Are titles really that important?
No, not book titles – job titles. And if so, what do they convey that makes them important? A sense of position or rank in the organization? A sense of authority? Maybe to the holder it is a sense of accomplishment?
Unfortunately, I think the impact of titles has been diluted over the years. Take for instance the financial services industry. How many Vice Presidents do we know who are really account managers. And yet there is the sense within the industry that we won’t pay attention to them unless they have the VP title. And maybe that is true. Positioning in front of the general public can be an important concern.
I recently had a discussion with someone in the non-profit realm who was concerned that a member of the staff was not using the correct title in correspondence. He was reflecting that this individuals rank was lower than the title he was using. And yet at the same time the boss wants to make sure that the staff member is correctly positioned in front of donors. In my mind, much ado about nothing.
That being said, let me offer up these observations:
- Let the title reflect the work being done.
- If necessary, let the title position well in front of the public.
- Let the title provide a sense of rank.
- Be flexible.
- Don’t get hung up on the words.
What are your thoughts on job titles? Are they something to get hung up on?