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This blog is part of the extra blog series we are doing as encouragement in these uncertain times. This post is for those looking to solidify their value to their current employer and develop their own leadership skills without necessarily having a leadership role. And for those who are in leadership roles, are there potential leaders in your organization who have the characteristics of an intrapreneur? This blog is a companion to the Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future interview with Greg Moran that aired April 7th, 2020 titled Bridging Millennial and Traditional Leadership.
When you imagine a professional leader, many of us picture a manager, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. Leadership in many cases is synonymous with being in charge of a group of people. While it is true bosses and business owners are leaders, there are many different kinds of leadership that one can embody. You don’t have to be in charge of an organization or team in order to lead with your efforts and insights.
Whether you’re a manager or simply a member of a large team, intrapreneurship is a skill you can utilize to position yourself as a leader. Intrapreneurs are innovators within an organization who use their knowledge and skills to drive new ideas. In a similar way that entrepreneurs create a new product or service, intrapreneurs create new processes, develop new products, forge new pathways at their own company.
There are several key characteristics that allow intrapreneurs to achieve more than the average employee, which you may already be familiar with. They are eager to learn, always asking questions to understand why things are the way they are. They are flexible and collaborative, always willing to make adjustments and react to changing situations and requirements. Though they work well in a team, they also are motivated by a certain degree of competition.
Perhaps one of the factors that makes them most successful, is their creativity. Using their innate curiosity, they think outside of the box to come up with unique solutions to common problems. They also tolerate a certain degree of risk when advocating and testing their more unusual ideas.
These characteristics are often seen across every level of a successful team. No matter your position, you can focus on these traits to help find success. Here are just a few of the ways that intrapreneurship benefits your career:
- Positions You as a Leader
If all these characteristics sound familiar, it is because they also make great leaders. Being a team player, taking initiative, and coming up with innovative ideas can all help others see you as a leader in the workplace.
- Helps You Build Lifelong Skills
No matter what you’re doing in 5 or 10 years, the soft skills you build while working as an intrapreneur will always be valuable. Being able to innovate, take on risks, and learn from failures are some of the most important skills in any career. While you may not use the same software job to job, these skills will always be useful.
- Sets Your Career Up for Success
Being able to offer a unique perspective, smart ideas, and flexible teamwork abilities will undoubtedly benefit your career. When looking for someone to take on a new project, or spearhead a new team effort, your bosses and coworkers will be more likely to look to you if you have a track record of intrapreneurship.
To learn more about intrapreneurship, check out this infographic by Turbo:
To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.
Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.
About the Author
Brigid Ludwig is a digital content creator who helps Turbo create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. With a background in digital marketing and creative writing, she has written on everything from tiny homes to financial planning. aspires to empower others to make smart financial decisions for a happier and healthier life.