Something I have wanted to write about for quite some time now is the many titles we assume describing who we are, our position in life and our relationship to others. I started to think about this after seeing a local news story on television where a tornado destroyed a mobile home. As the reporter was conducting his interview the name of the person was superimposed underneath his image along with the title, “Victim.” Although I sympathized with the person’s plight, I found it somewhat amusing someone might have an official job title of “Victim.” Kind of like, “What do you do for a living?” “Well, actually I’m a professional Victim. I’ve been a victim for twenty-two years now.”

In reality, we all wear many hats and many titles in our lifetime, perhaps more than we thought. It says a lot about who we are, what we are, what our interests are, and our relationship to others. As an experiment, I tried to list all of the titles and references I have assumed over the years and came up with a list of 127, to wit:

Account Holder, Administrator, Advisor, Alumnus, American, Analyst, Attendee, Author, Bachelor of Science, Boss, Brother, Brother-in-law, Caller, Capitalist, Card Holder, Certified Systems Professional, Christian, Cigar Aficionado, Citizen, Client, Coach, Conservative, Consultant, Consumer, Contributor, Cousin, Coworker, Customer, Delegate, Diner, Director, Division Director, Donor, Driver, Editor, Enterprise Engineer, Episcopalian, Fan, Father, Fisherman, Floridian, Friend, Founder, Freshman, Gardener, Graduate, Grandson, Groom, Heir, Homeowner, Host, Hunter, Husband, Instructor, Insured, Junior, Lecturer, Liaison, Lineman, Loser, Manager, Managing Director, Mason, Member, Mentor, Mortgage Holder, Neighbor, Nephew, Operator, Owner, Passenger, Past Master, Patient, Patron, Pitcher, Plaintiff, Player, Podcaster, Policy Holder, Poet, President, Producer, Project Administrator, Project Manager, Protestant, Publicist, Publisher, Purchaser, Reader, Recipient, Representative, Republican, Resident, Runner-up, Scorekeeper, Scot, Secretary, Senior, Shooter, Shopper, Son, Son-in-law, Sophomore, Speaker, Sponsor, Spouse, Specialist, Student, Subscriber, Systems Engineer, Teammate, Technical Writer, Tourist, Traveler, Umpire, Uncle, User, Vendor, Vice President, Victim, Viewer, Visitor, Voter, Webmaster, Winner, Worker, Writer.

Try to fit all that on a business card. Not all of the titles are good either, some are unfortunate like our “victim” friend mentioned earlier. If you analyze the list carefully you will get a good idea of who I am and what my interests are. It also spells out my responsibilities as a person. As the list implies, it is quite common for us to wear more than one hat at a time. Quite often, many hats.

I also observed the list gets longer as we get older, probably because our experiences grow with the passage of time. I have a theory whereby most people will have more than twice the number of titles as compared to their age. As for me, I easily beat that number, I suspect the same is true for others including yourself.

Of all my titles though, I am perhaps most fond of “Father” and “Husband,” two jobs I actively participated in by choice, not by chance. So, what’s in a title? Actually, quite a lot.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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