Bosses on LinkedIn from a Millennial. You look creepy

There has been a lot of discussion about what is going on on LinkedIn, especially around using it as a dating site, or the circulation of seductive images. It would seem that for men and women equally, the network is crawling with creeps looking for a mail order relationship or a cheap thrill. It’s a big data base and it’s free, so I understand why it is an attractive and easy option. It’s also poorly controlled. But this is a message to any bosses on LinkedIn.

Message to bosses

Message to bosses

Think before clicking on sexy images! Or adjust your privacy settings. You look creepy and lecherous, you demean women and are damaging your team.

Personal Branding

I strengthened my LinkedIn profile while I was at business school for job search. In general it’s not my anchor site even though I have a wide network. All the lectures we had were full of cautionary tales about how our personal brand would be perceived. We were urged to purge our profiles and keep our content professional, for fear of falling foul of the hierarchy. We needed to be visible for the right reasons.

Well now someone needs to give some personal branding tips to our bosses. This maybe seen as an exaggeration, but many of the gentlemen who are senior in my organization or connected to me in a wider network, clearly don’t understand how to adjust their privacy settings. Every time they hit the” like” tab on something in their stream, or make a comment, sleazy or otherwise, it is shared in their network. With people like me. And their direct reports. Sometimes their wives and kids will see it all to.

When it’s images of scantily clad women, it does not reflect well on them

Damage to executive image

men gossiping

Even the young men gossip

There are  executives in my network who do this frequently and are the topics of giggly, water-cooler convos and raised eyebrow smirks. Even the younger, junior guys think it’s creepy, probably because they actually do have young hot bikini-clad girl friends waiting for them for weekends on the beach These execs are nice, decent men. For the most part they are good at their jobs. Nearly all have wives and families. But they are damaging their credibility, which impacts their teams. Junior employees gossiping about them is corrosive.

When bosses approve images of half naked women, who are the same age as their interns, it doesn’t go unnoticed. If they comment on boudoir lingerie images, we see it. We all know that sex sells, but if senior management want to protect their reputations and executive images, they should letch after young women in private.

Some would say that this is hypocritical and it’s a normal human instinct. It is – but let’s keep the workplace professional. 37% of the internet is supposed to be composed of adult sites, which get 4 BILLION hits per month. So there are enough alternative options to meet their “human” needs. Bikinis, bustières and corsets are not professional attire, so unless you are a manufacturer then they should not appear on a professional network.

Even then, click bait or should I say CHICK bait images of swimwear companies are getting on people’s nerves.

Bosses on LinkedIn: do you really think the CEO cares if you prefer a bikini on a model or a hanger, or with or without a hat? Well your team cares even less about your consumer preferences.

Much of the advice around this is not to connect with people you don’t know and block and report anything inappropriate. But it’s very uncomfortable when the perpetrator is a boss or supervisor.

Someone needs to do a webinar on this  topic for the bosses on LinkedIn to avoid some red faces in the C-suite.

What do you do if you if the people who regularly click on seductive images or content  are  in a position of authority to you?

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