Supply Chain Now Episode 416
“No matter what, do what you love to do, and the money will take care of itself.”
Joel Manby, Author of “Love Works”
Joel Manby has been the CEO of organizations like Saab, Greenlight.com, Herschend Family Entertainment and Seaworld, and he is currently the Executive Chairman of Orance / The reThink Group. He has appeared on the show Undercover Boss and in 2012 published a book titled, “Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders.”
His experience spans multiple industries, often at companies that needed help getting out of difficult situations or had to pivot for one reason or another. In all of those situations, it was the people that made the difference, the people that needed to be considered before the organization as a whole could be transformed.
In this conversation, Joel tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
About the true challenge of leadership, which lies at the intersection of employee results, customer results, and financial results
Why certainty is never better than authenticity, even in difficult times
The different personas that every successful organization needs to have: visionaries, operators, synergizers, and facilitators, among others
Intro – Amanda Luton (00:00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:00:28):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show today’s episode. We are continuing logistics with purpose. One of our favorite series here, PowerBar, dear friends, over at vector global logistics on this series. As hopefully you’ve come to know we spotlight leaders and organizations that are changing the world in some way, shape or form. And you know, we work hard to increase your supply chain Accu. Hopefully you’ll, you’ll pick up on that through this conversation here today, uh, with no further ado, want to welcome in my esteemed co-hosts here today. We’ve got Greg white cereal supply chain tech entrepreneur, and trusted advisor, Greg. Good morning. Howdy. How are you? I’m doing fantastic. Great week. Great week. We’ll talk more about that. And then of course, Enrique Alvarez, our NVP, a managing director at vector global logistics. Erica, how you doing?
Scott Luton (00:01:17):
Good morning. Hey Scott, Greg. Hey, great to be here with you guys. And I’m excited about this particular episode. We are to have had to continue the baseball analogies based on the, on, on the pre show conversation. So we’re hoping we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re going to see at least 60 games of baseball and our Braves here. We don’t welcome in our featured guests here today. Joel Manby CEO to major corporations over the last 25 years, current chairman of orange, which is a powerful nonprofit working in over 40 countries. We can learn more about that and, uh, author of the popular book love works, which we’re going to dive into that too. Good morning, Joel. Good morning. How you doing Scott? Okay, Greg. Good to be here. Yeah. Welcome. Great to have you here. Yeah, no doubt. All right. I saw on your, um, your bio that you were CEO at sob.
Scott Luton (00:02:08):
I know we want to get to that, but I just wanted to tell you, I saw the most oddly colored Saab nine, three. Yeah. A convertible kind of a fluorescent yellowish green. Yes. I don’t know what years you were there, but um, I have fond memories of a Saab 900 turbo that I had when I was in high school. So high school. So that’s two years ago then. Yeah. And Joel, just in case Greg is our resident car lover, all things cars. So when sob hit the notes, Greg’s ears perked up. No, I love, I love cyber love my time there. And yet I think we sold about five of that color in the entire United States. I should’ve taken a picture of my wife. We were sitting there eating and she said, that is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen. It is. And actually I, you know, the truth
Joel Manby (00:03:00):
Is when I came in, uh, that was one of the things I did is we cut that color pretty quickly. Um, it was a bad color. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
Greg White (00:03:08):
Do you really okay? Oh man. If it, if it made an impression on you,
Joel Manby (00:03:13):
It was horrible and yeah. ESOP was a great experience. Great, great car. Very, uh, over engineered maybe, but uh, under marketed.
Greg White (00:03:23):
Yeah. Most definitely. It was one of the best cars I ever drove. I can tell you. And everybody loved that. The key was in the console.
Joel Manby (00:03:31):
Yeah. Right. I actually came from, uh, because, uh, in car accidents, when your knees go into the dash, your knees get ripped up. So they it’s a safety feature to put the key, uh, between the seats. Yeah.
Greg White (00:03:44):
Between Saba and Volvo, they had all of the safety features pretty.
Joel Manby (00:03:48):
Yeah. Right. I mean, they were great with that.
Greg White (00:03:52):
They must be terrible drivers. Joel, that’s all I can say.
Joel Manby (00:03:54):
Thanks. You know, they hated, they hated, they did not want to put cup holders in their vehicles. They thought Americans were absolutely nuts. Germans. Weren’t big fan of that either. No, no. You’re you’re in the car to drive, not to eat or drink. Well, they don’t have
Greg White (00:04:11):
It’s drive nearly as far as we do. I’ve been to Sweden quite a bit. So it’s a little bit different.
Joel Manby (00:04:17):
No, it is. It’s definitely different.
Greg White (00:04:20):
We could say we’re more prepared, but Hey, let’s jump into this. So tell us a little bit about you where you’re from a little bit about childhood or any kind of early life memories or pivotal moments or anything like that.
