Are you an Intrapreneur?

Dear employee, do you dream big, and always seem to find new ideas to drive innovation?

Do you find a way to expand your role in a way that not only helps you with job crafting but also helps the company you are working in?

Do you always find a way to rethink a seemingly odd idea into something sellable? Well, you might be an intrapreneur!

An ‘intrapreneur’ is essentially an entrepreneur within a company, who can bring innovation and success for the company through their unique skills, their competence and perspective, that is, through their enterprising nature. So, employers, how to recognise the intrapreneur within your company? And employees, how to cultivate or recognise that streak of intrapreneurship within you? Here’s a quick list of qualities that makes one an intrapreneur:

Making Lives Better

An intrapreneur, much like the entrepreneur, has great ideas for innovation and change. What does an entrepreneur do? They find a way to add meaning to their life through a business idea, an innovation that will change the life of the community/the people around for the better. They find this one need, that one gap, and find a way to fill that gap, such that it will add benefit and meaning to their as well as the customer’s life. Similarly, within a company, an intrapreneur, through their enterprising nature, constantly finds ways to make their job more meaningful, and develops new competencies, fills the existing gaps within their role, expands it, and thus expands the scope of change within the company. An intrapreneur makes a company’s ‘life’ better.

Expert seller

One doesn’t have to be in sales to be a good salesperson. Who is a good salesperson? A good salesperson is someone who recognises that a product has great selling potential. They recognise the ideal customers, the ideal way to approach those customers, and the ideal way to market that product so that one can sell it well.

As an article by HBR points out, an intrapreneur is similarly a great salesperson of ideas. They recognise a good idea, even ideas that are underutilised or dormant; a good intrapreneur has the ability to revitalise a seemingly dead idea. They can market or remarket the idea such that the idea is ‘sold’ in the right manner, to the right clientele. In other words, an intrapreneur has the ability to look at ideas innovatively, and thus change the world, and the company, through that idea.


What makes an entrepreneur stand out from everyone? One of the qualities is their ability to network, and establish a reciprocal give and take of services with other businesses. A true entrepreneur understands the value of meaningful connections with other entrepreneurs as well as their ‘loyal’ customers.

An intrapreneur within the company similarly, is an expert networker. They not only get along well with their colleagues, but also have a great network outside of the company, that will enable the company to engage in collaborative endeavours, retain clients and consultations. They will always find new avenues for growth for the company. An article by People Matters brings to notice the side of the intrapreneur that wins over people, and the fact they are not afraid to take risks or fail publicly- they will simply learn and get better.

The intrapreneur thus, could be anyone, who is proactive, who understands the value of meaningful networking, and who sees the potential in ideas, and knows how to bring those ideas to fruition, to better their own as well as the company’s life. An intrapreneur thus brings the enterprising spirit within the company, for the company. So, dear employee, do you see the intrapreneurship bug in you? Dear employers, do you recognise the budding intrapreneurs in your office?

Managing With Empathy-Drain: Navigating the various forms of Empathy

Empathy drain is often faced by professionals involved in personnel management and leadership roles. How does one manage that?

People in leadership roles these days are often encouraged to cultivate empathy in their role. Managers, leaders, mentors etc are considered to be doing a good job when employees feel safe to voice their concern, when they feel their voices are being heard and considered.

The younger generation of employees in fact often value empathy in leadership as a major deal-breaker or -maker. A Gallups survey cited by Harvard Business Review found that among a sample of 1000 workers who left their jobs during the Great Resignation, 58% did so because they found their managers lacking empathy.

Empathy is the thing to develop.

But is it a sustainable quality to develop for people at managerial positions?

Empathy Drain:

A survey by Future Forum found that middle managers reported more burnout than any other kind of workers.

Many managers often feel like they may have to do a trade-off: either have empathy, and drain yourself and endanger one’s well-being, or don’t show empathy and leave the employees in the midst of issues.

When one is dealing with people, and your job is to make sure the people make good use of their competence, it is inevitable that the one in charge of it would be drained out. What’s more, being empathetic might also mean one takes on the feelings of others, leading to more burnout- physical as well as psychological. The cost of having empathy, of ‘getting’ what people are going through, is to end up actually getting what people are going through. Even people in caregiving professions such as nursing, training, teaching may experience what is called ‘compassion fatigue’ or ‘empathy burnout’.

Getting what your employees go through might not be a very healthy thing for anyone’s well-being, especially managers and leaders.

But there seems to be a balanced way out of the empathy drain.

Tuning into empathetic concern:

Empathy comes in a variety of forms, as per the article mentioned above. We can differentiate between empathetic concern vs. emotional empathy and mindfully tune our behaviour accordingly. Empathetic concern involves having concern for others and finding solutions based on that concern. Emotional empathy involves taking on emotions of others.

Understanding these forms of empathy could be a key to not feeling drained out due to empathy, and at the same time, not come across as a heartless person.

Say for example, your colleague or employee comes to you about a problem they are facing. Emotional empathy would be to start feeling their problem as your own. This could lead to a possible roadblock because you would be too involved in trying to understand their feelings. You might also end up taking on the work of this employee, and at the end of the day, you would be overworked and drained, and the employee would end up feeling like a burden and possibly with no sense of having overcome the problem.

Showing empathetic concern on the, other hand, would be seeing their problem, and offering support and insights into possible solutions. This would lead to keeping a healthy distance, and helping others step in their power to solve their own problem. The employee is likely to feel empowered, and you would have channelised your sensitivity in the right direction.

