I’m a COO and I have dyslexia

I am a 33-year-old COO and yes, as the title states, I have dyslexia. Right now, this post sounds like…

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Matt Berry - COO of Cremarc - B2B marketing agency

I am a 33-year-old COO and yes, as the title states, I have dyslexia. Right now, this post sounds like some sort of dating introduction. If it was, it probably wouldn’t get a lot of attention.

Why am I writing this? Is it for anyone to say well done? Absolutely not. Even the thought of that makes me frustrated. If I can do anything to remove the stigma associated to dyslexia, this post was worthwhile. Even better, if I can make someone with dyslexia reach a bit further, incredible

Also, yes, someone has edited this for me, and I have accepted that will never change. So, a thank you to Victoria, our Head of Creative, who didn’t realise she was signing up to a ‘COO editor’ job role (but is happy to do it all the same!).

When did I know I had dyslexia?

So, I didn’t find out that I had dyslexia until I went to university. If I look back now, it’s easy for me to know that I have always had it. The problem is that you don’t know that you are any different and unfortunately, the schools that I went to weren’t that great at spotting it. I was just lucky that for my GCSE and A-Level exams, I had a great teacher who made me love English.

How does dyslexia affect you?

My spelling isn’t that great and thankfully we now live in a world where a computer sorts it out for you. The toughest part of my dyslexia is that I miss words out of a sentence, usually connecting words. When I then go to read back the sentence, my brain says that they are all in there.

Sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing when you are struggling with basic written English, but you have to push forward and understand the patterns. When you can identify the words, or types of words that you struggle with, you can really focus on them.

I was lucky because I realised that I have a photographic memory, if that were not the case, I think that it could have been more difficult.

Coping mechanisms

Firstly, I don’t like the idea of just accepting that you won’t be good at something and even though, yes, this is being edited by someone, that can’t happen all the time. A coping mechanism for me was to create a writing style that didn’t require big adjectives or verbose language. My written language is very direct. This is ok in my day job, but can come across a bit frosty, so I tend to warn people about it in advance.

I also love Grammarly! It is the only thing that picks up missing words and sentence structure issues. If you have dyslexia, get it right now. If you are an employer, get it for your colleagues.


I get asked if I thought dyslexia held me back. Absolutely not and nor would I let it! I have to be more diligent with my written work and get some support from others on really important presentations, but other than that, there is no difference.

I would like to think that things like work ethic, talent, experience and ability are what employers hire for, not how well you can write an email. There is always someone you can ask to proof-read if you’re unsure.

To people reading this with dyslexia – don’t let it hold you back. It’s a choice for you to make and I hope that if anything the fact that I am writing this, a COO of a company, that you will push forward and be ambitious.

For more information on dyslexia and the resources available, please visit the British Dyslexia Association (bdadyslexia.org.uk)

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