Joel Manby (00:04:32):
Yeah, Greg, I grew up in Michigan. So, uh, battle Creek, which is a serial capital of the world. When you’re a kid, a lot of, a lot of your listeners, the older ones would send in their box tops to battle Creek, Michigan to get their free toys. I actually grew up really poor, you know, a lot of people. And I think your listeners, they look at people who have worked hard and become CEOs or owners or entrepreneurs. And there’s some assumption of a golden spoon, but I, I, uh, my dad was a failed entrepreneur and uh, he went out of business and his is a tractor dealership and there was a period of time. My mom told me after he passed away that he was bringing home about 50 hours, $50, $50 a week is all he was bringing home about 2000 bucks a year and did that for about seven years and tell it went out of business and it had a huge, huge impact on me.
Joel Manby (00:05:28):
Um, I’m not sure it was all positive cause Mo most of the, most of the fights in our family were over money. And so, uh, I was pretty driven at an early age to, I didn’t want that for my family. So it’s, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to go into business. Although on a lighter note, the other reason is because I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I actually was invited by a scout to go to a tryout camp for the tigers and the reds. And I made the throwing cut and I made the running cut, but then I had to face all the pitchers who were throwing 90 miles an hour plus on the gun. I played division three baseball, you know, and, and I never saw a 90 mile an hour fastball. And so I literally stood up at the plate for about five minutes and didn’t even fall off the pitch. I looked like one of those thing fans, I was just air was. And, um, so that was the end of my baseball career. And then, uh, in high school, I also guarded magic Johnson, the world famous hall of fame, basketball player in a high school basketball game. So that’s the claim to fame, my head and I held them to 48 points. So good job. That’s outstanding.
Greg White (00:06:45):
Where did you go to high school in college? Joel,
Joel Manby (00:06:48):
I went to, I went to battle Creek Lakeview, and then I went to Albion college for undergrad and I went to Harvard actually for business school. So, um, I was very fortunate. I got into Harvard right out of Albion and I was, I was actually going to go into law. This is actually an interesting story for listeners about direction you get from mentors. I worked for a lawyer. I was in pre law and after working for him, I asked him if he thought I should be a lawyer. And I thought, of course he was going to say, yes, you’ll be great. And without any hesitation, he said, no, you shouldn’t be a lawyer. I said, what? He said, look, lawyers in your analogy for football lawyers are like referees and you are quarterback. You, you need to lead. You need to be in a business where you’re leading other people. And that was the best advice I ever I ever got and actually not ever, but, uh, very helpful. So then I switched to business and went to the, went to Harvard and came out and, you know, went into business after that. So that’s a little bit about, about my background.
Greg White (00:07:52):
There is a lot there that was quick Joel. And, but there is a lot there. Yes. Um, that is a lot of insights. It’s interesting. I was noticing some parallels. It’s not about me, but there’s a lot of parallels in your early life and my early life. It’s interesting what you take away from that I can really empathize with, I think, with where your, your head is, right.
Joel Manby (00:08:15):
It’s not great. You know, it’s not necessarily a positive thing. I mean, I, I think I’ve made too many decisions in my life based on what would make the most money. And I mean, jumping kind of to the I’ve, I’ve had some really tough up and downs in my life. I mean to really kind of rock bottom experiences as we walk through, we can, we can hit them if you want, but the mistakes I’ve made, including my, I lost my first marriage was a lot of my just workaholism and just drivenness. And I look back now and wonder why. And I think a lot of it was just fear, you know, fear of failure, fear of having enough fear of being like my dad, where the money wasn’t there and the fights. And, and I think we, we do a lot based on trying to avoid pain that we saw or experienced as children, without even knowing it I’m 60 years old now. So I’m just kinda realizing some of this stuff later in life. But, um, I don’t say those things with, with pride as much as maybe caution to other people, listening to really, really no matter what do, what you love to do and the money takes care of itself. I know that’s cliche, but, um, yeah, that’s, that’s certainly my own experience. Yeah, man. That’s great insight. Seriously
Scott Luton (00:09:39):
Harder note. I want to go back to baseball for a second. Are you still a big fan of the game? And if so, who, what is your team?
Joel Manby (00:09:46):
What are the prospects for the 2020 season? Well, I don’t, I haven’t been found enough. What’s happened lately by I grew up a tiger fan. So they won the world series. They were actually the first team that came back from three down in a world series in 1968 against the st. Louis Cardinals, Bob Gibson hall of fame pitcher, and then a Kurt Gibson, of course in 84 won the series. But they’re right now at doormat, which is really tough to watch cause they were a powerhouse for so many years and the Braves are just so exciting to watch. I just hope we get a season. I just, I don’t understand why we can’t play baseball. Even if without fans, the TV revenue. I really don’t understand the fear, but that’s a, that’s a whole other topic.
