GUEST POST from Robyn Bolton
Fabric & Home Care Marketing
That is the job title on my very first business card. I remember holding the card in my hands, staring at it for entirely too long, and thinking, “This is sooooo boring. Even my parents won’t be impressed.”
To be fair to P&G, that was the job title on the business card of everyone in marketing in the business units. The company didn’t put job titles on the card for security reasons (or at least that’s what my boss told me when I politely asked why my title wasn’t on the card).
I am older now and should have the maturity to accept the bland and nondescript title on my first business card. But I’m not. It’s still boring, and it shouldn’t be because we were working on innovation projects with code names and outfoxing corporate spies in the airport (another story for another post). We were doing cool stuff and should have cool titles to show for it!
So, to right the wrong inflicted upon me and the countless others stuck with boring job titles despite doing brave, bold, and daring things, today is Make Your Own Title Day (business cards not included)
PRO: Short and sweet with a great original definition – “dreamers who do”
CON: Everyone will think you misspelled Entrepreneur
Pirates in the Navy
PRO: Title of a book by one of the foremost thinkers in the field of corporate innovation and a phrase inspired by Steve Jobs’ statement that it’s better to be a pirate than be in the Navy. It also creates the excuse to wear an eyepatch, talk like a pirate, and keep a parrot in the office.
CON: People are afraid of pirates. You don’t want people to be scared of you.
PRO: Also the basis of a book with the benefit of being a cool title that doesn’t scare people. Plus, who wanted this to describe them:
Whether you’re are a Rebel in a functional company or a Smuggler in a dysfunctional company, you are the essential part of any transition. You are the catalyst that transforms the caterpillar into a butterfly. You disrupt the status quo and create opportunities for growth,
You are not the caterpillar nor the butterfly. You are the magic that prompts the transition.”Natalie Neelan, Rebel At Work: How to Innovate and Drive Results When You Aren’t the Boss
CON: Legal and Corporate Security may not love the “Smuggler” part of the title
PRO: A more “professional” version of Rebel Smuggler, and it’s a term used in HBR, so you know it’s legit. Here’s how they’re described:
They all see things a bit differently from the “norm.” But despite feeling at odds with aspects of the prevailing culture, they genuinely like their jobs and want to continue to succeed in them, to effectively use their differences as the impetus for constructive change. They believe that direct, angry confrontation will get them nowhere, but they don’t sit by and allow frustration to fester. Rather, they work quietly to challenge prevailing wisdom and gently provoke their organizational cultures to adapt. I call such change agents tempered radicals because they work to effect significant changes in moderate ways.Debra Meyerson, “Radical Change, the Quiet Way” in HBR (October 2001)
CON: Sometimes working quietly doesn’t work. Sometimes, you need to make a ruckus.
[YOUR TITLE HERE]
What title do you want to give yourself and other innovators?
Drop your suggestion in the comments (and feel free to print up new business cards)!
Image credit: Pexels
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