Editor’s Note: Tony Blankenmeyer,
of data insight company 84.51°,
shares his own story and research into
the traits of great leaders and founders.
Research that lead him to the
works of social psychologist and
Carnegie Mellon alum Edward Deci.
Irecently spoke at Cincinnati’s largest annual event for profes- sional development, Bold Fu- sion. This year the focus was
on “intrapreneurship;” the idea of
embracing the many qualities of entrepreneurs, while working within a
Intrapreneurship? Although I understood the message they were going
for, my initial reaction wasn’t favorable. Not to fault the organizers, startups have been made “sexy” over the
last several years and entrepreneurs
seem to be the new “rock stars.” However, the purist in me immediately
thought: “Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, and this buzzy title only
cheapens the name.” But then the realist in me thought: “While I started
my career as an entrepreneur, I’ve
been involved in the startup community for the last 10-plus years.” I guess
my current gig actually did make me
an “intrapreneur.” Hmm.
FINDING MAP IN LEADERS
In preparing for my talk, I researched
great founders and leaders in the
fields of business and technology.
I looked through interviews, blog
posts, and articles on these individu-
als to better understand the common-
alities between them. Over time a pat-
tern emerged, one that reminded my
wife of a framework laid out by social
psychologist Edward Deci.
Whether you work for a two-person
startup or a 200,000-person organization, an entrepreneur or intrapreneur—
call it what you want—is the type of person we read about and aspire to be. They
are the go-getters. Those who make a
real impact through the activities they
do and the work they deliver. The people
who make things happen. And what do
all of these people have in common? They
are all driven by intrinsic motivation.
Edward Deci described those with
intrinsic motivation as people who are
operating in the conditions in which
they are motivating themselves. In
his research, he distilled the findings
down to three components: mastery,
autonomy, and purpose (MAP).
˲ Mastery. The desire to get better
at something that matters.
˲ Autonomy. The desire to direct our
˲ Purpose. The desire to serve something bigger than ourselves.
When all three elements are present, it’s incredible how empowering it
can make you feel and the things you
can get done.
FINDING MAP IN
YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK
There’s a reason why entrepreneurs
are willing to go against the odds to
start a new company. There’s also
a reason why some people happily
work at the same organization for
their whole career. These people have
found their MAP.
Finding Your MAP for Career Choices
What makes a great “intrapreneur”?
Online task markets, such as TaskRabbit and
Fiverr, enable people to outsource their
daily tasks, whether physical or virtual, to
skilled and unskilled workers for a fee.