Have you ever paused and pondered over the power and significance of titles? They are everywhere, defining roles in the workplace, setting expectations, and often, shaping perceptions. But do they tell the whole story? Entrepreneurs, stick with me, I talk about self-proclaimed titles for your business. But before I do, I want to unpack this a bit more on the corporate side.
The Great Title Debate:
Think about it – titles are often the first thing we learn about someone in a professional setting. They’re supposed to give us a quick snapshot of what a person does or their level of expertise. But how often have you met someone whose job responsibilities hardly match their title? It’s like calling a chess piece a King or Queen when it moves like a pawn!
Beyond the Label:
In many ways, titles are just the tip of the iceberg. What lies beneath is a whole world of skills, experiences, and qualities that don’t always get captured in a few words at the top of a resume or a LinkedIn profile. It’s like judging a book by its cover – convenient, sure, but not always accurate. OR many times titles in the corporate world mean little, as many organizations are top heavy with VPs, and Directors.
The Power of Perception:
Titles can influence how we perceive others. Imagine meeting a ‘Director’ versus an ‘Assistant’ – does your perception change even before you know what they actually do? Yet, sometimes, the assistant might be running the show behind the scenes (I know mine does!), while the director is more of a figurehead.
Do Titles Limit Growth?
Here’s something to chew on: can titles box us in? When we’re labeled as something, it can sometimes limit our growth or the opportunities we pursue. Just because you’re an ‘analyst’ doesn’t mean you can’t be a fantastic ‘strategist’. Shouldn’t we be focusing on expanding our skills and experiences rather than fitting into a title?
Is a Title a Name Only?
In corporate settings, perhaps we need to rethink the rigidity of titles. Maybe it’s time for roles that reflect adaptability and a diverse skill set. I know I for one, can’t be grouped into a single title as you will soon read, and I can’t imagine a world where titles are just about hierarchical positions and less about what you can do!
Okay, entrepreneurs, now it’s your turn. When you start your own business, you are tasked with coming up with a title for yourself. Owner, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, President, the list is endless. I recently changed my title from Chief Learning Officer (CLO) to Chief Executive Office (CEO) and here’s why.
In general, a Chief Learning Officer is responsible and in charge of learning management. The CLO is also an expert in corporate or personal training, with a terminal degree in education, instructional design, and curriculum, in business or a similarly related field. In my case, I have a doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and 25+ years in MBA level business courses. Additionally, I have owned both a product-based business, and my current service-based businesses.
A CLO helps organizations drive the corporate strategy and align the development of people with the business goals of the organization. A full complement of skills, including business analytics, technology, learning theory, performance consulting and scientific inquiry, are required for success.
When hired for training, a CLO reports directly to the CEO and top management and will collaborate with them on his or her vision for instituting learning and development initiatives, generally through professional development workshops. As CLO, I sometimes worked closely with the CTO, because much of L&D involves technological advancement.
Now onto why I changed to a CEO of Roberta Pellant Consulting. As a CEO I manage a team of people, I still train and develop in corporate, but now I am responsible for training and development within MY team. Two main types of learning I utilize as a CEO:
Management training activities are those activities which specifically relate to improving the management of people. When hired as a CLO, I was responsible for providing training and measuring success of skills and competencies related to management functions of the organization as needed or determined by the CEO or C-level executives. I used a wide variety of assessments, provided tool-kits and offered follow up services to executives or team leaders to keep them accountable for their professional development. Now I do that internally.
The term consulting refers to the training and development process means I support and train an individual or team in achieving a skill, competence, or goal; specifically, in this case, offerings provided by Roberta Pellant Consulting. The individual or team receiving the training may be referred to as the advisor(s)/client(s)/coachee(s).
Coaching refers to a personal development relationship in which one more experienced individual will assist a less experienced learner in acquiring a new skill, ability, or competency. Within RPC this can mean: one on one communication or advising, educating new or existing employees on theory or strategy. When coach executive clients, they have completed an RPC professional development training, and coaching is used as a form preliminary or ongoing support. My consulting and coaching internally is also primarily done individually, but occasionally there will be team coaching within my business. A bit confusing right?
So, what do you think? Are titles just a necessary formality in the professional world, or do they need a major overhaul to keep up with the dynamic nature of modern work? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Maybe you’ve got a story where your title didn’t quite match your role, or perhaps you’ve seen how titles influenced your workplace dynamics. Either way, I hope you are embracing a title that is a true indicator of what you do, the skills you possess, and how you are serving others.
If you are a key decision maker within your organization and want to learn more about how I can transform your business one leader at a time, please feel free to reach out.
#BeyondtheTitle #WorkplaceCulture #RedefiningRoles