At least a couple of times a year, I share something from my friend, Rob Kelly, over at OnGig, and this was something he and his team put together earlier this year.
I think we are all a bit of job title whores, in a sense! I mean, if you’re a “director,” you really want to be a “vice president.” If you’re a VP, you want to be a “chief of something.” And on and on it goes. A manager wants to be a senior manager. A “typist I” wants to be a “typist II”. We love our titles!
My buddy Kris Dunn let me choose my own title when I first started writing over at Fistful of Talent, and I chose “Chief Storyteller.” Then I started writing a lot and showed up at a conference, and they had my title as “President of FOT,” and that to this day, gets KD all up in arms!
I think we should allow people just to choose whatever title they want to call themselves. I mean, if Karen wants to talk to the manager, make yourself the manager!
Here are my favorite titles from Ongig’s list:
Ambassador of Buzz (Corporate Communications Associate) – didn’t Rod make Jerry his “Ambassador of Quan”? If you know, you know!
Colon Lover (Copywriter) – I like big butts, and I can not lie. Oh wait, I’m terrible at grammar, wrong colon!
Collector of Business Cards (Business Development Rep) – I haven’t had business cards for like five years, and when someone asks me for one, I just take out my phone and Google my name!
VP of ABC (“Always Be Closing”) (VP of Sales Team) – it’s not a list without a Glengarry reference!
Head of Customer Wow (Head of Customer Service) – I love a “Wow” experience!
Vibe Manager & Head of all things Awesome (Head of HR) – Hell to the yeah! You feel me?!
C3PO – Chief Power Plugs & Patches Officer (CTO) – Stop it! Perfect title.
Chief People-Herder ( Community Manager) – These cats aren’t going to herd themselves! This also works for HR leaders.
Digital Overlord (Web Site Manager) – Anything with “overlord” is a winner!
Head of PR and Other Fun Stuff (PR Director) – good. Head of Fun Stuff – better.
Lead Enabler (Assistant) – There’s so much truth in this title, I felt it in my soul.
Captain Underappreciated (Office Manager) – This one made me remember the Captain Underwear books my boys read growing up!
Chief Cheerleader (CEO) – I think every single one of us needs our own Cheerleader. None better than your CEO!
Dr. No (CFO) – If I had a dime for every time…
Master of Coin (CFO) – Game of Thrones, anyone?
King of Sneakers – this might be my new title for the world!
Master of Disaster (Crisis Manager) – It’s funny! Until it’s not.
Out-of-Work Officer – And one for the sign of the times.
I get why we have titles. I get organizational dynamics. I spent the first half of my career title chasing. I got to be 35 years old, and I wasn’t a VP, and I thought I had failed. Then I finally got the VP title and realized the title meant nothing because it was really about what responsibility you have.
I’ve met managers who had the ultimate responsibility to change their company and their world. I’ve met chiefs that couldn’t change the size of the computer screen on their desk.
People won’t admit that titles matter to them. They act like it doesn’t matter. It only doesn’t matter to those who can choose their own title! For 99% of the world, titles are very important to our personal psyche. Titles give confidence and status to those who need that. Don’t ever discount the importance of a title for someone else. We can do that for ourselves, but not others!
What is your favorite job title you’ve seen or had? Hit me in the comments.