I am super busy this week so I thought I would take a quick moment to reflect on titles.
I was cold called today from someone in Tokyo selling me stock. They kept trying to build rapport with me by calling me the “Managing Director.” Needless to say it failed, because 1. it isn’t my title and 2. they weren’t at the equivalent level (sales peon calling MD please pick up) and were trying to be chummy. Titles kills rapport when handled badly.
If your like me and you have sized your business model to emphasize small there is a tendency to worry about having the clout that a great title brings. To me this is a departure from why I would want to scale small. I scale small to emphasize rapport and relationships, personal attention to detail and the security of always having to deal with me not a random sales associate.
I wouldn’t be the first person to scale small to reflect benefits like this. If I took a title like “Managing Director” I also wouldn’t be the first person with a staff of ten people or less to use a similar title. In essence a lot of entrepreneurs have scaled small but want to create an impression that they work on scale big.
I get why, but in my business model unless there are enough people to generally manage, or offices that actually need chief executing, or directors in need of managing it is better to leave the titles well enough alone. Use a business title to emphasize your corporate philosophy not to overstate your business function. If you want to scale small pick an intimate title that reflects being at the head of a new movement not that as my mother would say, “puts on airs.”