Conan O'Brien has always had aspirations beyond comedy. He's a tad power-mad, it seems to me.
However, after his ignominious exit from NBC and his descent onto cable, he must have felt that his corporate brand had been tarnished and his power-base resembled the Colosseum in Rome.
He decided to take the first steps toward rehabilitation.
The minute he launched his profile, he promised he would "conquer" the site. Like many a Roman in times gone by, he has now commenced his assault. He has become a LinkedIn influencer.
You must have read at least one LinkedIn influencer post. They are written by esteemed humans who try to explain to you in simple words why they deserve more esteem than you.
Conan's first Influencer post appeared on Sunday. A powerful statement it made, too.
The comedic corporate titan explained that he, and not "Cheng-Gong, the young Chinese boy normally in charge of my social media," wrote the post. Some might be dubious about this, as the sign-off reads: "Sincerely, Cheng-Gong."
Still, O'Brien insisted he was proud to be alongside luminaries such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates, the latter of whom he described as a "total failure."
I know that Gates must have been seen on cable somewhere. I'm just not sure on which channel.
Conan/Cheng-Gong spends quite some time displaying his credential for influence. He revealed he has "the ear of tastemakers like Kristin Stewart." He explained that Jack Welch could never boast such an inroad.
He also staked a claim for the ultimate in thought-leadership, or, at least, research-based storytelling: "Sorry, Malcolm Gladwell, there's a new Malcolm Gladwell in town. That town is LinkedIn, and that Malcolm Gladwell is Conan O'Brien."
It is only at the end of the post, though, that he reaches his most oratorical: "That is my mission here--for others to judge me not by the strength of my character, or wisdom of my blog posts, but by the number of LinkedIn followers I've amassed for no good reason. It's needy. It's shallow. It's a waste of everyone's time."
Finally, a businessman for you to look up to.