No room for sentiment in business?

It was announced (yesterday) on the 16th May 2012 that Liverpool Football Club had sacked their Manager Kenny Dalglish, who had been in the current post for around 16 months (as detailed in American Revolution dethrones King Kenny). To the neutral, the non-Liverpool fans, this would be of no great surprise; Liverpool are a club steeped in history, they have won many trophies and are second only to my own club Manchester United in the number of top league championships they have won. Whilst Kenny Dalglish steered the club to a Carling Cup win this season, the club also achieved its worst league position in something like 10 seasons. If you take an objective view it would be reasonable to say that this performance did not meet with the expectations of the club’s board or even that of the fans and it was no great surprise to see the announcement.

No room for sentiment in business Liverpool sack King Kenny
What was interesting was the reaction of the press and the support base, who appeared surprised and to a level saddened by the news. Kenny Dalglish has a long and illustrious history with the club, having played for the club during what might be considered its most glorious years and had previously managed the club successfully too. He is held in very high esteem by the rank and file supporters of the club.

This situation made me think about a saying that I have heard often, that being

There is no room for sentiment in business

In this instance, I take sentiment to mean a romantic or nostalgic feeling as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary. In the instance of Kenny Dalglish, it would appear that this is the case; despite his illustrious history, his current tenure had not met the expectations of the board and regardless of the high regard and respect from those associated with Liverpool Football club the reign of King Kenny came to an end.

I also pondered the thought about ‘sentiment’ in our businesses, the want to ‘give’ and add value, but at what point does that undermine your ability to do good business? It is a pervasive human condition to want to be liked, that along with reciprocity are two of the strongest influencers which can be used to help to generate business. However, at what point do you have to stop? Do you end up giving away too much? Do you allow people to steal your time? Do you give away too much information or content with no returns, or free to people because they are ‘friends’?

Some thoughts to ponder…

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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  • Good points. It is quite telling really when Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson get slated around the same time. Giants in their own way, straight up and down, but faces dont really fit. It is football, what can you say!
    “Do you give away too much information or content with no returns, or free to people because they are ‘friends’?”

    I do give out a lot of info, over 200 pages on my site of info, but not everything I know is out there! I also dont mind being “over generous” with my time and effort, but Im not a numpty about it! By giving over time, it is easy to gauge what others are really like. There are takers everywhere, and they are quickly obvious, so I dont dither too much and step back. There are some savvy ones who give a little bit back, just so they can benefit from freebies a bit longer. But that tactic gets obvious too after  a while; but ultimately, there are enough like minded folks out there, who to my mind, justify the effort and the generosity with equal reciprocity. (Is that even a word!)

    Every email I get from a reader, where they have made a conscious decision to say thanks, that is very gratifying and makes a big impact, because the numbers say that there are probably 100 who think the same but don’t write in.

    • Hi Andy, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I agree it is good to give and am certainly not against it, I think the balance has to be struck. It would seem that you have that well sorted.