From Karan’s Research, Read About One of the Top Seven Leadership Execution Tactics
Mastered by the World’s Most Successful Leaders

This is the fourth of a seven-part series where we will dive into the findings of our research regarding the most critical tactics that drive “differentiating value”, impact, influence and followership for any leadership effort. We will discuss what characteristics these successful leaders have, how these skills look in the real world workplace, as well as what value these skills provide for organizations whose leaders exemplify these tactics.

Each of these leadership tactics is based on a commissioned research study of 10K high-potential leaders conducted by Karan and her team at SDL. Through sharing our learnings via the Leading at the Top of Your Game Development Experience, we have worked with countless organizations to develop an army of individuals at all levels into leaders who are passionate, highly skilled, competitively advantaged, and execution-savvy.

It is no secret that companies must constantly have an eye out for the “next big thing” they need to accomplish in order to be efficient, profitable and competitive.  Similarily, the leaders who drive the operations in these companies must also focus on opportunities for ongoing improvement. 

Leading with Intrapreneurship is the ability to build organizations by identifying new opportunities to develop or improve operations, products, or services.

Individuals with a high acumen in Intrapreneurship are constantly thinking outside of the box and evaluating possibilities to identify new opportunities, solutions, or approaches. They have an intuitive sense about which innovative ideas will work and are willing to take calculated risks to achieve organizational objectives.

Leaders exhibiting Intrapreneurship work to build the organization by improving products or services and engage stakeholders to become excited about the potential changes or improvements.

What does “Leading with Intrapreneurship” look like in individuals?  They . . .    

  • Evaluate wide-ranging possibilities to identify new opportunities, solutions, or approaches.
  • Have an intuitive sense about which innovative ideas and suggestions will work. 
  • Think outside of parameters to see if there’s a better way.
  • Build the organization by developing or improving products or services. 
  • Take calculated risks to accomplish or exceed organizational objectives.
  • Identify and analyze problems; weigh relevance and accuracy of information; generate and evaluate alternative solutions; make recommendations.
  • Engage others to become excited about potential change and improvements.

What is the “differentiating value” provided when demonstrating Intrapreneurship? 

  • Can identify marketplace opportunities and discover the most appropriate ways and time to capitalize on them.
  • Is able to see things differently than the rest of the world. 
  • Helps to more effectively tackle ever-increasing competition.
  • Fosters organizational flexibility and agility.
  • Increases tolerance for risk-taking.

What does Leading with Intrapreneurship look like in the workplace?

Let’s look at a real world example of leading with Intrapreneurship. Ken Kutaragi was a junior employee at Sony when, after tinkering with his daughter’s Nintendo, he had the idea that an independent sound card would improve the quality of the game.

After the CEO heard about his idea, Kutaragi was allowed to keep his job at Sony while working on the prototype alongside Nintendo’s development team. Incredibly, Nintendo rejected what would become known as the Playstation… and Sony jumped at the chance. Thus, Sony gained an incredible advantage in the gaming industry.

What value does Intrapreneurship provide in the workplace?

Leaders that exemplify Intrapreneurship in their leadership are quickly recognized as a differentiated leader who is truly functioning at the top of their game. Leaders that work on strengthening their intrapreneurship competency help lead their organization to innovate faster, better, and continuously. These leaders capitalize on opportunities for growth, while effortlessly attracting, retaining, and developing the best and brightest talent on their teams.

Leading with Intrpreneurship is only one of the seven leadership tactics that drive differentiating value.

The next article will discuss Leading with a Drive for Results, which is the ability to be persistent and tenacious in ensuring that goals are achieved.



“Leverage your sweet spot”

The ability to use your areas of expertise to “peek around corners” in order to spot trends, connect the dots, and identify new areas of opportunity that others miss.


“The unwritten rules are the toughest to read”

The ability to have the fortitude to take calculated risks to stand up for what you believe and do the right thing, even when the consequences and/or future is unclear.


“Oh, the games people play”

The ability to assess interpersonal dynamics and operate effectively in a variety of social situations.


“A hero’s gamble to break boundaries”

Building the organization by identifying new opportunities to develop or improve operations, products, or services.


“Separating real leaders from the wanabees”

The ability to be persistent and tenacious in ensuring goals are achieved.


“The power of swagger”

The ability to make clear and convincing oral and/or written presentations in order to influence and lead others.


“Cracking the code of the unknown”

The ability to make good decisions or lead a good decision making process, based on top strategic goals and priorities.

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If you’re interested in connecting with Karan regarding an upcoming need, you can email or schedule a call.


Shockingly Different Leadership is a human capital professional services consultancy that provides organizations access to the best consulting expertise in the areas of Talent Development, Organizational Development, and Human Resources – on an on-demand, project, or contract basis.


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