Is There Emotion In Business?
It’s a question that has been asked for decades.
The implication is that doing the right thing, business-wise, means acting on the best business principles, not letting emotions get the best of you, thereby deterring you from the right course. BUT…is this how it really works?
Let’s face it. There is emotion in business, and we are all affected by it. And that can be a very good thing. Business is based on relationships, which build over time. They provide the passionate connection so often needed when major issues are at stake. They enable that instantaneous glance between two people who know by looking at each other the action they have to take. They provide the spark that moves and motivates teams. Emotions inspire loyalty to a cause. Emotions help unify leaders with their management and encourage collaboration. A business is a cause; people advocate for the brand, the product or service and a special way of doing business that represents that cause. All of the above are ways that positive emotions help businesses grow.
But emotions can also have a negative effect. Close relationships can tie you to a person who really does not want to or can’t execute the plan that needs executing; emotions can delay your making a change. Emotions can lumber you with an executive who has Peter Principled out, and thereby hold back the growth of the firm. Family or romantic involvements can be stumbling blocks if disciplined leadership is not in control. Long term employees — where attachments are strong — who are no longer serving the purpose they once did and need to be redeployed or laid off can create cost issues. Making policy exceptions for an employee you like is not wise when you would not do the same for one for whom you have less affection. And the list goes on.
Positive emotions that are consistent with building businesses and inspiring success are always effective. If a demonstration of humanity is required, it may trump all economic considerations. While emotions should not get the best of you, they need to be considered in every situation. The real question is what is best for the business?