Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeUncategorizedHere's Why Everyone Should Stop Picking LinkedIn's Weeping CEO

Here's Why Everyone Should Stop Picking LinkedIn's Weeping CEO

Many social media users love to criticize and complain, and last week, most of the negative attention focused on HyperSocial’s “crying CEO” Braden Walleck. Walleck made headlines with distressing posts and crying selfies after the company had to fire three employees. Most of them accused Walleck of blaming himself and his raw emotions for it all, rather than his newly unemployed employees and the emotions they must have felt. “Totally narcissistic and tone-deaf,” reads one typical comment. “I don’t think anyone would mind him posting crying selfies. I think the problem is that he fired 3 people who now earn zero.”

Let’s be honest. Other executives have posted in the past how much they regret the layoffs. This one just became popular because of that selfie. It’s not the kind of thing people usually post to LinkedIn, which is often used as a platform for people to tout their expertise or professionalism. Real emotions are rare, and I think maybe they shouldn’t be.

This is where I think most of the criticisms directed at Walleck are wrong.

1. They punished him for his honesty.

One of the biggest dangers of social media is people making themselves appear more successful, attractive and in their positions than they are in reality, experts warn happier in life. They’re effectively whitewashing their lives and careers, just as models and actors retouch their images before they’re published online or in magazines. When the rest of us compare our lives to these images, we end up feeling bad about ourselves.

Nowhere is this painting more common than LinkedIn, the world of professional faces we show our users. It’s so full of self-aggrandizing posts that the Twitter account @BestofLinkedIn was created just to mock them. While some have questioned whether Walleck was actually upset about the layoffs, to most observers, including me, his grief seemed genuine. Guys, if we want social media to be less hypocritical and insincere, please don’t bash people when they show real feelings.

2. Most critics are showing their ignorance.

“You didn’t give yourself a pay cut. Could you do something other than cry and post online?” Yahoo Finance anchor Rachelle Akuffo asked in a video report about the article. A big, well-funded news organization like Yahoo should really be better at research and fact-checking because, in fact, Walleck said he did cut his salary to $0 given HyperSocial’s financial troubles.

Many believe that instead of expressing his feelings about the layoffs, he should post the great employees he had to let go and let people know about their skills and the great work they do to help them find new ones work. Wallake did the same, though he wisely waited to get their permission before publishing information about them.

3. This post actually does some good things.

Many, many people on social media complained that Walleck didn’t care enough about the people he let go. But do the critics themselves care about those people? If so, you might think they’d be happy to see the impact the post had.

As it went viral, it made Walleck one of the most high-profile executives in America right now. He used that notoriety to do what many critics asked him to do. He created a post about Noah Smith, one of the employees he fired, describing Smith in effusive language as both a person and an employee. He lets readers know what skills Smith has and what kind of job he’s looking for.

efficient. Today, Walleck posted an image of Smith’s smartphone showing a long list of LinkedIn messages, many of which appear to contain job offers. Walleck himself received a flood of messages, many of which suggested he should die. Still, he wrote, seeing all the information given to Smith “makes every nasty comment worthwhile.”

As for getting fired and then suddenly finding himself the Smith of the spotlight, he’s been Defend yourself Walleck and the crying CEO position. And, he wrote, “For those who want to hire me, I’m only interested in working for someone like Braden Wallake.” How many bosses’ employees do you know who say that?



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