Monday, October 08, 2007

What's In A Name?

You really have to love the Internet! I just wish I had the time to find sites like Buzzwhack which my colleague Robyn Greenspan, our resident and much loved Internet Junkie sent to me today. Among other things, Buzzwhack comes up with a Buzzword of the day, and since Robyn knows I get a kick out of off-beat job titles (yeah, I know, I need to get a life!) she fired it off to me.

Actually, it isn't just me who's interested in the "title of the week" stuff. At ExecuNet, we have been following it for a bit as well in terms of how companies are using different titles to describle some of the senior level executives, a few examples of which have been:

Chief Digital Officer
Chief Encouragement Officer
Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Learning Officer
Chief Momentum Officer
Chief Networking Officer
Chief Officer of Ideas
Chief People Officer
Chief Performance Officer
Chief Sustainability Officer
Click Quality Czar
Corporate Workplace Executive
Enthusiast Evangelist*
Senior Simplification Specialist
Vice President of Global Sales Excellence

*my personal favorite
In any event, the word of the day was COR and was offered up as the latest C-level title, which apparently stands for (are you ready?) Chief Obstacle Remover. The guy who came up with it was Michael Thiel, president of IC Intracom US, but whose business card says his title is COR

Some of the titles I have seen over the years I thought were fairly cool, and I think this one is "cool" too, but from a leadership perspective, I also like it because I think it sends a nice "branding" message on both a personal and professional level.

To his customers it says "I'm here to help" and to his staff it says "I feel my role is to do all I can to enable you to do your job so we can all serve our customers better." It also, I think, says something about Thiel as a person. I don't know if it is true or not, since I have never met or talked to him, but the impression I get when I see the title is that he understands that leadership (at least over the long haul) doesn't come from titles, it comes in large measure from helping others.

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