Welcome to this episode of Les McKeown's podcast - 


...with Predictable Success

In This Episode: Joel Manby on why love matters, and its role in leadership

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In today's episode of 'Scale! with Predictable Success' our guest is

Joel Manby

Author | Speaker | Veteran CEO

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Guest Bio

Drawing on 25+ years of CEO experience of major corporations, Manby wrote “Love Works”, which integrates “love the verb” into an organization’s leadership ethos and philosophy. Love Works has sold over 100,000 copies, and a new expanded version was released in March 2020.

Previously, Joel was Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld and served as CEO of Herschend Enterprises. Additionally, Joel spent 20 years in general management in the auto industry. 

Joel is currently the non-executive Chairman of Orange, In addition, Joel consults and speaks on “Love Works”, crisis leadership lessons and other leadership topics. 

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I've always been a little leery of books that talk about love, kindness, goodness as leadership principles - not because I disagree with the premise, but because books on the topic have too often been unrealistic, academic or unimplementable.

When I read Joel Manby's book, 'Love Works - 7 Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders', I knew immediately this was not that.

As you'll hear in our interview, Joel's book is founded on the often searing, tough times he has experienced as a leader - especially his tumultuous departure as CEO of SeaWorld, which Joel speaks openly and candidly about.

Don't miss this incredible interview - everyone likes to come on podcasts and talk about all that's gone right in their career - to listen to Joel, a highly respected leader not just in business but also in faith-based leadership, speak openly and transparently about the downs as well as the ups, is well worth the listen.

"People think kindness is about being nice all the time. It's not. It's about being encouraging." - Joel Manby, Chairman, Orange.

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In our interview today you'll hear Joel  share about:

What Joel's current responsibilities are as non-Executive Chairman of Orange - one of the largest Christian traning and devleopment organizations worldwide.

How his hardscrabble upbringing in Battle Creek, Michigan formed his early character.

The unique circumstances that led him to be CEO in both Saab and Saturn.

The surprising twist in Joel's path that led him to become CEO of SeaWorld.

A searingly honest account of the 'messy' ending of his tenure at SeaWorld, how it tested him personally - and his faith - and birthed his book, 'Love Works - 7 Timeless Prrinciples for Effective Leaders'.

Why we need to define Love as an act in order for it to make a difference in the world.

What the 7 principles of Love are, and how they impact leadership.

How we misunderstand what it means to show kindness.

Why truthfulness is a core principle of 'Love Leadership', and what happens when we aren't truthful.

How Joel drove employee engagement from 30% to 80% in the organizations he implemented the 'Love Works' principles in...

...and much, much more.

"Gallup shows that 'top box' employee engagement is around 30%. When we implemented the Love Works principles, we got 75-80% employee engagement everywhere we implemented it." - Joel Manby, Chairman, Orange.

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Joel Manby

On How Core Values Really Make a Difference

Gallup says 80% of companies have some sort of expressed core values.

It means practically nothing unless you put systems and processes behind them. In our performance assessments, we have 'Do' goals and 'Be' goals - and we assess our leaders against the behaviors and attitudes we expect from them. It literally impacts their financial compensation.

Joel ManbyAuthor | Speaker | Veteran CEO

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Les McKeown: Hi everybody. And welcome back to Scale! with Predictable Success, our podcast, in which we talk with leaders who are achieving Predictable Success in their own lives and in their own organizations. And today I'm absolutely delighted to be speaking with Joel Manby. Joel is currently the chairman of orange. he's been a 25 year CEO, including with SeaWorld and sob, and he's the author of love works seven timeless principles for effective leaders. Joel, welcome. Thank you, Les. It's so good to be here. I've been a fan of yours for years, so appreciate you having me on great to have you here. Jonah, I want to spend most of our time talking about your book. Love works, but before we get there, I'd just like you to share with the listeners. Many of them will know orange very, very well. We have a lot of folks from the faith dashboard in the Predictable Success trunk, but for those who don't, just share a little bit about what oranges and what your role is there.

