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The Anti-Handbook Handbook From Tesla…

I imagine this document is the reason the brightest people want to work at Tesla. This is pretty well the opposite of most organisations which are obsessed with hierarchy and you have to talk to your manager, who then talks to their manager and so on until the information reaches the top of a pyramid and then goes down another leg of the organisation.

We have all played Chinese whispers – the chances of any message getting from one part of any organisation to another is pretty well zero.

Sadly the people at the top of most organisations are more concerned about the pyramid of management than they are about achieving a great outcome for their customers / clients / the people they serve.  If the organisation is a monopoly, or receives large amounts of public money then the Tesla approach would be seen as obscene.  My local bus company which I rarely use like most other people in the West Midlands thinks that an App which is supposed to tell you when a bus is coming, but in truth is based on a fictional timetable is what customers want and will attract more people to use public transport. How wrong they are. But being a monopoly the top people are handsomely rewarded for doing the least possible they can get away with.

Note there is no mention of a suggestion box at Tesla for employees which will be emptied once per month and someone from personnel will try to decipher who suggested the MD do something anatomically challenging.

The world would be a lot better place if the Tesla handbook was adopted elsewhere.  There would be huge productivity gains and more wealth in the world.

Tesla’s Secret SUPERPOWER

In this video Lars Strandridder explains that at Tesla an idea can be adopted in a few short hours and be incorporated on to the production line for the Tesla cars.

Lars suggests that Tesla is not afraid to make an average of 27 changes to the production line every week. One example, cite in the video is an increase in charging speed from 200 to 250Kw. From idea to being promoted to implemented took 3-hours. It was tested and made live a short time later. Tesla owners received a message telling them about the update to the performance of their vehicle.

This text below is from the PDF which has been published in numerous places online it runs to 4 pages, clearly this has not been written by a lawyer in fact this might be the first time a lawyer reads it. Using clear communication Tesla explains what they offer and what they expect. (How refreshing.)

The Anti-Handbook Handbook

We’re Tesla. We’re changing the world. We’re willing to rethink everything.

We’re a high tech company unlike any other high tech company. We’re a car company unlike any other car company.

We’re different and we like it that way. Being different allows us to do what no one else is doing; to do what others tell us is impossible.

If you’re looking for a traditional employee handbook filled with policies and rules, you won’t find one. Policies and rules tell you where the bottom is — they tell you how poorly you can perform before you get shown the door. That’s not us.

We prefer to have incredibly high standards and to hire exceptional people who enjoy pushing themselves to perform at the highest levels every day. We want to surround ourselves with people driven to do the right things and act with integrity even when no one is looking.

Is this you? If so, we’re glad you’re here and we look forward to doing amazing things together. If this isn’t you, you’ll be more successful somewhere else. We don’t mean to sound harsh; it’s just the truth.

Some of Our High Standards

If you’re reading this, you’re probably new to Tesla and have questions about how some basic things play out around here. Here’s what we think you need to know to get started. As for everything else, such as information about our pay policies, meal and rest breaks, time off, and leave policies, check the internal website. – (Smart move saves printing off lots of paper only have to reprint it when someone points out something which does not make sense.)


We give everyone who joins our team a lot of trust and responsibility. We operate with the assumption that everyone will do the right thing, including you. The truth is some people have violated this trust or ignored their responsibilities. We won’t change our approach because of the few who have let us down. Instead, we let them go.


Anyone at Tesla can and should email or talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company. You can talk with your manager, you can talk to your manager’s manager, you can talk directly to a VP in another department, you can talk to Elon — you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission. Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens.

Job Duties

It’s your responsibility to understand what’s expected of you. Your manager should explain your responsibilities and what’s expected; however, if you are unclear at any time, ask. “No one told me” is an excuse that will never fly here.

Your #1 job – everyone’s #1 job — is making this company a success. If you see opportunities to improve the way we do things, speak up even if these are outside your area of responsibility. You have a personal stake in Tesla’s success so make suggestions and share your ideas. Your good ideas mean nothing if you keep them to yourself.

Goals and Feedback

You and your supervisor are encouraged to discuss your job performance and goals on an informal, day- to-day basis. If you would like feedback or any other input from your supervisor, take initiative and ask.

Do not wait for your supervisor to initiate a conversation or for a company-initiated review process to get the feedback you need to perform at a high level.


Safety is really important to us. We want you to go home every day in the same condition you arrived.

We believe the best way to create a safety culture is to ask the really smart people working here to use good judgment and common sense. This means:

  • Being safety conscious at all times.
  • Complying with all safety policies and procedures, including wearing required protective equipment. (Trust us, if we’ve created a policy or rule, it’s only because it was absolutely needed. We don’t have arbitrary rules.)
  • Never performing a job that you feel is unsafe.
  • Keeping work areas clean and walkways free of obstructions, especially in production areas.
  • Communicating with others if you see safety issues.
  • Reporting unsafe or hazardous conditions to the Environmental Health & Safety Department.


If you’re the kind of person who holds yourself to the highest standards, our “attendance policy” is exactly what you’d expect it to be: Be the kind of person your team can rely on. Be here when you’re supposed to be here. We need you. We can’t get things done when you aren’t here.

If you can’t be here, notify your supervisor as soon as possible and talk about what’s going on. Your supervisor will be reasonable and respectful if you are.

If you can’t be reliable, this isn’t the place for you. You’ll be asked to leave (and it might not be a choice).


“You’re tardy” is something kids are told in school. This isn’t school. Plan to be here on time, ready to start work when you’re scheduled. Traffic accidents happen, we get that but they don’t happen every Monday during football season.

Sick Days

If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t get the rest of us sick. Contact your supervisor by any means possible as soon as you can, ideally before you’re scheduled start time. If you’ve accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) use it and you’ll be paid for that day.


We know you need time off so schedule it in advance, get your supervisor’s approval, and then take it. Use your PTO — that’s what it’s there for.

Keep in mind that every vacation request can’t be accommodated. Others may have already requested the same days off or critical deadlines may create vacation blackout periods.

No Call, No Show

Our assumption will be that if you don’t call and don’t show up for work, you’re a jerk. You better have a really good reason for not letting us know why you didn’t come in or you’re out of here. One time is enough.

Outside Employment

You may hold a job with another company as long as you perform your job here well and you aren’t compromising anything confidential or proprietary.

We won’t cut you any slack because you have another job — you will be judged by the same standards as everyone else. If your other job interferes with your performance, you may be asked to terminate that job if you wish to remain with Tesla.

Stupid Stuff

If you do something stupid, depending on the circumstances you may be coached and given another chance or you may be asked to leave. We can’t afford to waste our time dealing with stupid stuff when we have so many important things to get done.

If you need them, here are some examples of stupid things people do:

  • Stealing or deliberately damaging company property.
  • Disclosing confidential information.
  • Harassing or bullying others.
  • Physically hurting someone or threatening violence.
  • Possessing illegal drugs.
  • Possessing explosives, weapons or firearms.

The list could go on and on. If you think you’re the kind of person who might do something that could be on a list of stupid stuff, do us all a favour and leave now.


Make sure you’re having fun at work — meet new friends, push yourself in new ways, try new things. If you aren’t having fun at some level, you’ll be unhappy. We don’t want that. We want you to work hard, love what you do, and have fun.

Moral of the Story

The theme of the above standards is simple: just behave like the sort of person you want as your co- worker. Treat everyone like you want to be treated. Tesla must be the kind of company where people look forward to coming to work in the morning. Life is too short for anything else.

Resolving Concerns

We want to provide a positive working environment and treat people as the individuals they are.

If you have a concern, please speak freely and openly with anyone you think can help evaluate and resolve the issues. If you aren’t sure who to talk to, contact Human Resources. We will always do our best to provide a healthy, fulfilling, productive, and amicable workplace.

How An Agile Company Really Works

This video is almost an hour and if you have any interest in Tesla and why and how it manages to grow at such a phenomenal rate sit back and enjoy.

Whilst GM CEO Ms Mary Barra thinks that by 2025 GM will have caught Tesla and over taken it. Whilst that is possible – it would seem highly unlikely. No-one ever talks about GM bringing revolutionary ideas to the world. Tesla has an army of YouTube followers – dedicated to revealing the latest exciting developments at the company.

How Did Tesla and Elon Musk Keep Their Marketing Plans Secret?

Turns out they did not. In 2006 Elon published the road map of how they intended to proceed on the Tesla website

Called The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)

When you tell your competitors what you are going to do and then do it – for me that makes them look pretty stupid. Whenever people ask Elon what the future looks like he is often very generous with his answers.