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.