Elon Musk and Twitter: How do you contain egos in a takeover?

With big deals often come big egos that can harm business success. Here are six tips from a business transformation expert on how to keep those egos in check.

by Karen Thomas-Bland
Elon Musk Twitter

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for a staggering $44bn has made big waves in the headlines. As the new owner of the social networking giant, one of the first things in Musk’s in-tray will be a big management shakeup. It's something shareholders have wanted for some time. But as Musk joins with his reputational, hands-on management approach, how will his arrival be managed against the egos of the other surviving board members? This is the big challenge that Twitter will face in the coming days and weeks.

While egos in the board room are expected, potential conflicts must be anticipated with a plan to reduce risk. Clashing egos can make or break a deal. Nothing brings out inflated egos more in business than an acquisition or takeover. 

The bold personalities required to make a major deal happen need to be safely contained to make a new business strategy work. Often in a takeover, the buyer and seller have very different perspectives. A ‘winners vs losers’ mentality is common as acquiring another organisation can carry with it an air of superiority or indeed arrogance. This attitude frequently leads the buyer to naturally assume that their own business ideas, policies, processes, systems, and talent are far superior to those of the business they’re taking over. 

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