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Leave Your Title at the Door, Then Remove the Door From Its Hinges

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When I co-founded my company in 1986, I had two business cards made. One said "President." The other said "Archduke." Whenever I gave clients a choice, they always wanted the Archduke card.

In time, I gave all the Archduke cards away and never re-ordered them -- in a pitiful attempt, I think, to seem more professional.

Fortunately, everything comes full circle. Last night, while enjoying a wonderful concert in my hometown of Woodstock, NY, my next title was suddenly revealed.

Director of Public Elations (and, no, I did not forget the "R".)

In a flash, not only did I get an insight into what my focus will be for the next few years, I also discovered an entirely new field.

Cirque du Soleil is a perfect example.

Gracefully walking the high wire of the Experience Economy, they know their success is intimately connected to their ability to elate the public -- to uplift, inspire, and activate joy.

Southwest Airlines also understands this.

Theirs is a corporate culture founded on delight. Even Starbucks and Barnes & Noble have gotten into the act. Both of them know their product needs to be more than coffee and books, but a feeling -- a sense of well-being, ease, and community.

In a word, elation.

And so, I decided to share my title-changing revelation with my colleagues -- the "Senior Consultant," the "Webmaster," the "Chief Technology Officer," and the "Director of Operations."

I asked them to tell me what new titles they'd like. Here's what they told me:

-- Chief Enlightenment Officer
-- Princess of Possibility
-- Head of Lettuce
-- Webmaster of My Domain
-- Director of Whatever Needs Directing
-- Duke of URL
-- Head of Steam
-- Lord High Minister of Depth and Feared Wielder of the Reality Check

How about YOU?

What new title do YOU want to see on your next business card? What name more creatively describes what you really do at work?

Mitch Ditkoff is the ARCHDUKE of Idea Champions, an innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY, a place where many names have been changed to protect the innocent. Mitch has fond memories of listening to his mother attempt to describe his profession to her friends around the canasta table. "Motivational Speaker" is what she came up with, no matter how many times he told her that's NOT what he really did.