There's a funny episode of Cheers, the old sitcom set in a Boston Bar, where Sam and Woody want a raise and decide they're going to confront their boss Rebecca, played by Kirstie Alley. Sam goes into see Rebecca first and comes out with no additional money but a nice new title - head bartender. Woody goes next and Rebecca rejects him as well. Woody comes out and announces to the gang, you're now looking at the new Chief Head Bartender. Or something like that.
The point being that titles are cheap and their easy to hand out. However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. At my last company, Paytrust, we had Vice Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents, Executive Vice Presidents, Chief XXXX Officers, Managers, Directors and it became something of a status symbol. So while bestowing titles is cheap, dealing with the people issues related to who has what title is not.
So lesson learned, this time around at Billtrust I decided that we weren't going to do all the different titles.
I broke my rule last week when we announced that Anthony Vigorito was being promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Anthony came on board two years ago as our VP Finance and has done an unbelievable job for Billtrust. I posted recently about "knowing what you don't know" and finance has never been my strong point. Anthony has done everything I've asked including moving us to accrual based accounting, upgrading our ERP system, upgrading our billing process, negotiating lines of credit, etc. However, the sign of a great manager is being able to do those things that aren't asked. Anthony has worked with the state aid agencies, figured out better tax treatment for our inventory, and a lot of other things that I would have never even thought to deal with it. Congratulations Anthony for a job well done. Now get back to work.