A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook recently asked about the switch:
For those chamber execs who have the title ‘President’ rather than ‘executive director’, how did you sell the change in title to your board?
President or Executive Director of the Chamber?
Many of the chambers who have recently made the switch pointed out that president was a more suitable title for a business leader. Plus the head of the chamber’s executive board is given the title of president and it’s confusing for business leaders.
So how do you make the sell to change from ED to President?
Get Someone on the Board on Board
Having executive support is crucial to successfully changing the title. Having the executive board member present the idea at a meeting is also more palatable than bringing up a title change for yourself.
Take Salary out of It
Be clear that a title change is just that. This is about having a title that is more in-line with business practices not about a grab for money (although, that would be nice).
Read the Bylaws
Take a look at what’s written into your bylaws. Some things change over time and with personal preferences of past leadership. You might not have to petition a change, but merely revert to what was written originally.
Everybody Else is Doing It
While this is generally not an argument for a teenager to make, when it come to titles, this one fits. If you look at the Executive Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, only one person is an ED. Everyone else is a CEO and/or President.
Many outside people are confused about the roots of the chamber. Is it a government entity? A nonprofit? A business? Clarifying titles and aligning them with the business world may help clarify this for the communities we serve.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by Opensource.com