Why I'm just not cool

Published by Chris Ogilvie-Taylor, CEO of Marsden Grant on 09 May 2014

These days coolness of person is de rigueur. Cool can take many forms but generally speaking it’s an attitude that gives off vibes of self-composure, individualism and indifference. A good example of being cool is the signature response of the indifferent teenager to adult demands on his or her person which is, “Whatever.” Pure, undiluted indifference packaged and delivered in a single word. Now the first two attitudes of the cool persona I could pretty much handle with practice but indifference? Never! Over my dead body. That’s as alien to me as counting sheep in native Taushiro. I get passionate about so many things and that is where I plead guilty of being seriously uncool.

For example, in my professional life, I have been lucky enough in my career so far to represent products and services that I truly believed would make a positive difference to the lives or businesses of my clients. Now, in edutech provision, that belief continues and my passion and enthusiasm for our classroom hardware and our instructional software is unabated as well as for the role they can play in the improvement of the teaching experience for teachers and pupils alike.

But there’s a problem. Some people misinterpret my energetic enthusiasm for our products as being over keen, pushy or even as a sign of desperation. Especially potential customers. I’m sure they think that if I’m that eager there must be something wrong/too expensive/over stocked with our products (in certain parts of the world some buyers of products and services often look for the most costly and difficult to obtain item with the thinking that these qualities indicate a better purchase). I can’t help myself from over-enthusing and probably over-communicating with prospects sending out information, blogs and added-value materials. It’s all because I just can’t believe any potential buyer of edutech would look anywhere else than our offering. We have the best quality classroom technology at the fairest market pricing with a software suite that our competitors can only dream of offering. And it’s that huge enthusiasm that can be mis-read by others, unfortunately for me, as a kind of fervour even a weakness which obviously isn’t exactly the profile I want to deliver. And which is certainly not cool!

So, can I hold myself back? Can I become cool and reserved? It’s not easy and it doesn’t come naturally. Maybe I just have to come to terms with the fact that cool is never going to be my middle name!


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The epitome of cool. Him, not me!