Today’s Wall Street Journal brings news of a trend in business to refashion job titles to make them more appealing to current employees and potential recruits. In place of “Customer Service Representative,” that person’s business card may say “Customer Service Ninja.” Who wants to be a Sales Representative when you could be a “Sales Rock Star” instead?
Of course, we’ve seen an evolution of staid business titles for years. Remember “Chief Fun Officer?” That started showing up in tech firms in the early 2000s, until the bottom dropped out of the tech market and “fun” became a scarce commodity.
Some of these neo-titles seem silly. After all, Ninjas are warriers trained to kill you with a variety of sharp things. Do we really want those qualities in the Customer Service role? (Come to think of it, based on my experience with “customer service,” maybe Ninja is appropriate after all.) And let’s not forget that many Rock Stars have come to premature bad ends.
In any event, perhaps it is time for a look at corporate titles from top to bottom. Titles like “vice president” are rather bland and don’t convey the essence of the position.
Let’s start with the CEO. “Chief Executive Officer” hardly commands the level of deference due to the person at the top. I’ve kicked around some ideas: “Lord and Master of the Domain” has a nice ring to it, and certainly reflects the feudal status of all who sit beneath. Personally, I prefer “The All-Knowing, All-Seeing Supreme Being.” It sort of rhymes and sounds even more impressive when spoken on one knee.
But what about the rest of the All Knowing, All Seeing Supreme Being’s entourage? All those Executive, Senior and First Vice Presidents deserve more creative and honest titles. Here’s a little game. Think of the executive in your company who most provokes the gag reflex in you. Then pick the right combination from Columns A and B, and stick “Chief” in front of it.
Now, the next time you run into the Chief Irredeemable Ass Hat or the Chief Cowardly Flunky, you can sincerely smile.
There, doesn’t that feel better?
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Categories: Random PR Thoughts