The title CEO often means Chief Executive Offer. But, CEO can have a variety of meanings to different organizations. For example, it may also mean Chief Engagement Officer. Organizations create their own meanings for their leadership roles that can differ from similar titles at others.
What are the different types of leadership titles and why is it important to know the difference? We asked nine professionals to share their leadership titles and explain their meaning in order to answer just how important they can be.
I call myself CEO (I guess that’s chief executive officer), but the title itself isn’t that important to me. I guess my role at MailNinja is to be the conductor, the architect and the person steering the ship. When you have a team of people you are responsible for their mortgages, their bills and their families—that’s how I feel. I like to be adaptive and change fast, but one false move can mean we take a nosedive. As much as I like to take risks, I also have to weigh that up with the responsibility I have as a company owner with a team that relies on me. Fortunately, they trust my judgement, and I don’t take that trust for granted.
Doug Dennison, MailNinja
A CEO is so much more than the person with a huge office and fancy view. The chief executive officer is someone who sets the tone for the entire organization. They are the ones who lead the rest of the company to success and it is their job to positively influence and lookout for the well-being of all employees. Being a CEO is no easy task, but it is crucial to have someone in the position who understands how to lead, but to also listen and quietly set a good example.
Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis
Chief Empowerment Officer
This title requires the leader to listen to the people they work with, offering support in the form of training and tools in order to help the organization win and individuals to develop personally. To plan for the company’s future and implement impactful change, a CEO must always have his or her ear to the people of the company.
Chris Dunkin, Portable Air
Regional Sales Manager
My leadership title is Regional Sales Manager. My title as “manager” is not only to show higher authority as a leader but to remind myself that I’m responsible for more people than just myself. As a team, we need to recognize the opportunities we have to improve sales and those results ultimately fall on me to ensure it happens.
Vicky Franko, Insura
Person That Wears Many Hats
As a mid-sized enterprise, we are in-flux with leadership and departmental level staffing. As the CEO, I need to be available to work with sales, marketing, admin and our technical team—and juggle all the hats that it involves. I believe this is the most effective way to lead a company, because at the front lines your people know that you understand how important their work is.
Michael Alexis, Teambuilding
For me, CEO does mean Chief Executive Officer. However, this means that it is my responsibility not only to ensure that everyone is completing quality work but that everyone feels comfortable. Being the boss means more than giving orders; it means caring for every person helping you get the job done as a way to ensure quality.
Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ
A phrase I share with entrepreneurs often is, “Complexity confuses and simplicity scales.” To design simple, takes a deep understanding of the many paths to an outcome. The iPhone was a brilliant marvel when it launched. It could do so many things and there was one button to ‘easily get you back.’ Simple takes work, a lot of work. Over the last decade, my curiosity caused me to focus on understanding the complexity of business combined with the entrepreneurial psychology. I simplified a method that “takes the brakes off” so clients achieve in weeks, rather than months.
Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily
I don’t believe in conventional titles. They prevent us from being our true selves. Instead of living up to our own standards, we try to live up to the title conferred to us by an organization and become less of ourselves. I refer to myself as a “founder,” but my community refers to me as a “Professional Nudger.” I love that! I’m not telling them what to call me, they have decided this is who I am to them.
Stephen Warley, Life Skills That Matter
Founder & CEO
I’ve had the same title for close to 10 years: Founder & CEO. I feel like the Founder part of the title is important. It shows that you’re the one who put the idea into motion, the person who took all the risk and is likely the most passionate person about the company. If I see a Founder included in the title, I have instant respect for the experiences the person went through. CEO is also a necessary part of a title as it says that you’re the one responsible for owning up to the failures first and the successes second. I guess there’s a lot packed into the CEO title; but even more when combined with Founder & CEO.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors