“we’re not disciplined enough to be cool” – me
one upon a meeting, in an office not so far away, I said: “we’re not disciplined enough to be cool”. and I love this quote! indeed, one of the most difficult things to fake consistently is… “being cool”.
put in other words: you’re either cool, or you’re not. and you’re either cool in everything you do, or you’re not at all. there is no semi-cool, or cool here but not there. you’re either in it 100%, or not at all. and there is nothing quite as sad as witnessing someone not cool, trying to act cool.
what’s making it even more complex is that, nowadays, people can quickly recognize inauthentic coolness. and they hate it. they crave authenticity in a world of fake smiles and compliments.
so if you are truly cool, at your core, and can act cool in everything you do: go for it. it might work for you.
if you are not… don’t.
plus, the notion of “cool” is not only culturally specific, but even generational. what is cool to one might be too funky or not rad enough for the other – or whatever kids say these days. so who you want to be cool to will impact what it means.
the good news is that if you’re not cool, you can still seem cool by association. either you can partner with other companies that act cool – only do it if they are truly cool though; or you can show the cool things that people do with your products. you don’t need to be cool to make cool things happen.
so maybe the question you should ask yourself is: why do you want to be cool?
if the answer is that you want people to get excited about you, your products and/or your brand, there are many genuine ways of doing it without having to fake who you are.
if the answer is that you want to appear cool to motivate your employees, you might be facing a bigger HR and recruitment or retention problem that should not be fixed by changing who you are or how you appear.
if the answer is that you just want your company to be cool, it could just be easier to look for a job in a company that is actually cool. it might be a difficult realization, but it might be best for everyone.
so don’t fake it. be who you are. truly.