Wanna play ’20 Questions’?
What if we changed the typical titles in the tech world?
What if instead of a people manager, you were called an Enabler? Because isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing here? Enabling our people to be as productive, happy and successful as possible? That still encompasses everything we’re asked to do, from project planning & management to removing road blocks to career planning.
What if every engineer was instead called a Leader? “Site Reliability Leader” has a really nice ring to it. Would that make engineers feel more invested in their role in the team and the company? Would it serve as a daily reminder that as they rise up the ranks, they’re expected to lead other people through mentoring and shaping technical direction? Would they feel more empowered to own their space? Or would it be laughed off in typical neckbeard fashion as PHB speak?
What if a Director suddenly became an Facilitator? What if instead of an Architect, you were a Trailblazer? (I hate the title “architect” and think it should be abolished regardless, but that’s a different story.)
Would this make any difference in the way we perceive our roles in tech? The way we’re measured in that role? Would it change our behavior? The direction, velocity and/or performance of the tech sector in general? And if so, how long would it take for those changes to really take root? What would this DO to the type-A personalities and egoists who typically overwhelm the tech ranks? What effect would a simple title change have on the number of successful women in technology? Would the male-dominated tech industry even be able to make the jump? Or would they just scoff at it as a touchy-feely attempt at ‘feminizing’ their sector? (serious question is serious.)
Just something I’ve been marinating on as an alternative to those who recommend just doing away with titles altogether. I actually don’t mind them- as long as folks aren’t boxed in by them. If I ever have an opportunity to be “in on the ground level” of a company that has legs….