What Everyone Can Learn from Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

by terrywelford

in General

(In a recent post, I introduced the P4 Model for Growth & Prosperity™ – People, Productivity, Profits and Peace of Mind. In this post, I’m focusing on the third “P” – Profits).

A large majority of people today (50% in some studies) are not engaged at work. Job security and job satisfaction continue to decrease. Given this situation, I suppose it’s not a surprise that people have been leaving their jobs and organizations in droves to start their own businesses and live the entrepreneurial life.

EntrepreneurshipAn entrepreneur is someone who creates a business and takes full responsibility for its success or failure. Not everyone is suited to be an entrepreneur. On my own entrepreneurial journey I’ve learned that you have to be willing to wear a lot of hats, live with a lot of uncertainty and often step way outside of your comfort zone to be successful.

Some people might be better suited to becoming an “intrapreneur.” An intrapreneur is someone who creates something for the organization in which they work, be it a corporation, university, nonprofit or other entity. Intrapraneurs have an entrepreneurial mindset, but they choose to use their talents in the organization they work for rather than creating their own business.

Although the outer trappings may be different – self-employed versus being an employee – entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have several characteristics in common:

  • They have passion, caring strongly about and being committed to the mission, goals and their work. They communicate and demonstrate energy and enthusiasm.
  • The have the courage to try something new and to face possible failure.
  • They have drive: a high level of instrinsic motivation.
  • They are creative, consistently generating new ideas and identifying new opportunities and endeavors. They want to be on the front lines of change.
  • They are empowered and able to act independently. They don’t wait for someone else to tell them what needs to be done.
  • They are intelligent risk takers, appropriately balancing the potential upsides against likely downsides.
  • They persevere to the finish, seldom giving up especially in the face of obstacles or set-backs.
  • They show initiative by being ready and able to take action.
  • They are problem solvers, looking beyond the obvious and not stopping at the first answer.

All of these characteristics add up to a certain spirit that is the hallmark of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. I would argue that this spirit is crucial to all organizations – whether it is a one-person company, small business, mid-size corporation, global conglomerate, government agency, college, university, or nonprofit foundation. Why? Because all organizations need people who will use this spirit to drive innovation and sharpen the organization’s competitive edge in order to be profitable and achieve other measures of financial success. I don’t know about you, but if I had a team of people who came to work every day and demonstrated the characteristics and spirit described above, there would be no limit to what we could achieve.

So what are you doing to cultivate the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit in yourself or your organization?





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