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How to Identify Intrapreneurs Within Your Company

How to Identify Intrapreneurs Within Your Company
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An intrapreneur is the manager or employee who recognizes problems as opportunities to advance and improve the company from the inside out. They function as leaders who challenge processes and invigorate ideas. Intrapreneurs often drive progress within a company’s infrastructure without direct guidance from management. With an entrepreneur’s spirit, an inventor’s capacity to solve complex problems, and a passion for adjusting operational systems, intrapreneurs are most likely working for you, but would you know how to identify them?

Intrapreneurs are indispensable investments for your organization. Identify them early and ensure they have the room and resources to thrive and help your company grow.

You can identify successful intrapreneurs in your company using these common traits:

Total commitment

Being a highly successful intrapreneur is a full-time responsibility. The intrapreneur’s mind is constantly working and challenging the status quo. They are architects of new ideas, new plans and better methods. The intrapreneur sees the world through the lens of the administrative and financial operations of the business and relates everyday decisions into growing and improving the company. They often listen and learn from entrepreneurs, typically the CEO and/or president, incorporating their knowledge to create plans for internal improvement.

Related: Intrapreneurship is the New Entrepreneurship


Intrapreneurs function well in a start-up industry because of their ability to thrive in a changing environment. They are excellent at observing, reflecting, accepting, and then adapting. They often create solutions from a new starting point. They welcome growing pains. It's often said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease; intrapreneurs are those who grease the wheels without always looking for praise.

Internally motivated

Though intrapreneurs appreciate the value and importance of return on investment, they generally are not solely driven by profit. They typically are motivated by how they can contribute to further the overall success of their company. Intrapreneurs typically initiate meaningful innovations within their departments before expecting or requesting a raise.


One of the most, if not the most, important element in business is the possession of confidence. Self doubt weighs heavily on an individual’s confidence and ability to creatively perform, think and act -- which progressively deteriorates corporate profitability. Having a high level of confidence is critically important. Confidence is a state of mind and a state of being. Positive thinking and engagement with like-minded people is central to the dynamic creation and execution of successful business plans which promotes attractive returns on investment.

Related: 6 Steps for Converting Employees Into Intrapreneurs

The anchor

Intrapreneurs are generally even-tempered. When a company is in change, intrapreneurs keep a level head. Employees tend to follow an executive with a consistent and balanced temperament compared to an inconsistent or negative attitude. Effective management encourages creative minds to seek solutions during tough organizational challenges.

The straight shooter

Honesty and transparency are central to creating and maintaining a successful intrapreneurial corporate culture. Intrapreneurial chief executive officers should:

  • Create a culture of innovation and dynamic leadership.
  • Create a culture of integrity and compliance.
  • Advocate for a culture of shared vision and teamwork.
  • Advocate a core value system to have courage, determination and a contagious spirit to do what is right, regardless of the difficulties or consequences.

The mirror effect

The best way to ensure your company will attract the intrapreneurial spirit is to foster creativity in your company culture. Many entrepreneurs are (or were) intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurs often have the ability to identify mirror images of themselves and make room for advancing those employees to help the company succeed. The creation of intrapreneurial spirit could be exactly what it takes for your business to achieve the best possible results while fostering loyal, career-minded individuals that share your determination for success.

Related: 5 Must-Have Skills of Intrapreneurs Inside Their Grown-Up Startups

Closing note

Being able to recognize the intrapreneurs in your company will make you better equipped to cultivate a space for them, and your company, to thrive. Championing intrapreneurship inevitably encourages your company to challenge the status quo, which will lead to positive paradigm shifts within your organization -- and a vibrant workforce.