How to Lead with Love: An Interview with Joel Manby

Often it’s the perceived “soft skills” that fall to the bottom of the leadership development priority list, but if leadership is an act of love (and we believe it is), then leading with love is a critical skill to hone. In his newly updated and expanded version of his book Love Works, Joel Manby instructs readers on how loving leaders behave. And he shares some insights about just that in this conversation with Jenni Catron. Listen for practical application of one of the most widely known definitions of love and what it looks like to love while you lead.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • why HOW you behave is as important as WHAT you do
  • why love is a higher standard of leadership
  • which principle of loving leadership is the most difficult
  • how to balance “nice” and “true”
  • how to define behavioral expectations and hold people accountable to them
  • how loving leadership affects employee engagement

Love Works: 7 Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders

About Joel Manby:
As CEO of major corporations for over 25+ years and after his appearance on the reality tv show Undercover Boss, Joel Manby has learned a number of lessons through experience which he has summarized in his book Love Works. It details how to integrate “love the verb” into the leadership ethos and philosophy of any organization. 

This approach has been systematically proven to create:

  • organizations with higher employee engagement
  • lower turnover
  • more satisfied customers
  • stronger profits

Prior to becoming an author, Manby was the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, a $1.4 billion entertainment company with well-known brands such as SeaWorld Parks, Busch Gardens Parks and Discovery Cove. 

For over a decade, Manby served as the CEO of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned theme park and entertainment company in the United States with popular brands such as the Harlem Globetrotters and Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park and dinner theaters.

Before joining Herschend Enterprises, Manby spent 20 years in the auto industry in general management and marketing roles primarily in General Motors’ Saturn and Saab divisions. He served as CEO of Saab Automobile USA from 1996 to 2000, during which Saab experienced the best sales result in its 50+ year U.S. history. In addition, he was CEO of Amazon’s car selling partner, which was sold to in 2001.

He is currently the non-executive Chairman of Orange, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and distribution of student, youth, and next generation curriculum to over 9,000 churches in 40+ countries. It’s a position he has held for over 20 years. 

The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership Course Graphic

For more about becoming the rare and exceptional leader you’re meant to be, check out our new course called “The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.” The 4-part course will further unpack how to lead with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ideal for emerging leaders seeking growth, staff development, or those in a new leadership role, this course is sure to encourage and challenge you and your team to become extraordinary leaders.

Listen, Review, and Subscribe!

Listen to The Jenni Catron Leadership Podcast each week.

Please rate and review the podcast. This helps us grow our reach and bless others with free leadership content.

Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app!


How to Lead with Love: An Interview with Joel Manby