Empathetic concern would mean helping the employee get their sense of agency and finding ways to raise them from their misery. Emotional empathy would be getting what the person is going through, and getting so involved in their problem that one forgets to think about a solution.  Of course, sometimes, one can only listen in some situations, and let the experiences integrate themselves. But this tuning out, between having emotional empathy and having empathetic concern is the line between helping someone yourself, and empowering someone to help themselves. 

Lessons to learn from Lord Ganesha

As Ganesh Chaturthi sets in, we look into the lessons that Lord Ganesh represents.

ganesh chaturthi, lessons to learn from lod ganesha, image for article titled lessons to learn from lord ganesha

As Ganesh Chaturthi sets in, we are reminded about the auspiciousness that surrounds this festival, and the significance Lord Ganesha has in the day-to-day life. Lord Ganesha can also teach some life lessons that can well be applied into the professional space as well.

Listen more, listen well: Lord Ganesha with just his way of being teaches us the value of great listening skills. The elephantine ears represent the ability and keenness to listen to the nuances of what the other person has to say. Good listening skills ensure that we are paying attention, whether we are listening to a client, listening to a colleague in a meeting or listening to a friend. Paying attention, and listening for the sake of listening, and not merely for the sake of responding can lead to the other person feeling truly heard, and in turn lead to a fruitful collaboration.

Obstacles shall be removed: The dukh harta, sukh karta role of lord Ganesha is well-known. We can recall this in our own dealings. Any obstacle or road-block that we encounter in problem-solving or in a project, is an opportunity to work around the very obstacle or road-block. With a trust that any obstacle that we may come across will be removed, we can work on it or around it calmly. As Stoicism teachings often put it: ‘Obstacle is the Way’. The obstacle is the opportunity to work on something in a better way. It is the growth-mindset that we hear about all the time.

Wisdom and abundance: The famous lore about a young Ganesha and Kartikeya showcases the wisdom and a feeling of abundance that our modak-loving lord represents. When asked to make a round of the world by parents Shiva and Parvati, Kartikeya went for a round of the earth. Ganesha simply started to make rounds around his parents, saying that they are his world. This mindset not only represents wisdom, cleverness but also a sense of abundance, and feeling grateful and happy about what you have. No wonder Ganpati is also associated with his jolly nature!

Beginnings are sweet: The sweet modak which lord Ganesha loves, along with him being the God of beginnings is a reminder that beginning something is sweet enough. Rather than feeling daunted about starting a project from the scratch, or opening a new company, or adopting a new way of thinking, one would do well if one remembered that something well begun is a battle half won. Why think of it as a battle even? Why not think of it as being on our way to acquiring the sweet rewards of the modak?  

As Ganesh Chaturthi sets in, team UHR would like to wish everyone abundance of wisdom, sweetness, and success in all their endeavours. Here’s to auspicious beginnings, a wise journey and jolly results!

Leadership in Little Things


There is the picture of a larger than life figure leading an army.

Sometimes there is an archetypal visual of a booming war cry.

 In a more contemporary imagination, we imagine world political leaders in their suits and blazers, shaking hands and signing treaties.

But being a leader doesn’t necessarily entail any of the above mentioned grandeur!

Leading teams in an office environment is definitely not about leading armies and countries. But there are some qualities which all leaders, in all environments display.

 Leadership is reflected in the minutiae of our lives.

 Leadership is not about force. In fact, what author Daniel Goleman has to say about an essential quality of a leader has nothing to do with bossing people around at all.

Goleman considers ‘Emotional Intelligence’ as the quality which puts a leader apart. Some seemingly simple characteristics of a person with high EI are:

  • Empathy. The ability to put yourself in other’s shoes.
  • Self-awareness and self-regulation. Being aware of one’s emotions and in control of them, especially during crises.
  • An ability to handle interpersonal relationships in a balanced way.

One has to realise that true leadership lies in the gestures and actions. Possessing a quality is one thing, acting over it is what makes a leader.

Let us look at the quality in the context of a workplace

  It is true that some designations, have “leadership” attached to it, for example a manager, director, etc. But a leader as such could be anyone, irrespective of their post. It’s the actions that show leadership qualities.

 Some projects often involve efforts of many people. A leader here is someone who:

  • Sets immediate and ultimate goal: it could be as small as setting up an unofficial deadline for all team-members.
  • Organises the roles of all those involved in the project.
  • Doesn’t simply “assign” responsibilities. Rather, he or she shapes the conversation in such a way that there is an element of choice of the team-members.
  • Appreciates and gives credit to everyone’s contribution.
  • Encourages to communicate ideas, no matter how bizarre one might feel they are.

   He or she listens to what each one has to say and then through dialogue and consultation brings each member to pick the responsibility which perfectly matches their capabilities.

  A good leader is almost always chosen unofficially and without any sort of announcement. There is a sort of unspoken, unanimous agreement working here.

  Meetings are tricky. Sometimes they might turn boring, or employees may feel they are pointless. A leader would be someone who:

  • Makes a suggestion about an agenda if the meeting seems to lack direction.
  • Keeps a tab whether everyone has said what they wanted to say.
  • Takes charge if someone is feeling hesitant in communicating.
  • Keeps a tab on the structure of the meeting: when did it begin, when will it end, what would this meeting cover and what the previous one did.

Leadership involves finding a purpose for everyone, through collaboration.

It is not about exercising power but about empowering your colleagues.

It is not about rivalries and ego-tussles. It is about creating an environment with good participation, dialogue, and flow of ideas. It is about making your colleagues comfortable and at the same time, making sure no one feels hesitant to step out of the comfort zone, including yourself.