites of both The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. In 1999, a division of Compaq Computer Corporation bought Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.


In 1999, Elon and Kimbal Musk used the money from their sale of Zip2 to found, an online financial services/payments company. An acquisition the following year led to the creation of PayPal as it is known today.

In October 2002, Musk earned his first billion when PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. Before the sale, Musk owned 11 percent of PayPal stock.


Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, in 2002 with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. By 2008, SpaceX was well established, and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station—with plans for astronaut transport in the future—in a move to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions.

Tesla Motors

Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.

Launched in 2008, the Roadster unveiled Tesla’s cutting-edge battery technology and electric powertrain. From there, Tesla designed the world’s first-ever premium all-electric sedan from the ground up – Model S – which has become the best car in its class in every category. Combining safety, performance, and efficiency, Model S has reset the world’s expectations for the car of the 21st century with the longest range of any electric vehicle, over-the-air software updates that make it better over time, and a record 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.28 seconds as measured by Motor Trend. In 2015, Tesla expanded its product line with Model X, the safest, quickest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history that holds 5-star safety ratings across every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Completing CEO Elon Musk’s “Secret Master Plan,” in 2016, Tesla introduced Model 3, a low-priced, high-volume electric vehicle that began production in 2017. Soon after, Tesla unveiled the safest, most comfortable truck ever – Tesla Semi – which is designed to save owners at least $200,000 over a million miles based on [image: ]fuel costs alone.

Elon’s personality and managing style

Lead by Example

If you’re co-founder or CEO you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do … If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed … No task is too menial.” – Elon Musk “Just work like hell. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”- Elon Musk One thing we all control is our own effort. Elon Musk realizes that his thoughts will only change the world if implemented and executed upon. He is known for his tenacious work ethic to see through his visions.

Lead with Purpose

You have to have a very compelling goal for the company. If you put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s talented at a world level, they have to believe that there’s potential for a great outcome and believe in the leader of the company, that you’re the right guy to work with. That can be a difficult thing, especially if you’re trying to attract people from other companies.”- Elon Musk Elon’s purpose is simple. He is determined to revolutionize three industries. He has said that he didn’t start Space X because he thought building rocket ships were going to be great for his portfolio; Space X is his way of making his mark on the world. No matter what the goal, leaders must develop a vision for where they would like to be and work until they reach their destination. In Elon’s case, that place is Mars.

Be Creative

The problem is that at a lot of big companies, the process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.”- Elon Musk Elon Musk believes that process prohibits the ability for innovation to take place. In many cases, continued formal education can be a negative because it denies creativity. Without creativity, progress and innovation are impossible.

Be Collaborative

Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team, the team that has the best individual player will often win but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.” Musk understands that teamwork is a necessity for any team or business to succeed. It is integral to employ a team that operates in a cohesive and team-oriented fashion. This sense of pride in team success has to start with the leadership. Elon Musk leads by “doing” more than “telling”. Set an example that inspires your team to succeed as one.

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Encourage Innovation

Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”- Elon Musk At Space X, their first 3 launches failed. Musk took that as an opportunity to learn and innovate. If someone is confined to the walls of which process does not allow expansion, innovation is impossible. Elon Musk enables and encourages employees to step out of the “traditional” way of thinking and to put all new ideas forth.

Be Decisive

Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high-efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed,”- Elon Musk Unless you commit to acting in the present, the change you want will never happen in the future. Elon Musk finds out what he wants and then acts on his ideas. Strategy and action lead to results.

Be Comfortable with Change

On being a CEO, “it’s eating glass and staring into the abyss”- Elon Musk You never know which challenges are going to arise. Successful leaders are able to adapt in any situation and continue pushing forward towards their team’s goals. Whatever comes their way, they understand how to enable their teams to leverage their strengths to find solutions and innovate.

Hire Carefully

I think you definitely don’t want to grow too fast. Make sure that every person you hire, you really need to hire that person.” – Elon Musk Don’t hire just for the sake of filling a position. Make sure you hire the right person the first time. Effective leaders add people because they are going to help them succeed not to fill a vacancy. Assessments like the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment and the PI Cognitive Assessment can be leveraged to assess if a candidate has the appropriate behavioral drives and mental agility to succeed in the role.

