What’s in a Title?



Having attended a large number of events and tradeshows and having met a great number of business professionals in the IT space, I often wonder how the owners and employees see themselves and their place in the industry? The titles for these individuals are quite diverse, but what really do these titles mean, and are they an accurate representation of the individual in their business?

CEO- This title may be the most used and probably the most inaccurate representation in the SMB space. The term generally refers to the highest ranking appointed officer in a company who reports to a board of directors. Since most small businesses do not have a board of directors, taking this title may just be considered the standard for a business owner or maybe it provides a vision of future growth?

President- I always felt like president was another title that maybe is too grandiose for the SMB space. Not that anyone is below either the CEO or president title, but instead a better question may be, is it a good representation of the role? A president is a leader; he is in charge and makes decisions, so by that definition it is a good title. However the title of president is used most often within a corporate structure and is either added to the CEO title or is referred to a second in command behind the CEO.

Owner- Usually referring to sole proprietor owner to me is just a little too general. It really doesn’t speak to any status and though a good description doesn’t really say much to individuals.

Founder- I like founder better than owner but it still doesn’t speak to being in charge of the day-to-day business. A founder may have just created a business and walked away.

The reality for all of this is it doesn’t really matter too much what your title is, just make sure it is a good representation of yourself in the business. If you feel like a CEO, a president, an owner, a founder, or the Master of the Universe, let it be known.  This post is really to pose a question.  Did you put a lot of thought into your title, and do you feel like it represents you as a businessperson?


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