Your Job Title is Holding You Back

by | Nov 3, 2023

When we think about what we do, it’s natural to describe our work with our job titles. We say things like, “I’m the VP of Sales,” “I’m a receptionist,” or “I am a truck driver.” These titles serve as convenient labels for the tasks and activities we perform. However, your job title is holding you back.

Your job title is a descriptor of activity, and when you reduce your work to task description, that can subconsciously lead to a lack of fulfillment and a sense of disconnect from your work. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and the meaningful contributions you make to your organization’s success and, in some cases, to society as a whole.

There’s a better way to look at your job. We encourage you to consider the broader perspective, focusing on the results you’re trying to achieve and how your actions contribute to those outcomes. Here’s how:

Hilton Hotels was one of our clients. One of their key results was “customer loyalty.” To help employees connect their daily actions to this result, we asked them to think about how they influenced customer loyalty. The front desk clerk, for example, realized that her role wasn’t just about processing check-ins; it was about creating a welcoming and memorable experience for guests. By ensuring that guests felt valued and appreciated, she played a crucial role in building customer loyalty.  We asked her to try on a new way of describing her work. Instead of saying “I’m a front desk clerk,” she said “My job is to increase customer loyalty, and I do that by welcoming guests at the front desk.”

Similarly, a truck driver can shift their perspective. Instead of just being a “truck driver,” they can see themselves as supplying necessary goods to the American public. By transporting essential items safely and efficiently, they contribute to the well-being of society. This shift in mindset adds a layer of purpose and meaning to their job, without any changes to their daily tasks, compensation, or job title.

And the best part is you don’t need your boss’ approval.

This concept is a fundamental part of our accountability workshop. By helping individuals align their daily actions with broader organizational goals, we empower them to find more meaning and satisfaction in their work.

So, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your own job. What key results are you working toward, and how do your actions impact those outcomes? By making this small but powerful shift in perspective, you can unlock a deeper sense of purpose within your daily tasks.

Your job is more than just a title; it’s about the impact you make. Embrace this perspective, and you’ll witness how it transforms your work and your sense of purpose.

I’m not a Chief Scientist of Workplace Culture, I’m unleashing the power of culture, and I do that through research!

Your job title won’t bring you meaning at work.

Elsewhere in Culture

This article is what’s wrong with culture today.

The ridiculous edge companies gain by doubling down on company culture early

What you see here is a push towards a series of culture-related initiatives. But it is essential to recognize that culture is not a set of initiatives or principles that can be implemented and scaled in isolation. Just like culture is not about ping pong tables.

Culture is a living, dynamic aspect of an organization that requires continuous attention and nurturing. It’s not about having a checklist of initiatives, but rather about cultivating intentional cultural beliefs that align with the company’s purpose and strategy. Culture is how people think and act to get results, period. True culture management involves a daily commitment to creating experiences that encourages the desired beliefs and therefore drives behaviors which ultimately lead to positive results. So, while Syapse’s initiatives are commendable, it’s crucial to remember that culture is an ongoing journey, not a destination. Initiatives don’t last. Culture does.

 When discussing the notion of culture as an ongoing journey, it’s clear that the person leading a company must embody accountability. This article highlights the essential steps a leader should take to effectively lead with accountability.

Leadership accountability: What it looks like, why it matters

The desire for a full return to the office is rooted in the belief that in-person collaboration stimulates innovation and a vibrant corporate culture. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that not all employees share this preference, as various surveys have indicated a growing inclination for flexible work arrangements. Striking the right equilibrium that accommodates diverse employee needs while nurturing a positive and inclusive company culture is poised to be a pivotal challenge for CEOs in the coming years. In addition, ensuring fairness and adherence to legal considerations in a potential return to full-time office work is critical for preserving a healthy workplace environment and culture that resonates with a diverse and evolving workforce.

This article underscores the vital connection between leadership accountability and company culture. It emphasizes that a good leader is one who sets clear goals, follows through on commitments, and nurtures a culture of responsibility within their organization. Such leaders not only drive better results but also enhance employee engagement, which significantly impacts overall company performance. Accountability in leadership directly influences the company culture by establishing a foundation where responsibility, transparency, and trust are valued. To succeed, CEOs and leaders must prioritize accountability by:

  • Defining accountability within the team: A successful leader demonstrates empathy and actively listens to employees, addressing their concerns and promoting morale, which, in turn, leads to increased productivity and loyalty.
  • Building relationships with the team: Effective leaders facilitate open communication, encourage a supportive work environment, and promote teamwork. This fosters a sense of belonging, purpose, and trust, which enhances problem-solving and productivity.
  • Taking responsibility for mistakes: A hallmark of leadership accountability is acknowledging and learning from mistakes, which strengthens the bond between leaders and their teams, promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Embracing transparency: Open sharing of information and honest communication creates a positive work environment, fosters trust and collaboration, and contributes to overall success.
  • Gathering employee feedback: Leaders who actively seek and value employee feedback demonstrate commitment to growth, gain deeper insights into their team’s needs and concerns, and ultimately create a more engaged and motivated workforce. In summary, cultivating a culture of accountability is essential for long-term success and the well-being of an organization.