[Part of the Daily Lectio series, named after the Benedictine tradition of lectio divina, “divine reading.” For instructions and background on the series, click here. Subscribe to Daily Lectio. Send comments or suggested readings to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Gifford Pinchot III is one of the co-founders of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where I went for an MBA in Sustainable Community Economic Development. Back in the eighties, he coined the word “intrapreneur”:
in-tra-pre-neur (In¹tre-pre-nur) n. A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation [intra(corporate) + (ENTRE)PRENEUR.] -inftrapre-nouri-al adj. -intra-pre-neuri-al-ism n. -in’trapre-neuri-al-ly adv.
While profit, risk-taking and innovation represent a way of interacting with the world that is contrary to what monasticism has been for the past few-thousand years, Pinchot’s list of the Intrapreneur’s 10 Commandments contains sound advice for any secular monastic working within an existing community, business or larger social structure to create a more mindful, sustainable or communal organization:
The Intapreneur’s 10 Commandments
- Come to work each day willing to be fired.
- Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream.
- Do any job needed to make your project work, regardless of your job description.
- Find people to help you.
- Follow your intuition about the people you choose, and work only with the best.
- Work underground as long as you can—publicity triggers the corporate immune mechanism.
- Never bet on a race unless you are running in it.
- Remember it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
- Be true to your goals, but be realistic about the ways to achieve them.
- Honor your sponsors.