Usually ’emotion’ is kept out of business. I have had a lot of delegates on Leadership courses I have run over the years. We do a lot of self analysis, psychometrics 360 feedback and a good deal of soul searching. Yes, the solid Feelings people in Myers Briggs terms do get the positive push of emotion. The Thinkers? Had a great quote from a delegate recently: “Yes Phil, I do understand that I am a bit hard headed, and just want to get things done. I suppose I realise that I should be doing these soft things sometimes. I may just have to delegate it though…”
But then we get to sport. Was there emotion in Andy Murray yesterday? There certainly was when he lost last year’s final. And Bartoli in the ladies final? Steely determination and absolute focus – and quirky and fun and loving and crying afterwards…but her opponent lost it in her head during the match, and the errors – unforced as they are called in tennis, because they are your mistake – culminated in poor Sabine Lisicki actively crying on court. She restored her pride and her game towards the end, but it was too late.
Maybe it is about the right emotion at the right time. But I think you should have pride, excitement, high five feelings, and at least once a week when you can honestly say “That’s why I love doing this job”. If not, change what you do or the way that you do it, in my opinion.
The recently retired Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson was present for Andy Murray’s semi final, and had a 20 minute chat with him afterwards. Andy said it was priceless advice that he wouldn’t be sharing. We can imagine some of it was about not giving in. We have witnessed some astonishing comebacks engineered by Sir Alex over the years. Two seasons ago, they lost the Football Premiership title to their local rivals Manchester City, when they overtook them with the last kick of their game. Apparently, Sir Alex addressed his disappointed players on the way home on the long journey from their away game at Sunderland. “Remember how this feels. And put that right next season”. I would think that was all he said, and was all he had to say.
Channelling our emotion (like Murray, Bartoli and Ferguson manage without thinking) may be a key to success that we shouldn’t ignore.