How can you cultivate yourself to be the best leader you could possibly be?

August 8, 2022

Two woman doing a high-five

It’s 2017, Ina Bogdanova has finished the Social Innovation Management Program in São Paulo, Brazil, and is now working in Madrid, Spain. It is the dawn of her social impact career, she is determined and hopeful to cultivate this new path as a volunteer at the Spanish Ashoka office all whilst working full-time in hospitality to pay her bills. It was at this point in her life she shared in a blogpost for Amani Institute titled: “From buzzword to action: 10 tips on how to be an Intrapreneur”.

“Reading through these 10 tips was surprising because so much of it, if not all, is still very relevant to me.” Ina says today. She looks back at what her 2017 self said and comments on them with a new perspective. She has grown in leaps and bounds from volunteer to the COO of the Globalizer team at Ashoka.

We dive into snippets of her 2017 article below but if you would like to read the full article please click here

Everyone should be an entrepreneur nowadays or, at least, an aspiring one. However, many of us are still working in large or small organizations and companies that set the status quo. Entrepreneurship cannot, therefore, be the starting point for creating a change in the world. We need to start talking about intrapreneurship and furthermore, start considering how to use the tools and “changemaking” elements to inspire change from within and across companies and organizations.

Here Ina shares from her personal experience, as an aspiring intrapreneur in hospitality, how to start your journey in Intrapreneurship. 

  1. Have a strong belief in the project you are working on, if not find a new job.
  2. You and your manager(s) should share the same long-term vision to set a good foundation of partnering to reach it. 
  3. Intrapreneurship is not born from being handed a “problem” by your manager. 
  4. Trust the process of becoming an Intrapreneur – it will take time. Be open to failure and learn from it. 
  5. Use your soft skills and develop a deep knowledge of your company and the ecosystem it works in to get your message across.
  6. Surround yourself with supporters. an intrapreneur is not a lone warrior. 
  7. An intrapreneur is not some kind of superhero.
  8. Put your ego aside and be ok with not being in the spotlight.
  9. Sometimes your manager(s) are not ready for your idea/ project. Take a small step towards it, instead. But don’t give up.
  10. Lastly, LISTEN, OBSERVE and ADJUST.
Ina Blogpost Intrapreneur
Ina Bogdanova (left) speaking with her fellow SIM classmate

Ina shares now “Everything I wrote back then comes down to this one question – how can you cultivate yourself to be the best leader you could possibly be? Navigating these fast-pace and very fluid emerging working environments, it is a matter of making sure that beyond titles and buzz words, important responsibilities, and nice recognitions. We are constantly working on improving our understanding of what surrounds us, but equally important, grasping that person -you- who is behind all the decisions made, directions taken, and goals set.”

Today, Ina shares with us a bonus tip. “It is an ever-going process, the moment you think “mission accomplished”, be sure to ask your good friend or dear colleague for feedback. A second point of view goes a long way in finding those blind spots.”

Thank you Ina for your words of wisdom. If you too want to learn more about Intrapreneurship consider signing up for one of our programs or reaching out at [email protected]

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