Joel Manby: Sure. I've, I'm chairman of the organization. It's a nonprofit less, and it's one of the largest distributors of church curriculum and leadership strategy into the, to the church world. we have 4,200, churches in the United States. We have about 10,000 around the world. we're in 42 countries. And the basic concept is a specific strategy from the time a child is in preschool all the way to the high school of what they're learning about faith and character. And, we broke the mold by being the first to offer it online versus printed versions and kind of disrupted the industry so to speak. And, I helped, Reggie joiner started, 25 years ago and have been chairman ever since, but joiner, the CEO

Joel Manby: Has he's the, the mastermind behind getting it done while I was chairman that's when I did the other 25 years of being CEO for the different companies. So all the credit goes to Reggie, but that's basically what the organization's about

Les McKeown: And the folks who do know orange. he, many of them will know it primarily through a pretty massive annual conference that you have, the rest of the year. I'm sure everybody's not sitting in the garage, sharpening their, you know, toolkit. What w w what other things do orange do

Joel Manby: Yeah, we, we have, major events, like you said, a live conference typically, although we had to pivot for, because of COVID, but typically about seven to 10,000 people gathering in Atlanta, think of it as a disciple. almost a reunion of people who are on orange products, but our curriculums to the churches are delivered every single month. They're very relevant. They're I would call them hip and cool because they take current topics and trends and they, they help educate in the right way, very, very high quality. So think of, we have thousands of writers and editors, either full time or a contract who are providing these monthly curriculums, both preschool elementary, junior high high school. That's really the, probably the, the, the bulk of our business. It's 80% of our revenue. Those events are more of a, almost a breakeven marketing event so that we get our gathers together as a homecoming.

Les McKeown: Alright. And I will, I'm sure be dipping in and out of, some of the application of the principles of your book and how you've seen that work through orange. But before we get to that, you've got one of the most intriguing box stories that, I've, I've read, for a CEO, you know, you've been on undercover boss or with SeaWorld and all that came with that. we could take the whole podcast to delve into just, you know, one or two of the episodes, fewer alone. Why don't you give us the helicopter ride version of, you know, just from wherever you would like to start, just tell us the path that got you to where you are today. Yeah.

Joel Manby: I'd be happy to do that, Les. I think it'll it'll point to even why I wrote the book, why I wrote love works. I grew up very poor in battle Creek, Michigan. My dad was a failed entrepreneur as best job he ever ended up getting was a factory job, mostly ever made in his life was 25,000 a year, and a lot less than that for many years. So I grew up knowing that I, unfortunately, I think money was the root of all of our difficulties in our home. And I really set my sights on not letting that happen to me. And so I was driven for business maybe for the wrong reasons, but it ended up being a blast. I went to a pre lb in college, then Harvard business school came out of there and help Saturn startup in the auto industry. And then because of the success of Saturn, I, my big break in life really from a business standpoint is, was I was asked to run sob North America at 35, which was very young and the GM system.

Joel Manby: And just one of the youngest general managers I've ever had because not necessary. Surely a lot of it was luck because all the people at Saturn were, were young taking risks. They specifically wanted a center in person at SOPs, so, was able to be CEO of sob. mostly because they had a great car and lousy distribution, Saturn pedal lousy car, but great distribution. So it was a match made in heaven, but the big issue I'd love your listeners to know is that that 20 years of the auto industry, I had a huge angsty in my soul. And that I believe that leadership should be caring. I believe that people should be treated the way I wanted to be treated kind of the golden rule. I didn't see that modeled less in the auto industry. It was very fear based. It was very autocratic, quite unpredictable, the culture dependent on your direct leader, there was not a consistent culture.

Joel Manby: And I was, I had an angst that there had to be a better way to lead and through a set of circumstances too long for a helicopter overview. I got on the board of Herschend entertainment, which is a theme park company while I was at Saab and the auto industry, when the chairman of Herschend, decided to retire after 50 years in that position, he asked me to take over as chairman, which was a huge honor. And the reason I left the auto industry to go to parks was basically because I saw on him in that organization, a leadership style. Yeah. Oh, that was so compelling that I was willing to leave the industry to go get rid of it. Thanks in my soul that I wanted to work in an organization that treated people like that. Well, so that's why I switched to theme park now. And that's, that's her shin family or attainment, and the mentors, their names are Jack and Pete Hershey. What happened then is undercover. Boss did kind of

