Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


People's imaginations know few bounds.

Especially when it comes to describing how wonderful they are.

Their fingers are poised over their keyboards. They egos are poised over their fingers.

What results is mayhem of a very particular kind.

Periodically, I venture to LinkedIn only to see the newest ways that people have found to say they're quite wonderful.

If some of these are familiar to you, I'm sorry.

I must have just missed them in the morass of people who are thought leaders and visionaries.

These, therefore, are merely the habits that have caused me conniptions lately.

1. Putting an academic degree after your name.

I had been vaguely aware this was happening, but had clearly blocked it from my mind. Do you introduce yourself at parties as "Janet Snodgrass, PhD"? Do you stand in the pick-up line at Starbucks, so excited that your barista will suddenly exclaim: "Jeffrey, MBA!"? Please, stop this. I don't care if you're an MBA or ACRW. You're making yourself an LOL. You are not your title. You have a name. What's the matter? You can't live with just that?

2. Summaries that go on and on and on and on and on and on.

Some people just can't tell you enough about themselves. If they can't offer you at least 25 statements of their own greatness, it makes them feel bad. But this thing is called a Summary. You're supposed to summarize. This means keeping it short. Go on, try it.

3. Starting every sentence with an adjective that says how great you are.

This is a sneaky one, but I've been observing it more and more. Some LinkedIn-ers have a habit of starting every sentence of their self-description with words like Trusted, Dynamic and Exceptional. It makes for exceptionally awful reading. It's bloatedly insincere too.

4. Having a LinkedIn profile that's obviously been written by a recruiter.

Many people on LinkedIn are desperate to find another job. They've already hired a recruiter. This recruiter has told them that he or she knows better how to write a LinkedIn profile. So suddenly you're reading profiles that sound just like the guff you get from a recruiter. Suddenly, LinkedIn is full of more transformational agents than ever. There's a proliferation of gurus that you didn't think possible. Recruiters are full of it. Don't let them make you sound like you're full of it too.

5. Proudly inserting your Myers-Briggs Assessment Type.

Are you ENFJ? Or perhaps INFP? Perhaps you're ESTJ? Or maybe just NUTS? Is it truly necessary to define yourself according to some arbitrary test? Are you no more than that? Wouldn't it be a touch more honest and personal to write: "I'm a little eccentric. I like to collect horse-hair and love-beads"? Or perhaps: "I don't really like people much, so I pretend I'm introverted"? Or do you feel bigger, stronger, and more important with your title line: "Jamie McCallum, MBA, PhD, ESTJ, ACTW, BOZO"?