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What makes you an Intrapreneur? Are you mere a side-kick of an Entrepreneur?

Praveen Sharma
3rd Apr 2018
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Batman (Bruce Wayne) is an excellent entrepreneur - he is the dark force behind his start-up of ‘Vigilante Justice’in Gotham city. Batman sacrifices his sleep, and his personal and social life in order to ensure the success of his venture. He takes all the risks, and creates and allocates wealth to support the advancement of his start-up. He brings in innovation, ammunition, gadgets, technology and intelligence to protect Gotham. He is the man behind the whole idea, to disrupt the crime world.

But is he doing it alone? We know that after scaling up a little, Batman also needed a team – one that not only supports him in his idea, but also helps him in achieving greater heights. A team that works independently to be innovative and improvises as and when required. A team that gives him the right direction when needed. They stick with him through thick and thin and are as much at the core of the venture as Batman. His core team comprises:

Alfred (Operations head),

Commissionaire Gordon (MarketingHead),

Lucius Fox (CTO) and

Robin (Business& Sales Head)

Any corporation or organisation, and especially a start-up, needs a stable core team – a bunch of people we sometimes call core team, founding members or“Intrapreneurs”(entrepreneurs within the company).

An Intrapreneur is someone who is“Employed to work independently within a company in order to introduce innovation and to revitalise and diversify its business.”

They come up with answers to problems which may or may not be in their control. The ones that make the boss’ “Out of box” thinking into a functioning reality, the ones who make Batman look good, and enable him to rise up to the occasion and save Gotham.

What distinguishes an Intrapreneur from a regular employee? Below are the seven signs that tell you are an Intrapreneur:

You believe in the idea and have faith in its growth potential

Mere working in a startup for a monthly pay-check won't make you an intrapreneur. You must believe in, and have faith in the idea and its ability to grow. You are optimistic, hopeful and courageous to embrace your virtues by triumphing over your vices.

You are part of the core team

Believing in the idea must encourage you to contribute to an extent in the organisation that you become an essential part of the team. You have a sense of responsibility with a concern that your decisions directly have an impact on the organisation’s growth.

You are resourceful and do high-end multitasking

You utilize the best available recourse in hand when you don't have all that you need to finish the job. You are a problem-identifier-cum-solution-provider. You may be a business head, a marketing head or a CTO of the company, you are not an intrapreneur until time you are restricted to one specific role. You wear a cap as per the requirement. You must coordinate with all the teams in a manner that you are part of that particular team. Designations are for outsiders; inside the company, being a part of the core team, you are accountable for each others’s responsibilities.

You have taken high risks with your career choices

Not only entrepreneurs but intrapreneurs who help entrepreneurs succeed have the opportunity cost to think about. Intrapreneurs also take huge risks in terms of foregoing job positions at big companies or foregoing a secured government job. You work at a low salary, but high passion. In the short term, it might seem like a loss situation but what attracts you is the potential of growth that you can foresee. It is the exposure, the learning curve that you would not be able to find in a regular job.

You are responsible for the expansion and passing on the intrapreneurial culture in the organisation

Once the combined effort of you and your team members starts reaping result, you become the person in charge directly responsible for the expansion of the team, being involved in the hiring process, creating new job roles, onboarding, as well as setting the intrapreneurial culture among extended members. You create new work opportunities for the extended team by staying responsible for their performance.  Being a team leader, you entrust faith and confidence in your team and in their abilities, you become successful by helping others succeed.

You have an emotional connect with your team and your organisation

An Intrapreneur will always be emotionally connected to the company and product. You will feel the sorrow in bad times and be a part of the joy when milestones are conquered. Your team will be your extended family, and loyalty will be on top in your professional dictionary.

You often save the day

You fix things and find a way ahead. You take decisions on your own when your team is stuck in a difficult situation. You become the torch bearer to lead the way out of the cave. When the plant doesn't bloom, you focus on fixing the environment in which it grows, instead of focusing on the plant and it is not occasional but your permanent attitude.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”-Helen Keller
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”- Henry Ford

The journey of an entrepreneur is always the tough road, full of twists and turns. He can walk alone on that road till one point, but to reach ahead he has to build a core team to reach his destination, a team which can help him discovering new paths, removing roadblocks, finding shortcuts and filling potholes from time to time.  Without a core team, the “idea” would not scale up, and the cause would die early.

Entrepreneurs are the reason behind every Startup, but in every startup innovation and expansion doesn't happen without intrapreneurs. Who once empowered, turns ideas into lucrative realities.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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