It’s Just a Title, Or Is it?

In the past week I’ve spoken with 2 leaders (one in the private sector and one in the nonprofit sector) who don’t care about titles.  They just want the work done, they couldn’t care less about titles.  The problem is their team members care about titles.  Witnessing the exchange between the leaders and team members has been interesting, to say the least.  After much dialogue and consideration, I want to share a few lessons learned that may help you and your team:

  1. If titles aren’t important then don’t include the attainment of titles as part of the performance evaluation/bonus process.
  2. Just because something isn’t important to you, you can’t disregard it as meaningless and petty.  For some, their title is symbolic of their professional achievement.
  3. Titles, in some instances, are used in key word searches on LinkedIn and other platforms that people use to distinguish themselves from the competition.
  4. The right title  at one company can amount to additional income at the next company.
  5. In some companies, the title determines the seat.  The bigger the title, the better the seat.
  6. Don’t let your title define you.  There may be some practical and professional advantages to ensuring your title reflects your role, however; don’t rely on your title as your source of influence.

Let’s continue to learn as we grow.


NOTE: Sharing our lessons learned is neither a promotion or denouncement of them,  they are shared as points of information to drive further conversation.  We’d love to hear your feedback.

What lessons have you learned about titles, in the workplace, that may be of help to others?  Please share.

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