You are not your title

Subject: You are not your title
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 13:12:53 -0800 (PST)

I'm pontificating again....

"Scott Turner" wrote...

> Titles establish lines of authority. This is part of what we are
> struggling with daily. Is it any wonder that some developers don't
> respect tech writers? That management doesn't respect what we do? It
> is partly because they have no reference to our authority. What we do
> is often perceived as fluff, not germane to the core value of the
> product. Enforcing a better perception of our works value would be
> easier if there were authority behind what we do.
> Just a view of reality. Yours might be different.

You have the authority.

Developers disrespect tech writers because a lot of tech writers shun all that
is technical and bother them with dumb questions. Management disrespects tech
writers because a lot of them obsess over minutia, rationalize their failures
by blaming others (namely the engineers), and fail to produce quality work.
Unfortunately, you have to live under this stigma.

Honest and useful authority comes from the regular and consistent demonstration
of an individual's value to the team (company, group, project, etc.) If you
want respect and authority you have to earn it. Just getting an impressive
title does not mean anybody should or would respect you. You have to get out
of your cube and make things happen. You must FORCE things to happen.

In my experience, if you rely on other people grant you license to do your job,
you will consistently fail and be disappointed.

Andrew Plato

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