Speaker 5: Attacked us. and we looked out again because

Joel Manby: Our show was right. Yeah. After the NCAA quarterfinals, so lit less, literally we had 20 million people watching this show and only American idol had done better that week. And yeah, after that show, which displayed this love works culture. So well, it was inundated last with emails and letters. And I literally have, I still have a bookshelf, six feet wide of all these letters from people saying, I'm frustrated with leadership. I want to work in an like yours. And what I, what I found out is I, wasn't the only one feeling this, this adjunct for 20 years, a lot of people are dissatisfied with the type of leaders they work for. That prompted me to say, there's a systemic issue out here. I'm not the only one that felt wanted. And that's why I wrote love works. And it's, it's about treating people with love. The verb, not love the emotion and it does get predictable results. And then after that, I was asked to go to sea world. That was a crazy bad mess that we can get into if you want. But

Les McKeown: I remember a lot on the ending was

Joel Manby: It was not the way I say yeah, at the end of the ending was messing and there's two sides to every story. And let's get into that if you'd like, because I'd love to tell your listeners, there's some learning, I think, for your listeners. I'd love to hear that. Yeah. But I think the main, the main thing of the helicopter story is the anx that was solved by learning to lead with love. And, and, I would be remiss if I didn't say right upfront, some of your, your audiences is probably not resonating with that term because a lot of people misinterpret what leading would love means they think it's soft and that's, that's a language issue. English only has one word for love. The Greeks have for like romantic love friendship, parent love, well, a gap they love is a verb is how you treat people. It's not how you feel about them. And what I did in a book is outlined seven words of how you are to treat people. But, it does get very predictable results and it, it increases satisfaction and profitability.

Les McKeown: And I want to, I want to delve into the seven, elements for you. Talk about love defined, but I don't want to sidestep, the area that we just talked about briefly, you must've had those principles and maybe it would be a good idea just to draw the curtain back for the listeners who don't know the story of just that it did get messy and see what, to this extent that you're comfortable. Joel, you must have had your principles here tested in that time. Could you share a little bit of bite that and then we'll talk about the seven principles.

Joel Manby: Absolutely, absolutely. In fact, I sound like I'm promoting too much, but the book does have a whole chapter on what I learned at SeaWorld. And I think for your listeners, what basically happened is I was asked to come in after the CEO who was there when Blackfish Blackfish was a shock umentary for those who haven't seen it, you would hate SeaWorld after you saw it. It's 5% true, but a hundred percent effective. And it tanked the SeaWorld business, literally profitability cut in half in a fixed cost business. That's a disaster that CEO was let go. I was brought in to turn it around. We had a 10 point plan that within 90 days had the board support on and just made a ton of progress. But at the same time, we had animal activists protesting every weekend at our parks. And we had a lot of bad things happen that would, would take too long to go into.

Joel Manby: But if I summarized the negative things against the company, it would take, it would take 20 minutes. So in and of itself, and unfortunately what happened, some activists, investors, not, not animal activists, but activists investors came into the company, the second year and we were making good progress, but the activists put all of his equity money into one company that was SeaWorld. And when that happens, you get very irrational behavior. And, I don't mind sharing. he wanted faster progress, even though we were making progress and he started negotiating with suppliers behind my back. And then I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Can we edit Oh, of course. Yeah. We can edit that up. I thought I'd turned that off. don't worry about it at all. Jill, I'll back up and just say, you know, we, we were making progress not as fast as he wanted us to do.

Joel Manby: And he basically started negotiating with suppliers behind my back and talking to my direct reports, which meant in essence, he wanted to run the company. and this is a good lesson. One of the words in the book is being trusting and truthful. And when I realized I couldn't trust him and he wasn't being truthful with me. And in hindsight, I made it, I try to make it work too long. And probably about six months of that back and forth, I finally went to the chairman and said who he was not the chairman and said, this is untenable for any CEO. You need to put governance around this man, or I will have to leave. And it's going to be hard for you to find somebody else. And the chairman basically said he is who he is. I can't deal with it. And there's a long story behind that.

Joel Manby: And so what I had to do is make a decision and I said, this is untenable. Let's work to negotiate a package. I will help you find the new CEO because this is not going to work. And he went to the activist and the activist said, well, if he doesn't want to be here, he's out tomorrow. So in kind of an irrational quick move, they gave me my full severance and I left, but it took them a year to find another CEO that CEO only lasted five months. It took them six months to find another one. That's the only lasted seven months. So there's obviously some governance issues there and that's enough said, but it definitely didn't. And the way I wanted. And, but it was a great learning experience.

