Influenced by tech startups and ‘young businesses’ many new C-suite titles have emerged, such as: CTO (Chief Technical Officer), CCO (Chief Compliance Officer), CDO (Chief Data Officer), CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) – added to traditional CEO, CFO, COO ranks. Part reality, part creativity, part title-bump – no doubt there is cache to being in the C-suite …
I looked around and found even more: Chief Ecosystem Officer, Chief User Experience Officer, Chief Automation Officer, Chief Freelance Relationship Officer, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Chief Privacy Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Administrative Officer.
In the old days, the term Manager fit.
Or, Manager of _______.
I’ve been a CEO for a long time, but calling myself by C-title seems out of sync with my small businesses, especially compared to big businesses and public companies where CEOs manage massive businesses compared to my modest ventures.
Back-in-the-day when I ran a larger operation, I was the owner. It said President on my business card, I had a staff of 13 and employed 65 contractors. And I still took out the garbage. I was probably the CEO in a more real sense then than at any other time in my life. Still, President seemed sufficient.
Today I run two small businesses. I’m their owner. It says President on my business card for one, and the other one I don’t have a card. And I take out the garbage. I’ve always thought CEO meant Chief Executive Officer, like a President but with more to do, more compensation.
I found a gem in my searching – some real magic that is impacting my view of things ‘C’, and my view of self. Next time I have business cards printed, I’m calling myself CEO. Here’s why. I read about a new slant on CEO the other day which I really like: Chief Experience Officer.
That’s what I do/have. That’s what I provide for customers – experience. I help people sell homes, buy homes, lease space, buy land, develop proposals – and I write for readers; every one of those situations is about an experience, and like snowflakes, no two experiences are exactly the same.
As I write/edit/publish – in part for me to do, for readers to ‘experience’ (and for funders and sponsors to have an exposure experience).
Everything I’ve ever done, for myself of for employers, I’ve felt more ‘responsible’ than ‘in-charge’ – but the more ‘mature experiences I have’ I’ve realized it is all a series of experiences, collectively ‘experience’ I’ve experience difficulties and opportunities – not opposites, but as companions in every piece of work or joy I’ve ever had.
I’m now, as I’ve always been, CEO of me – Chief Experience Officer.
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