Everywhere I look I see people with the title Founder or CEO. In the past, I would always see the title Vice President on someone’s business card or in their job title on LinkedIn.

When everyone is a Founder or CEO, then who is doing the work? Likely the Founder and CEO–as well as the people working with him or her. I wonder if either term has outlived it’s useful life. Is it something to strive for professionally? Or is it just a useful way to clearly state who’s in charge? Culturally, Founder and CEO still mean something to many people, so they continue to use it.

Have the roles of a Founder or CEO changed over time? Are they doing more facilitation and way finding than executive leadership? As our economy becomes further democratized, will you continue to see younger and younger people adopting these titles? Likely so, as more people take action and building their own enterprises.

Going off on your own is not easy, and the use of certain kinds of language can provide comfort and clearly signal to others who the guy in charge is. Maybe this is the case with Founder and CEO.

The words people use to define themselves are important because they help people clarify not only who they are, but also the role they serve. Words can provide definition to people’s perceptions.

Social media has a way of blurring one’s vision and true meaning, but words are something that provide a common thread across platforms that serves to tie people, ideas, and concepts together. With more and more video content being produced, the use of imagery (versus words) may have the impact of changing the way people perceive the world around them. Perhaps we are in the midst of changing from an alphabet-based way of communicating to one based on images?

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