Not every employee wants to leave the security of a regular salary to start their own business, but many employees want to channel their passion, creativity and drive into their work. If employers do not provide the environment to allow employees to use this energy then they are likely to move to a business that will. Although employers need to provide the opportunity for employees to put their aspirations into practice, much also rests on employees to make it happen.
Due to the modern world’s rapidly changing market place and the efforts of companies to retain their market share a new breed of an employee has emerged, namely the intrapreneur.
There are a few variations of the definition of an intrapreneur, for the purposes of our discussion we will use the following:
Coined in the 1980s by management consultant Gifford Pinchot, intrapreneurs are used by companies that are in great need of new, innovative ideas. Today, instead of waiting until the company is in a bind, most companies try to create an environment where employees are free to explore ideas. If the idea looks profitable, the person behind it is given an opportunity to become an intrapreneur. Source: Investopedia.
We have identified seven essential qualities that make a successful intrapreneur. Companies that want to harness the entrepreneurial talent of their employees need to be aware of which qualities they should look for.
1. Passionate
“Nothing great in the world has ever been achieved without passion.” As the German Poet Christian F Hebbel said. Intrapreneurs have a passion for what they do and it will come across in their voice, body language and actions. Through their passion they can inspire others to join them in their journey. As the author and entrepreneur Steve Pavlina said, “Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about.”
2. Determined
Intrapreneurs are aware that they will face obstacles and people will question their idea and their credibility. However they will have factored that into their journey and will appreciate that not everyone will believe in their ideas and vision. Intrapreneurs believe it before they see it.
3. Courageous
Intrapreneurs are not afraid of failing and being criticised. Intrapreneurs are aware that they may lose their job if they fail, however they have the courage to pursue their goals.
4. Resourceful
Intrapreneurs focus on making the most of the resources at their disposal and finding resources without having to pay for them. This makes them a rare breed as first thing that every employee asks for is more resources. That’s why Intrapreneurs can end up being worth their weight in gold.
5. Adaptable
Intrapreneurs are flexible and able to harness their situation to their advantage. They use their creativity to respond to the changes around them. They will need to work within and around the constraints of their company’s internal protocols and procedures.
6. Results driven
Intrapreneurs need to focus on outcomes in order to start and complete tasks that will deliver the desired results. This requires the ability to execute ideas effectively and efficiently.
7. Diplomatic
Intrapreneurs need to ensure that they do not step on toes and upset people that can be precious about resources, decision making and recognition. Therefore intrapreneurs must aim to disrupt markets and industries instead of the people they work with and rely on.
This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are many other qualities that can be added however these are the critical ones for an intrapreneur to be successful.