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Entrepreneurs Panel

Jennie Johnson
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Charlie Mullins
David Pollock
Brian Hay
Laura Tenison
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
Michael Oliver
Steve Purdham
Tony Caldeira

What's in a name?

David Pollock

Set up Chess in 1993 to take advantage of the deregulation of the utilities market by re selling water, gas and electricity. In 1996 the business began to specialise in telecoms – reselling telecoms services to businesses throughout the UK - and since his first acquisition in 2004 has completed at least 24 more (many of which involved purchases of client bases and assets rather than entire businesses). Highly-focused on his staff, Pollock places the Chess “culture” at the heart of his ambitious expansion plans.

Question: 

Last time we had a business card order I noticed a number of staff had chosen to uptitle themselves – some of them to roles that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve never worried much about job titles but is it okay just to let people decide what they want to be called?

Answer: 

I’m amazed your people think they can get away with changing their job title without consulting you.

Do you have your finger on the pulse? Do your employees respect you? Who’s in charge? I would be all over it like a bad rash – stamp your authority.

Bring them in for a one-to-one chat and make your feelings clear. Job titles are important, especially if they are going on cards that will be handed to people external to your business. They set out your hierarchy and should describe the role so it’s understandable to people in your sector or the wider business community.

Get a grip of your people or lose control of your business.

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