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BLOGThe Fancy Title Thought Leadership Test (Seniority x Organization Size)

by Randall CraigFiled in: Make It Happen Tipsheet, Blog, Career Planning, Thought Leadership, TrustTagged as:

It’s been years, and finally you have that C-level title. Or, you’re now a partner. Or maybe a VP for the very first time. Beyond your ego, why might this be important?

The Fancy Title Thought Leadership Test (Seniority x Organization Size)

Your title is an important signal to the marketplace. It describes your responsibilities as well as your scope of authority. But what is the connection to thought leadership? Unless the title is directly tied to your expertise (“Chief Science Officer”, for example), there is absolutely no connection to thought leadership, by itself.

But it is an indicator. Essentially, if you multiply your seniority by your organization size (or reputation), the signal can be powerful. A CFO of a 25-person organization probably knows less about finance than a CFO of a 10,000-person organization. And likewise, a CFO (of any size organization) would be more knowledgeable than a finance analyst who works for them.

Your title, effectively, is a third-party endorsement of your expertise — after all, someone thought highly enough of you that you merited a promotion.


If you have a generic title, you might consider arranging for it to be more specific, and more in-line with your area of thought leadership.

Thought Leadership Insight: It takes many years to develop thought leadership and be recognized by others. If the “fancy title” test is something that you don’t score well on now, consider that the only thing separating you from this indicator is time. So between now and then, focus on those activities that will develop your knowledge, and those activities that will earn you the promotion.

Related Post: Take the next Thought Leadership Test: The Activity Level Thought Leadership Test

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