Spyros the Pedant

Young bearded handsome man in gold crown taking selfie looking at smartphone

Recently we were watching one of our favorite television series: Billions. Bobby Axelrod, a hedge fund manager included his employee Spyros in an important pitch. Spyros wore an air of self-importance and a jaunty hat. He blew the pitch by using pedantic, self-conscious language.

A pedant in the ancient world was an in-house teacher or schoolmaster. In the sixteenth century, Italians introduced this character into comedies. They wrote the pedant as one overly concerned with rules instead of clarity, and one who is ostentatious, even arrogant.

Translate that to today’s world, where many professionals rely on educating clients rather than empathizing with them and addressing their challenges. These experts may never get to partner or make recommendations because the audience, client or customer tunes them out. Shakespeare always set up the pedant for ridicule because they were unlikable. Focus your knowledge on what will serve your client. That will make you listened to, appreciated, and your wisdom will be considered of real value.

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