Les McKeown: And as you say, you talk honestly and openly about it in the book, the chapter is called love on the battlefield, which is, you know, it just, even as a title, putting those words together, it shows the depth to what you believe that your principles are robust and can operate in any environment. We'll talk in a minute or two perhaps, but just the sheer, you know, 20, 20 really big,

Joel Manby: Yeah. The 2020. And I don't, and I don't want to pretend less that look, I made mistakes. And one of the values is being patient in which doesn't mean being patient with poor performance. It means how you handle difficult situations. And I was so frustrated that I, you know, I lost my temper a lot. I, I, you know, you don't scream at your boss and, expect to be around very long. and, but the, the, the behavior to me was so unacceptable. and I think the learning for your listeners is, if I had to do it all over again, as soon as I didn't trust him or didn't feel like he was being truthful with me, I should have left immediately. I actually, we don't need to go down this track, but I ended up going through a really, really difficult time in that period.

Joel Manby: I mean, I medicated, I didn't sleep. I was working 20 hours a day trying to make this thing work, unfortunately, in the same period, I also lost my marriage of a long time. And it was, it was, it was literally the worst three years of my life. And I'm, I'm fortunate today to be on the other side of it. and I think if I had just stuck with my principles, I'm not going to work around or be around people who don't follow these principles with me. I think it's a good lesson lesson for your listeners, because there is a better way, and you don't have to put up with any kind of abuse from anybody in this world. So I hope I didn't go down too far on a tangent there, but it's just important. The,

Les McKeown: The reality of where your, principles in the book, the seven principles of making love work are clearly, as you read the book, it's obvious that this isn't something that's academic, that it comes deep from who you are. And I have to say, you know, I'll be bluntly honest with you that a book with the title such as yours, isn't one that I would naturally reach for, right Not that I disagree with the premise. It's just that I've been so disappointed over so many years by reading fluff that doesn't, it's not robust enough to be a useful tool in the world that I find I have to live in. And then I can only assume most other people do, but you're, it's always, as you talk about each of these, that they're not academic to you. So I just want to go through the seven real quickly here. We've got, we talk about defining, love as an act. Then you talk about being patient being kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, and dedicated. And you've touched on each of those briefly, what you've done is most underrated, which do you find folks glossed over too quickly Cause some of them are, you know, just, they hit you, right Find and love. They're almost synonyms, not quiet, but some of the others you're saying, Oh, why is that in there Which one do you think is most underrated

Joel Manby: Yep. I'm going to, I'm going to answer it two different ways. If you don't mind. The first is I'm going to say what's the most misunderstood it's patience and kindness is not. Again, it's not being patient with poor performance. It's being patient with how you handle poor performance. It means basically praise in public admonish and private. And when he would admonish you do those specifically. And I find that that doesn't happen very often in business. kindness is misunderstood because people think it's being nice all the time. It's not, but it is me encouraging and you know, less human nature, just the way we've evolved as human beings, there are more negative emotions than positive emotions of the, the six main psychiatric emotions. You could say, five of them are negative. And one joy is positive. The human nature is that we are negative about ourselves and people.

Joel Manby: So being kind means reinforcing other people, writing encouragement notes and all the data I've seen in my whole life. As a leader, it's, it's free to give encouragement yet. It's the most underserved of any of the seven words except for one. And I'll, I'll answer your question directly. What's the most problematic word it's truthfulness. And especially in the Christian world, the faith world, I shouldn't say Christian, but the faith world that I've worked in as a chairman, but also like when I was at general motors, people were not honest with each other. They would fire somebody, but they wouldn't sit down and say, here's three problems. You fix them and I'll give you 90 days to fix them. But if you can't, we're going to have to move in a different direction. That doesn't happen as much as we'd like to believe that everyday feedback or being truthful to people just doesn't happen.

Joel Manby: And I'm going to just, I'm going to, if you don't mind, I'm going to go to the analytics of this because I'm so passionate. And my voice is passionate because I've seen it work dozens and dozens of times in that the average engagement level of the U S worker, according to Gallup, which has measured it for 50 years, there's only 30% top box, meaning only 30% do they rate their job that they're fully engaged, which means there's a lot of lack of productivity when her shin, when I would go in with a love works principles, and we would buy a property that would be between 15 and 30% engagement levels. Within three years of putting these principles in place, our engagement levels would go to 75 to 80% top box, which means the people were passionate about coming to work. They were more productive. And we would turn these businesses around that were losing money, high turnover, disgruntled employees would become energetic employees who wanted to come to work.

