Here A Chief, There A Chief

They're everywhere these days. Could there be more to a title than meets the eye?

Let's Talk Business Network Inc. has within its ranks a chief support officer, a chief edutainment officer and a chief focus officer in addition to a chief community officer, which is the role filled by company co-founder and president Larry Kesslin. The firm has seven employees. That's right: The 6-year-old New York City-based operator of entrepreneur peer groups has only three employees who aren't chiefs of something.

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"Why do we have so many chiefs?" Kesslin, 37, asks. "Because everybody needs to feel important and in control of their own future, and that they get to make decisions. This way, they have a title they feel energized by."

Kesslin isn't the only entrepreneur handing out "chief" titles with abandon these days. Roger Herman, CEO of the Herman Group in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a futurist specializing in work-force and workplace issues, and has identified a slew of new chiefs who are making their appearance on the scene in companies of all sizes. Chief marketing officers, chief knowledge officers, chief development officers, chief training officers-the list of new chiefs seems to go on forever. "Everybody can be a chief," says Herman.


Mark Henricks is an Austin, Texas, writer who specializes in business topics and has written for Entrepreneur for 10 years.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Here A Chief, There A Chief.

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