Set Exceptionally High Standards

The number one issue for me is finding superlatively talented people. I think we’ve been fortunate to find some very, very talented people at SpaceX, but that is always the governor on growth.”- Elon Musk It is common knowledge that acquiring talent is one of the single most prevalent business challenges for leaders. What do you do to invest in your managers once you find the best people? The job isn’t done once you find and acquire top talent. The best leaders are self-aware. Gifted leaders understand the power of adjusting their behaviors and leadership style to inspire their people.

Mohamed Al-Abbar

Mohamed Al-ِِAbbar is one of the most important businessmen in the field of real estate in the world, and he is one of the most important influencers in the economy of the UAE.

Despite his humble beginnings, he received a scholarship in America and then returned to build a huge architectural and cultural heritage in Dubai.

The beginnings of Muhammad Al-Abbar

Muhammad al-Abbar was born in the UAE on November 8, 1956, to a self-made family, where his father worked as a sea captain and traded in African countries such as Somalia and Zanzibar.

Al-Abbar joined the University of Seattle in the United States of America and obtained a BA in Business Administration in 1981, he also received an honorary doctorate in humanities from the same university in 2007, and he was on the university’s Board of Trustees, and then on his return to Dubai, he took many administrative positions which opened doors for his opportunities and strength to build his empire in the field of reconstruction and construction, as he began to establish his own companies and implement important architectural projects.

Achievements of Mohammed Alabbar

Alabbar is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Eagle Hills. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Board of Emaar Properties, one of the most important real estate development companies in the world whose most important business was the development of the Burj Khalifa, the highest tower in the world, and Dubai Mall, the largest shopping center in the world. In addition to the Dubai Creek Tower, which rises to more than 3000 feet, and the Dubai Opera with 2000 seats and also the construction of Dubai Marina, the largest industrial marina in the world, along with King Abdullah Economic City.

Al-Abbar is also the Senior Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and previously worked as a founding general manager for the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Alabbar leads to huge investment groups. He is the founder and chairman of Africa Resources Middle East, the founder and major shareholder of RSH, which is specialized in selling fashion products in Singapore and owns more than 700 stores in Asia and the Middle East.

Al-Abbar Investment Group purchased the Americana Group, which owns a fast-food chain in the Middle East, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut, from the majority shareholder in it for $ 2.36 billion in 2016. Alabbar founded the platform in order to compete with the Alibaba, and Amazon platform, and one of his companies was one of the competitors to buy, the deal that Amazon finally got.

Al Abbar is also a member of the Dubai Executive Council and the Dubai Economic Council and has contributed to the growth of the non-oil sector in his country. He has also served as Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Center and President of Dubai Cable Company.

There are five great characteristics of a salesman that Mohamed shows us throughout his career:

  • Honesty
  • Enthusiasm
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Persistence

Permanent development

Al-abbar loves adventure and takes high-risk steps to always develop himself, and sees that desire, passion, and courage are the most important keys to success. As he said in his interview with Al-Arabiya, surrender is the first enemy of man, so a person must try every time he fails until he is entitled to what he wishes.

Take action

Al-abbar says that thinking and planning without work is nothing, so we must all start and move as soon as there is a new idea to always be the first and the best in everything (lack of speech and a lot of work).

Investing in youth

Al-Abbar believes that youth are the future of this world, so we must trust and believe in them by educating them, giving them opportunities to prove their existence, and not to underestimate what they offer to have a better future.


All of all, we can clearly see how Elon Musk and Mohammed Alabbar have made their mark in their fields and their brilliant brilliance in the field of management, and how we can learn from what they have provided and how they have struggled and been patient in order to achieve their dreams and reach the top despite all What they faced and if we noticed that most of what Musk and Al-Abbar focused on dependent on being a leader with a clear and good future vision, setting future goals and plans with high expectations, working as a team and supporting each other, believe in their selves by having high self-confidence, and last but not least is to be creative because creativity enables us to emerge from the usual.

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The Personality and Management Style of Elon Musk and Mohamed Al-Abbar. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“The Personality and Management Style of Elon Musk and Mohamed Al-Abbar.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
The Personality and Management Style of Elon Musk and Mohamed Al-Abbar. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 Mar. 2024].
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