Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
005 What a rebel intrapreneur wants

005 What a rebel intrapreneur wants

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The core attribute of a rebel intrapreneur is the ability to get on board with the mission of the organization. I say "core attribute" because of all possible capabilities, getting on board with the mission and leaping into the future is what separate rebel intrapreneurs from other employees. Once we recognize this, we can understand that when a rebel intrapreneur feels held back, or otherwise restrained from pursuing the mission, she gets frustrated ("Can't you see the future? It's so obvious") and then, disillusioned ("Maybe the competitor gets it").

When a rebel intrapreneur embraces the company mission, what they want more than anything from work is the autonomy to pursue the mission. This is what engages the rebel intrapreneur.


Autonomy and engagement go together. Like..... get the idea.

It hit me while reading this passage from a Workplace from Meta blog about employee engagement:

Autonomy and engagement are a virtuous circle. Engaged employees have a sense of choice and freedom in the way they carry out their work, and 79% of autonomous employees are more engaged in their work than those who lack autonomy.

Together, autonomy and engagement produce a multiplier effect equal to the sum of parts that are worth more than the whole.

One plus one equals three.

The opposite of autonomy is micro-managing.  The blog continues:

Micro-management is a major engagement killer. There’s little so guaranteed to undermine trust as having someone always looking over your shoulder.

Most leaders don't know they are micro-managing.

Here's how you know.

  1. If you are telling someone "How" to do something, you are micro-managing.

  2. If you are telling someone "What" to do, you are likely micro-managing.

The worst thing you can do with a Rebel Intrapreneur is tell them what and how.

The opposite of micro-managing is being absent. Giving a rebel intrapreneur autonomy does not mean, "Check back in with my next year when it's done." Check ins are vital. Steering a rebel intrapreneur back on track when they drift is necessary.

On the flip side, managers who are remote and inaccessible, who never or rarely give guidance or feedback, will also undermine engagement. People need the ability to work independently. But they also need clear goals they’ve contributed to framing, to get feedback on their performance, and to know who to reach out to when they need help.

But the check ins and course corrections should be about the why. They should be a series of mini-discovery conversations that prompt the rebel intrapreneur to the solution themselves or give them the leeway to say, "I don't know what to do here. I am struggling."

Now we can have a conversation about solving a problem.

The need for autonomy does not mean, "leave me alone." It means, "I can get on board with that mission. I know where we are going. All I need now is what my boundaries are. I'm in."


Today’s episode is brought to you by Figma. Two important tools of the Rebel Intrapreneur are the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas. Figma has templates for both. I used the value proposition canvas template to design the listener profile and value map for this show. You can do it, too. Try Figma for free, and get your innovation projects off the ground fast.

More about Bill:

Bill Cushard on Linkedin

Bill Cushard on Twitter

Rebel Intrapreneur podcast website

Bill’s book: The Art of Agile Marketing: A Practical Roadmap for Implementing Kanban and Scrum in Jira and Confluence 

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Bill Cushard Rebel Intrapreneur

Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur is a podcast about a new category of high performing employee. Rebel intrapreneurs further the mission of an organization while simultaneous challenging the system from within. Founders and entrepreneurs are thirsty to find people who believe in their mission as much as they do, and pursue that mission relentlessly. Rebel Intrapreneur is hosted by Bill Cushard, who has reported directly to founder/CEOs four times in his career, which makes him an ideal guide on your intrapreneurial journey.