We live in a culture where progress at work often comes in the form of a “better job grade” or “title”. We get a sense of power and importance from these. Sometimes we “lord” it over those “below” us. A new title or job grade can be an indicator of growth – a stepping stone. However, too often subjective and arbitrary decision making is applied to giving these in inconsistent ways, which results in people being de-valued when they are “looked over”. We limit how many people can be assigned a particular job grade / title. Yet, we still tell everyone to “be a leader”. We just refuse to formally acknowledge that they are valued as a leader. And, sometimes create cultures where some “job grades” don’t associate or respond to “other job grades”. How is an employee supposed to reconcile this contradictory message?