Meet the Grand Poobah of Moi
What’s in a name?
Day 3 of my new business, Honor Code Creative, and updating my LinkedIn profile, it occured to me: I needed a title.
So much is tied up in a person’s title. It’s one of those things that a company might not view as particularly important (the salary is what investors care about, unless there’s some issue with being too “top heavy”) — but one that employees care about a lot.
A lot, a lot.
It reminds me of the mediation class I took in Law School. Part of the class was serving as an actual mediator for some smaller court claims. And time and time again I learned how important the words “I’m sorry” were — more so than money those two words or the lack of them could make or break a case. People want acknowledgement. Dignity. These are the same things that get baked into a title.
Over the years, I’ve had my share of title issues. I’ve had titles that didn’t reflect what I did, which is fine until you try and do your job and someone else thinks it’s her job. I’ve had titles no one understood, which required a lot of cocktail party explanation. (Buzzkill!) And I’ve had titles that confused my parents, who were already disappointed when I stopped being simply “a lawyer.”
Now, having left my last role with a great title (VP, Content — my parents pretty much get it), and starting my own business, here I was able to dream up whatever title I want! No need to get anyone’s permission! No need to offer any explanation! No need to think about parity in some big org!
President. CEO. Princial. Partner. Sure, why not? But why aim so low?
Grand Poobah. Her Majesty. Queen. (“Slayyyyy Queen,” my imaginary employees might tell me.)
Hell, why even be constrained by the English language? Why not something like Prince’s symbol? Or just a big “;”? (I love puncuation.) Maybe something tech-based, a “title” you have to hover over with your phone or …
I’m a wordsmith! And an expert namer! Maybe I take a word that just represents something I love, and decide that I’m owning it. Changing the lexicon. I could call myself SPOONFUL OF FROSTING.
I mean, it’s my business. And I am an out-of-the-box thinker.
But in the end, I chose “Founder.”
I like that it doesn’t relate to anyone else’s thing. The way President relates to Vice President. I like that it doesn’t feel puffed up.
Most of all I like that it says “starting something.” There’s a verb in there. One who founds. That’s so me. I’m not someone who ever liked to hide away in a company doing the least amount of work as I moved higher and higher up the title scale. I’m a do-er. Whether it’s for me, or for a client, I can’t stand things not happening.
So let’s go.