Elon Musk Shows Bankers What Pricing Discipline (and Culture) Looks Like

Bank Leadership

Elon Musk, wearing his Tesla Motors CEO hat, was upset that some employees were violating his rule that Tesla’s product shouldn’t be discounted for anyone. This precept was made famous when Mr. Musk famously wrote a personal check for the full price of his Tesla. Not negotiating and not discounting your product’s price, whether it is bank service fees, money market account or car has an important impact on economics but an even more important impact on marketing. Most of all, the concept has a massive impact on culture. Read the company-wide below and gain a clear understanding how economics, marketing, and culture combine with leadership to make a great company.


The email is reprinted here:


Musk Letter On Leadership


The Poetry Of Leadership


We will also add that this is a dang good email.


The missive is simple, clear and strikes the right balance between positivity and admonishment for the sake of course correction. Mr. Musk starts and ends with praise while setting forth the problem, the solution and the logic behind the solution. One of our favorite parts is that Mr. Musk provides a clear ethical test that not only reinforces the solution but reinforces the culture.  Mr. Musk doesn’t get overly dramatic and does not come off as angry. However, the reader clearly gets the gravity of the message.


The Tesla CEO also states that he will be personally involved with the solution and will take a greater amount of responsibility going forward. He ends on a personal note, expresses his gratitude and underscores the integrity of the culture. Finally, in the last sentence Elon puts the customer first ties the company’s morality to the value of absolute trust.


Bank CEOs usually don’t dash off enough company-wide emails. The lack of communication from the CEO position is a constant lament we hear from most bank employees. This letter is a textbook example of a form of communication that gets so many things right. In addition to simply conveying information, Elon Musk as helped the Company’s economics, marketing and most importantly, culture. In the process, he demonstrates exactly what quality leadership looks like. If you are ever in need of a template for your bank communication or need leadership inspiration, this is a great link to keep handy for your next corporate missive.