PREMIUM SUPPORT & TOOLS
Leveling & Titles
Titles are everything, but also nothing. Many people say they don’t really mind, but everyone does. And that’s only natural.
It’s a bit like office seating. Nobody wants to appear too demanding, but everyone wants to sit by the window.
Now most fast scaling businesses titles are given out rapidly and often to close a candidate. After all it’s a lot cheaper then salary and equity options. And I don’t blame you. Just try not to give out c-suite titles until you are at Series C (or beyond).
All this leads to a bit of an illogical mess. By the time you are 100 people and 5 years old things start to creak. People start to want to be promoted, or complain that Jane who was just hired in marketing has a better title but 5 years less experience.
As for any of the People management fundamental best practices well… we have an HR system for booking holiday days off, and pay people on time. Is that good enough?
At some point you need to face up to the need to reboot this whole area and put in place some more future proof and structured (i.e. fair) approaches. This includes both titles and levels. Did I mention that they are different things?
The good news is that yet again many an executive has gone before you and the science of this is pretty solved. The models pioneered in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Silicon Valley are well established which helps fast track things somewhat (tldr: the answer is to base it around a 10 level heirarchy).
Of course you still face some tough choices to reverse out of decisions you have made to date. But get through those and you can unlock things like healthy performance management, promotions based on merit, and even manage people more consistently when they are not making the grade.
The Scale-Up System gives you the core frameworks here, and with a workshop or two, plus solid People Ops lead, this is another area you can solve to unlock an easier future.
Right now where was I? That’s right, fixing my title. Do you think I should be called “God Emperor”, or is it a bit much and “Emperor” a is more my level?