Are you an Iconoclast or an MBA? (Part 2)

In the first part of this post I talked about business trailblazers Richard Branson and Fred Smith.

Branson with Virgin and Smith with FedEx have achieved unparalleled success, each building a global brand that has become ubiquitous with creative, outside of the box thinking.

What is even more interesting in relation to the title of today’s post is that they have also succeeded in achieving this success outside of the hallowed halls of the academic world.  In fact Branson openly wondered if he would have charted a similar course to success had he been confined to the dos and don’ts of the conventional business practices taught at our higher education institutions.

Now I want to clarify before you make the assumption that I am a detractor of our education system.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

I have on numerous occasions stressed the undeniable value of entering the workforce for the first time with a diploma in hand from a prestigious school.  In my many years working with senior executives from the world of business, I have learned that having a degree can be important in terms of opening doors of opportunity that might have otherwise remained closed.

This being said, while perhaps essential to getting you in the door, a degree does not replace the need to actually perform.  This is of course what Branson and Smith did in that they built hugely successful businesses, and in the process left an indelible impression or brand on the business world.

That is the point of this second post.  How do you build a successful brand that leaves it mark on the world?  How do you provide an indispensable service or deliver unparalleled value to your employer or customer?

If you are a business owner then you must possess a true entrepreneurial mindset.  If you an employee, you must adopt an intrapreneurial mindset.

“I know what an entrepreneur is,” you are probably thinking.  But what is an “intrapreneur?”

Even though you are still technically speaking as an employee, when you see yourself as an intrapreneur you will begin to think differently.  Rather than simply fulfilling the requirements of your position, you will instead begin to think outside of the box.

With an intrapreneur mindset you will see opportunities where none previously existed.  Your goals and objectives might even change as you embrace a new personal independence that will better align with your organization’s goals.  You will also embrace your true unique ability because similar to entrepreneurs, you will now be pursuing results from a position of passion rather than just duty or job description.

Once you build a special reputation around your unique ability, you will be able to engage in activities that capitalize on your specialty, providing you with the greatest level of motivation and satisfaction.  This is the true definition of an entrepreneur, and it is the practical illustration of what you as an intrapreneur will now bring to your organization.

With the above in mind you will probably be able to answer the question “are you an iconoclast or an MBA?”



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Author and Host of the PI Window on The World Show on Blog Talk Radio.

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