Joel Manby: We made them profitable. And 75 to 80% is, is literally world-class. I mean, you don't find that at a Disney or an Apple, and it's from putting truthfulness in place, holding people accountable, having metrics. And so what's fascinating about this, these seven words. It's, it's not just putting them on a wall and talking about them in the book. It's really about the processes behind them that are so critical. It's defining them, teaching them, measuring them, following up with them. And it at her Shanana at SeaWorld less, we would spend just as much time talking about the analytic results of our people behaving to these words or not as we did the financials. And I know that might sound crazy, but we literally would have week monthly reviews of our financials for half a day. And then monthly reviews of the analytics behind our people's scores, where they were, were they engaged And were they behaving We literally had behaviors for each of those seven words that we would measure people on. And that's it.

Les McKeown: This is the, these became, obviously core values, whether, stated overtly or not. But from what you're sharing with me, it sounds like they also became performance assessment, elements. So they were, truthful. You would have some indicators of what it meant to show up. As I say, manager being truthful. Am I getting that right

Joel Manby: Yeah, exactly. Right. So let me just give you an example. 80% of companies, according to Gallup have values and probably 90% do now is very common, right We put it up on the wall, we put it on the website means practically nothing, unless you put systems and processes behind it. So we'd have you, we would have a, an annual review where they do go result in a B goal result. A Dougal result is everything that we all do. Increase sales, increase, margin, increase profitability. So B goals where these seven words of love of what kind of leader do we want you to be And we would ask your direct report. People who worked for you is Joel patient kind loving. Now they were anonymous. We didn't know who was saying, but we would get rated on it. We would also ask our employees how happy they were.

Joel Manby: And, and at the end of the year, if I did well on my Dougal's and my bagels, I got the top res if I didn't hit a certain hurdle on my bagels, I couldn't even get a financial bonus. So a lot of companies put it on a wall, very few companies. In fact, Gallup estimates, only 5% of companies actually put this kind of robust analytical mechanism behind it. And I so appreciate your candor because the publisher actually said, don't call it, love works. You'll lose some of your audience. But what I'm more proud of is the book rates very highly because people who read it and act and do it, they get results. But I admit that the misinterpretation of what love is, and the fact that it's not just a set of values is, is easily misinterpreted.

Les McKeown: It'd be, I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about the, the effect on applying the principles. I'm going to go through them again really quickly. One more time, patient kind, trusting on selfish, truthful, forgiving, dedicated. One of the things that we work with a lot in Predictable Success is effective and efficient teamwork, most leadership teams, as they develop over time and nobody ever shakes them and wakens them up someday and say, Hey, you know, Hey, you're not going to talk to your C suite group. You've got to become, you've got to build a muscle of effective and efficient decision making. You know, we get there in all sorts of ways. And one of the biggest impacts that we can have, when we're working with an organization is just to lead the team to really effective, efficient decision making. So they can get in a room, focus on the issue, debate it all, honestly, get a clear, clear execution plan, go make it happen.

Les McKeown: Yeah. Two things, as I reflect on, on love defined in those with those seven principles, one is, does it feels to me like that gets, that then gets gooey. You get into the decision making process. And we're so busy trying to make sure that we adhere to those principles that maybe we lose some of the effectiveness and efficiency if we don't do this. Right. Right. And yet, on the other hand, I see a thing, say things in the book, which resonated immediately for me, like don't confuse conflict with disagreement, right. Which is right at the core of effective decision. And the second thing is, and I should really shouldn't combine these cause they're two really big issues. One of one team member just doesn't want to play.

Joel Manby: Yeah. Well let's

Les McKeown: So effectiveness and efficiency on what if there's an online Yeah.

Joel Manby: Yeah. You know, as I'm sure you have the same definition of effective means doing the correct things that are most strategically important to the organization, doing it efficiently means doing it well, you can do the wrong things very well. And so the key word around this, and I'm glad you brought this up is truthfulness beak. And it, and it's also trustworthiness because look, the only way a leader can really get effective decisions, if he, if he or she is getting the truth and there's really dialogue on the table and what happens in most American cultures, because we are such an ego driven society. And we liked the honchos that know have all the answers. A lot of times, especially small entrepreneurial companies is the people expect the leader to come in with all the answers, which longterm is a disaster because you need the collective mind of a lot of brilliant people.

