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Just call me "chief pooh-bah the editrix" from now on...

Are simple, realistic titles passe? Rees Morrison thinks so -- after years of trying to simplify attorney titles, he now says it may be time to lay a "gilt" trip on your employees:

"I now confess that the elegance of economy -- a minimalist view of what to call people -- and the predictability of similarity -- everyone knows immediately where they stand -- has lately given ground.  I have come to feel that while law departments operate under head count straitjackets, while base compensation soars up to 2.75 percent each year, while promotion opportunities come about infrequently, why not stroke people with titles?" More here.

Hmmm. I've always been happy with "journalist," but perhaps I'm erring on the side of clarity. Would I really be more likely to stay in a job where all future correspondence to me was addressed as H.R.H. Lisa Stone?

Here's my answer: Only if the title translated into more money in the bank. Otherwise title is just so much hot air. I'm not sure "talk" (title inflation) can ever trump "walk" (salary inflation). That said, compensation is an area Morrison knows something about, too. Perhaps my opinion is informed by the fact that I have been knocking around Silicon Valley for long enough that I have seen cards that read things like "arachnophile" (for a search spider engineer). My favorite? Craig Newmark of Craigslist.org, whose card reads, "customer service rep & founder."

Then again, there's enough turnover in the legal world these days that Morrison's advice can't hurt. What do you want -- elevated title, elevated salary or both?

Posted by Laurel Newby on March 23, 2005 at 01:13 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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