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How Intrapreneurs Are The New Leaders In Corporate America


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What do young people value most in the workplace? A 2015 study by Ernst & Young showed that millennial workers value time freedom, personal development and the opportunity to make a difference all above even a higher salary. These are great soundbites, but what do they really mean to the people who desire them most?

The Opportunity to Make a Difference: Millennials want their work to matter — not just show up and collect a paycheck. Huge corporations are making adjustments to make sure there is a career path for young workers among the ranks, not just an ID number on their badge.

Personal Development: Young workers want the chance to sharpen skills at work. Development isn’t cheap, which is why many bosses ask, “What happens if I develop my employees and they leave?” But the worse case scenario is, what happens if you don’t and they stay?

Time Freedom: This is the big one. The traditional 9-5 is dying and millennials want the chance to work hard under flexible conditions. This means working different hours in different locations.

These new expectations of corporate life have created a new phase: intrapreneurship. An entrepreneur builds a career with his or her own business and an intrapreneur builds a career by climbing the corporate ladder — 2017 style. So if you’re someone looking to break the old corporate barriers of the 20th century and move up in your company, or any company, these are the ways to become a master intrapreneur.

First, Know the Rules.

Time freedom doesn’t mean punching in at 9:30 a.m. and punching out before 5 on the first day. Managers are still coming around to the new demands of young workers and many mistake time freedom for “‘laziness” and “lack of work ethic.” First, show your boss that you’re the hardest working person in the room, then you’re in a much better position to demand some of those freedoms. It’s not the other way around.

Create & Embrace Change.

The cult comedy “Office Space” depicts the epitome of corporate monotony. Everyone shows up to do the same work, recites the same lines and lives the same life every single day. Intrapreneurs should not only embrace the winds of change, they should create change. That could be anything from suggesting new policies to pitching ideas for new campaigns without being asked. Don’t sit and let the work come to you. Even if you are the hardest working person in the room, that’s how people fall into routine.

Find a Company that Rewards the Lifestyle.

Unfortunately, there are companies out there just unwilling to adjust to these changes, and you should know when to move on from these corporations. Fortunately, there are companies that no only embrace these changes but are set up to reward them. Companies like Amway combine the best of both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship by giving employees the chance to grow their own businesses but also work inside the constructs of a large company.

That doesn’t mean network marketing is the only industry to embrace what young workers want, but it is one of many examples of change in the workplace.

Work With Integrity.

The stereotype in corporate life is that the schemers scheme their way to the top, but this isn’t how young workers operate in 2017. Time freedom, personal development and the opportunity to make a difference are all symptoms of integrity and authenticity. Call it naive, but millennials really are embracing the old saying that if you work hard and strive to be a good person, good things will happen. Don’t believe it? Ask guys like Jimmy Fallon who took that same mantra all the way to the top. It works.


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