Joel Manby: So one thing that Jack taught me, that's a really simple, but important principle is in a meeting like you're talking about is the main leaders should talk last. The main leaders should outline the issue and say, here's the pros and cons here's, here's what we have to decide. And then I would always go around the room, ask everybody what their opinion was, why So I tested their thinking because in the end of the day, I need to develop a team that can replace me. So I wanted to see how everybody thought I didn't react to what they said, but in my mind I was doing the pros and cons. And when we ended up with a decision, I would take the time to go back around the table and recite basically why didn't go in the direction they recommended. But I showed them, I listened.

Joel Manby: I showed them, I respected their opinion. And there's an art to telling people the truth without ruining their dignity. And that's something that Jack Hirschman taught me. He, he would bounce. He would give me three positives with every negative, but he still gave me the negative. And he'd say, you know, your strategy, I love this, this and this, but there's a big hole here. I need you to do address it, but I still left the meeting feeling good. So there's, there's the reinforcement, but there's also getting the truth on the table, which is, you know, don't shoot the messenger talk last and replay back to people why you didn't go in the direction they were recommending. I think that's really helpful to getting the efficient and effective part.

Speaker 1: No,

Joel Manby: I, as far as people who don't want to be on the bus, I would say the same thing I said about the activist investor. you give it a little time, you have one or two conversations, but then if they're not willing to get on the bus, you gotta have the right players on the buses. You know, Jim Collins talks a lot about in his books. I've unfortunately had to let go of quite a few people, but usually they self-select. When you read the values, they're gonna, they know whether they resonate them or know them or not. But, that's how I would answer that question, but I'll tell ya, I just have to add one more thing. Sorry. When I was in the autocratic more fear-based macho world of the auto industry, I saw a lot of really talented people sitting around the table, keeping their mouth shuts for political reasons, not getting to the best solutions. And if you did argue with the head honcho, they, he, or she would slice you and, slice you apart. I mean, I can re I could tell you dozens of conversations, where I brought up things that ended up being right, but I got sliced a bits by people whose egos got in the way versus trying to reach the best decision. And that's where I think love works is misunderstood. It's about being truthful and trustworthy, but it also leads, I think, to the most effective decision making process.

Les McKeown: do you think there's any, extent to which, and I say this is one old guy talking to another

Joel Manby: Old guy

Les McKeown: That, the reason some of these principles haven't been prevalent in businesses because it's so male dominated historically.

Joel Manby: I, I, I think so. I, I think that's part of it. The good news is I think maleness in this country is changing a lot and, you don't have to have all the answers and I'm not, this is not a cop out. Look, I have been the number one leader for 25 straight years of four different organizations. And there's no greater stress point of going from number two to number one and anybody who's never been in. Number one, doesn't understand it until they're there. I have no problem making tough decisions, letting people go cutting costs. But in the end of the day, I've never felt like I'm the only one with all the right answers. I mean, that's just the kiss of death. There are a lot of really bright people and it's through the debate process that you get to the right answer.

Joel Manby: And that's one other point I'll add when you're autocratic and you don't have a good decision making process, like you said, and I talk about the book. It becomes monologue. Monologue is the kiss of death. And most visionaries, as you point out in your work, visionaries tend to be monologues. They just want people to implement what they want and half of what they want doesn't make any sense. And without debate, they become unhealthy and the organizations go into whitewater as you call it and they diminish over time. So I don't want any of this to be interpreted that I'm not willing to be tougher, make tough decisions. I just have made wrong decisions and I know enough to listen to other people, right.

Les McKeown: And you can implement. And I don't just because we're doing this oral, I don't, I don't want to bore people to death, but I'm going to repeat these again. patient kind, trusting on selfish, truthful for giving dedicated. You can have a strong and robust challenge function within an organization and have those principles in place.

Joel Manby: Absolutely, absolutely. Cause to say, no, it's leaning on, the misinterpretation of kindness and, and, and if I had to rewrite it, I wouldn't call it kind. I would actually call it encouragement because that's, what's lacking. What's lacking in most leadership. Most people are so focused on themselves and their own success and their own results that they forget that as leaders, their job is to develop those around them. And at least I find in the negativity of the world, people don't get enough. I mean, have you had enough support in your life or enough reinforcement in your life lessons I, I can say now, maybe I have, because I've married this incredible woman, who's so reinforcing, but most people don't get enough.

