Richard Branson has some advice for Elon Musk that you’ll want to hear

Listen closely, because the insights may be good for you, too.

Photo: Jarle Naustvik

It’s easy to not be at our best. Even just losing a few hours of sleep can make us more prone to anger, and in a culture of workaholics, sleep, downtime, and work-life balance are hard to come by.

Even tech giants are prone to imperfections. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and entrepreneur-extraordinaire, had a rough 2018. He tweeted questionable things in the wee hours of the morning,  settled a fraud case and smoked marijuana during an interview, to name a few of his controversial moments. As these seemingly uncouth behaviors have been broadcasted to the world, they’ve given him a less upstanding rep than before.

Thankfully, there are other famous billionaires around to give Musk the advice he needs. Listen closely, because the insights may be good for you, too.

In an interview with Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford asked Branson what he would tell Musk should the Tesla CEO call him up. Branson’s answer targeted what he saw as Musk’s “one flaw:” Not knowing “the art of delegation.”

“He’s got to find time for himself. He’s got to find time for his health and for his family. And you know he’s a wonderfully creative person,” Branson said, according to the interview’s transcript. “But he shouldn’t be getting very little sleep. He should find a fantastic team of people around him and still jump in on all the major issues.”

Struggling with delegation isn’t unique to Musk — a lot of us aren’t very good at handing off important work to colleagues. But according to Branson, that’s the secret to happiness.

“I think the reason that I’ve had such an enjoyable life, and a long life, has been finding wonderful people to run our companies,” Branson said, adding that he could then get involved in “key issues” that arose.

So sure, it’s tough to let go of the reigns. But if one of the most successful businessmen in the world can do it, so can you. And maybe one day Elon will, too.

Alexandra Villarreal|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at avillarreal@theladders.com.