LinkedIn can be useful as a business social network, but if you use it as an educational resource, you’d better be careful. A lot of posts that pass for wisdom on LinkedIn are actually pretty dumb. Here are four examples from my feed — a feed, mind you,  that I’ve carefully pruned to get rid of this kind of stuff.

LinkedIn Posts Worth Ignoring

(1) “Always be a student.” — Sandra Bullock. I can’t determine if she actually said this. Misattributed quotes are common on LinkedIn; you see it a lot with Albert Einstein, who didn’t say two-thirds of the things people on LinkedIn say he said. People should check their sources before reporting. But why bother when you can get attention from your stream with a dazzling misattribution? Anyway, the advice to always be a student is bad news for people in the teaching profession; if everybody should always be a student, then nobody should ever be a teacher. If you put some context around this fragment of an idea, which Bullock probably did if she said it, a student might be able to learn something useful.

(2) “There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” — Aristotle. Aristotle never said this. And it’s three things, which is why the actual quote is phrased differently. In any case the statement is false. Many times in my business career I was criticized for doing nothing. And before that my mom criticized me for not making my bed.

(3) Here’s a meme that was making the rounds:

Someting is wrong with this concept, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe before trying to do something extraordinary one should try to master the ordinary — for instance, spelling.

(4) “A sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have, but how many leaders you create.” — Gandhi. I can’t verify that he said this, and it certainly doesn’t sound like something he’d say. It sounds more like a disgruntled employee who doesn’t like his boss and thinks this is the problem. A lot of people on LinkedIn with no management experience think they know everything there is to know about management, which is why if you are interested in learning about management the first thing you should learn is not to learn about management on LinkedIn.

Here are three things Gandhi did say that are worth learning if you want to succeed in management.

  • ” The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • “Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
  • “I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.”

(Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons)

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