Les McKeown: Oh, we all we all can do with more. So if, if let's say one of our, leader listeners is, really, you know, thinking that's absolutely what we need here. We need, as Joel says to use love as a verb for it to be a core part of who we are. I want us to be patient kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, dedicated apart from buying the book. And we have a link for it here on the page. well, as well as buying the book, where would you advise that they start Yeah,

Joel Manby: That's a great question. And actually I get that a lot and I'm, I'm thinking of this is going to be my next book. although I never had a goal of being an author, but I'm, this is where I would start less is first of all, no matter where you are in the organization, you can be helpful here is to define the culture. I'm not saying it has to be those seven words, but you know, there are words close to those that, so I would define the values very specifically, but then I would teach it to everyone in your department or your family or your organization. I mean, there are families who do exactly what I'm talking about and I would measure it, which most people don't do. And that's the tough part is to measure your values, robustly, review it consistently, which usually we put it on a wall or on a website and we forget about it, but then reward it constantly. And that's what I talked about. The increasing people's pay based on their adherence to the values. That's putting your money, where your mouth is and that's, that's where I would start. And I don't think you have to be the leader of the organization. You just have to have a passion for it. There's not a single leader out there who won't, who won't adhere or be looking for ways to improve the culture of the organization.

Les McKeown: And finally, Joel, neither you nor I can avoid the fact that we're living in just certainly for me is the most ridiculous year of my life. And just unbelievable. I can't find words to describe what has been going on. Hi, how do you see the application of what you write about in high health They are way not just as a nation, but you know, thinking globally as well. How healthy do you feel we are And just our innate ability to apply these principles. Are we getting worse Are we getting better Is it feels like the very core of what you talk about is under severe stress right now. I don't see people naturally being patient. You kidding me kind trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, dedicated. That's not my Twitter stream. That's not my news broadcasts. Do you worry about,

Joel Manby: I worry a lot less than no one's ever asked me that I'm incredibly concerned. you know, just you and I have seen it changed so dramatically in our lifetime. I think it's as you'd agree, social media really exacerbates it. But when we were kids, you know, Democrats and Republicans could argue and argue and then go out to dinner and have a beer together and laugh. And now if, if you just say you're one or the other, it's, you're the enemy and there's no dialogue, it's all monologue and it's hate-filled monologue. And it's just destroying this, this earth. And I, I that's a dramatic statement, but we were definitely heading in the wrong direction. And you know, you could approach this from two different perspectives. It's if, if you're a person of faith, I think our creator created us to be loving in our, in our essence, but we're not seeing that reinforce if you're a person who just believes only in evolution and maybe the big bang, even for homosapiens to survive a hundred million years, we have done so through cooperation, we're not the strongest, not even always the smartest being, but our ability to cooperate is what has made our species survive.

Joel Manby: And if we lose that ability, I worry about the direction of the human race from whatever perspective you come from. And that's why I am. So I don't do this because I need to, I mean, I, you know, I've been a CEO for 25 years. I could just quietly retire. I am so passionate about what loving each other, the verb, and treating each other with respect could do for this country. That I'm, until I die, I'm going to preach about it. Just think what the debate would have looked like if Donald Trump and Biden's that followed any one of these words, we've lost the ability to talk to each other in a rational manner. And it's just, it's very scary to me.

Les McKeown: I agree a hundred percent. If you put a list of things that we need right now, it's just, it's part two of your book and more time patient kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, dedicated, go by the book. The links here love work. Seven timeless principles for effective leaders. Joel Malbec. Thank you so much.

Joel Manby: Yeah. And I would also just add one other thing. Lesson is my websites, dot com. And if they, if they buy it, there it's the same deal as Amazon, but they do get a free video series on how to lead through the crisis right now. And it applies these seven words to the COVID crisis. And so it's just an additional benefit that your listeners could get if they happen to buy it through our website. But I also, I just want to thank you for what you do. I think your work is so important. and I just want to reinforce all that you're doing. I've read it. I listen, and you are onto the right path and you always have been so thanks for what you do.

Connect with Joel!

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