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Intrapreneurship Requires Trust. Are You Worthy?

This post is part of the Lean Blogging Experiment. Click here to learn more

Observations:

  • To succeed as an intrapreneur, you will need your employer to give you things they don’t give to most employees. (e.g. time and money to invest in a speculative project.)
  • Your employer will only give you these things if they trust you.
  • There are two dimensions to trust:

    • Trust in intent -- i.e. I believe you are trying to do something good.
    • Trust in ability -- i.e. I believe you are capable of accomplishing the thing you are trying to do.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Does your employer have good reason to trust your intent? You’ve heard the saying: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Does your employer know how much you care about the mission and ultimate success of your organization? If you were on trial for caring about your company, would there be enough evidence to convict you? What would that evidence be? For example, do you …

    • Come to work earlier than most?
    • Stay later?
    • Participate in extracurricular events?
    • Read the company’s publications and status reports?
    • Make an effort to know and support your colleagues?
    • Demonstrate gratitude for your job?
    • Assume the best of your leadership and colleagues?
    • Demonstrate a willingness to make sacrifices when necessary?
  2. Does your employer have good reason to believe in your ability? Have you established a solid track record of achievement and success? Do you consistently demonstrate a level of knowledge and competence that inspires confidence? Are you reliable? Do you demonstrate good judgment on matters both small and large? Are you constantly learning and growing? Are you quick to respond to your employer’s feedback and coaching?
  3. If “No” to either of the above, can you turn things around? Will a change of attitude and behavior on your part win back your employer’s trust, or has the bridge been burnt?

Recommendations:

  1. If you answered “No” to Questions 1 and/or 2 but “Yes” to Question 3, put your intrapreneurial dreams on hold and focus your efforts on earning your employer’s trust. Trust is the foundation stone of intrapreneurial success, and it’s pointless to pitch a project to your boss until you have earned it.
  2. If you answer “No” to Questions 1 and/or 2 and “No” to Question 3 as well, start looking for another job. (You may not get fired where you are, but you will never achieve your fullest potential.) And when you find that new job, make it your #1 priority to earn a reputation as a person who can be trusted 100%.
  3. If you answered “Yes” to Questions 1 and 2, you are cleared for intrapreneurial take-off – enjoy your journey!

Gray Somerville

Gray Somerville is a serial entrepreneur, innovation expert, and LaunchPath’s CEO. Besides LaunchPath, Gray has helped launch and lead three other successful startups including Telogical Systems and Adacus.

@graysomerville