As leaders we all struggle with the typical employee mindset. "I'm just here to work. I do my job. You pay me. End of story." You can't exactly say this is wrong, but if every employee on your payroll thinks like this, you will not get high performance from your team. 

The concept of the intrapreneurial employee is how employees in a company who do not own any bit of the company behave like entrepreneurs and business owners. An entrepreneur is proactive, aggressive and creative. An entrepreneur is a go-getter. An entrepreneur is hungry and driven. A typical employee is transactional and detached. "This is not my company. This is my boss' company. Why would I work so hard for it?" 

Is it possible to transform employees into intrapreneurs? Successful leaders create organisation cultures in which employees embrace the intrapreneurial mindset. It is our job as leaders to develop our people. These below are the four key ingredients of an intrapreneurial employee.  

Ownership Mindset

In almost every leadership training session that I conduct in which I ask this question, no one gets it right. I draw a complex organisation chart, and ask my students to imagine themselves being a middle manager in it. I then ask: where does a problem occur in the organisation chart that you would consider it your problem? Some say it's their branch of the tree - from them and downwards. Some say their boss' problem is also their problem. Some go even further to say that the boss' boss' problem is also theirs. The answer I look for and rarely find is no matter where the problem occurs, it is your problem. Because you are part of the company. If the company has a problem, it affects you eventually. Even if you are not responsible for the problem. Even if you can't do anything to solve the problem. You should still own the problem. At the very least, if no one has realised the problem, you will tell the responsible person or team about it, so that it will be addressed. 

As companies grow more complex, they tend to become more bureaucratic and divided.  Problems easily become just other people's problems. A true intrapreneur learns to take ownership. A truly high performing team doesn't make excuses. They hold themselves accountable.  

Value Mindset

Business is an exchange of value. Companies are formed to create value. Not just to make money. Creating value and making money are not the same. Our time is precious. Our resources must not be wasted. An intrapreneur challenges everything they do through the lens of value. What value does my team, my department and my company deliver to its customers? What am I doing today which creates value? How do I remain relevant and continue to create new value? 

Learning Mindset

Some people contrast the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The intrapreneur is always learning. From failure as well as from success. They always seek to grow themselves. They know staying in place means being left behind. They have an open mind and stay humble. They learn by proactively looking for new knowledge, as well as by being observant and curious about what is happening around them every day. 

Enterprise Mindset

The intrapreneur takes a strategic view. They understand the dynamics and politics of not only the company but also beyond the company. We are all part of an ecosystem, and thriving means learning to coexist and to find mutual benefit.  We learn to see from different perspectives. We learn to see beyond zero-sum games. 

Learning Mindset, Ownership Mindset, Value Mindset, and Enterprise Mindset. I picked these terms to represent the four elements of intrapreneurship because they form the acronym L.O.V.E. When our employees LOVE the work they do; when we as leaders create companies that they LOVE, we get the best performance out of our people.