Everybody has one. Director of this, manager of that, chief of something else. Every person, in every company has a title. And they all suck. Every single one. I could create a list right now, as could you, of every possible title a company gives to its employees. Aside from a few companies, this list is set. There’s one CEO, a few chiefs, directors, managers, etc. There’s one way to structure a company. Sure you can change around the org structure a bit but once you’ve taken that title, that’s what you do, that’s it. Your only hope of growing in the company is taking on another title.

But what if you don’t fit in a title? What if your skills combine two positions, or three? Or don’t fit into any title, what then? What if you have one title and see an opportunity, yet it falls under someone else’s title, what do you do? Even if you’re an extremely proactive A-type personality, I guarantee you’ll think twice before going outside your title. Or worse yet, you’ll subconsciously limit your thinking to within your title. And if even the best of us fall prey to our title constraints how hard do you think it’ll be for that new hire to break out of his or her title?

Companies hire for titles. They say, “We need a director of marketing”, so they go find themselves a director of marketing. It’s completely ass backwards. Sure the intention is good, we need more marketing resources, but it’s a cop out. It’s the easy answer. We need to do more marketing so let’s hire someone for a set position in marketing. It allows the company to ignore the real reason they’re hiring.

Why not reverse it? Why not focus on the need first, outside of titles or departments. Then hire for that need. The title shouldn’t come up once during the hiring process. Hire someone with a passion for marketing and say, tell me what you’re amazing at and own it. Titles attempt to give ownership but they’re horrible at it. Not to mention, companies are dynamic and fluid, their needs changing constantly, especially the smaller ones. What happens when you need more resources in a different area? Do you hire for a different title each time your needs change?

Forget titles, forget departments, focus on your employees’ passion and let them be amazing without the handcuffs.