Scott Luton (00:10:29):
Yeah. And the tigers, when I am, when I was growing up sessile filter, uh, of course legendary at the plate and Jack Morris, who I believe who killed the Braves and 91 world series with the twins. He spent most of his heyday hall of fame career, I believe with the tigers
Joel Manby (00:10:45):
And well, and he was on, he was on the 84 championship team. And with this, he was powerhouse. I forgot that he beat the braise when he was in Minnesota
Scott Luton (00:10:55):
Breaker game seven against John Smoltz and a game that could have gone either way, but we won’t, Hey, let’s move to, uh, some better news. Oh, this was supposed to be enough topics. I have to ask a quick question before Scott, before we move into your segment
Joel Manby (00:11:07):
Real quick, I can’t help, but notice that there are
Scott Luton (00:11:10):
Musical instruments behind you. And I believe that’s a picture of John
Joel Manby (00:11:13):
John Lennon, is that correct? So actually that is actually a Photoshop. That’s my that’s me and my two brothers. Whoa. Yeah. It’s John Lennon in the real album, but that’s really my brother Josh and I’m on the far other side. Um, and my brother John’s in the middle, but wow, that’s funny. I didn’t even realize that was showing, but my brothers and I had a rock band growing up and we were called the Berlin airlift and we, uh, replayed in high schools and junior high schools and, and interesting when my parents passed, we hadn’t played together in 25 years, but my parents passed 10 years ago. And ever since then, we’ve gotten together at least once a year and recorded covers, you know, we usually do Beatles or Eagles or something from the eighties, sixties and seventies. So yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s really fun and really meaningful now. Cause both my brothers have are sick, you know, they have cancer. And so you just never know how much longer they’ll be around. And so to be able to get with them and play music, it’s one of the great joys of my life. That’s awesome, man. Yeah. Great. Cool.
Scott Luton (00:12:28):
Josh and Greg Tate, Greg, doesn’t miss a thing. Right. And Rica, he’s the most observant person.
Joel Manby (00:12:33):
The planet is this electronic drum set. You can play any tone you want on it.
Scott Luton (00:12:39):
Cool. Now what’s your, so what do you play?
Joel Manby (00:12:42):
I play, I play keyboard and, and drums in my brother’s band. I played drums and then I just play keyboard. Yeah. So I’m self taught. I just do it to hack around, but I love it. I love music
Scott Luton (00:12:54):
Airlift. Yeah. That is brilliant, man. I don’t think people today would get that reference. That’s a good point. Right. But that, I mean, that’s really brilliant for the time that you probably, you guys were playing
Joel Manby (00:13:05):
And then in high school. Yeah, it was, it was, we loved it. It was a unique name and we actually have all gone to Germany and seeing where the airlift happened and went to the airport. We were all, all history bus and the Americans did an amazing thing there for the East Germans, but that’s a whole different, that’s a whole different story. But using the
Scott Luton (00:13:26):
Connection is that as an outstanding supply chain success story, and we’ll have to dive into that in a different episode. But uh, so Joel
Joel Manby (00:13:35):
You’re right. That was amazing. What they brought us whole. They brought, they flew in everything. Absolutely. For the fire. It was just amazing.
Scott Luton (00:13:42):
Uh, you know, uh, as an early one for the air force too, which was in its infancy, uh, when that took place. So, uh, what a great story. Um, alright, so let’s circle back to some other, uh, talking about a great story, your, your, your professional journey. I mean, you’re a pretty unique guest that we’ve had here at supply chain now, given, given, uh, your stops a CEO at some of these organizations,
Joel Manby (00:14:04):
But for starters,
Scott Luton (00:14:06):
You spent 20 years in what I would call at least one of the toughest industries being automotive. You know, I was, I spent a little time in metal stamping that supplied a little bit to automotive and where I lost several years of my life.
Joel Manby (00:14:19):
Uh, and it is a tough business. Um, so tell us more though, about your role as CEO of Saab, automobile USA. Let me just back up one, one step before sob and that’s Saturn. One of the, one of the greatest moments of enjoyable experience of my life was helping start Saturn. And a lot of the younger listeners may not remember it, but it was a breakthrough car brand, uh, really became number one in the small car business, it was known for no hassle shopping. And what I really learned there, Scott was that the importance of defining a brand, even in the really crowded automotive industry, a new brand came out in Saturn and really changed the, the knack or of an industry. They would call it advertising a dealership when it was true, we treated the customer, right. We absolutely wanted to treat them with respect and dignity, as opposed to most car buying experiences, which is like getting a root canal, right?
Joel Manby (00:15:16):
I mean, it’s one of the worst things in your life. And it was a great experience for me because it wasn’t intended to be that way, but it really, the innovation was breeded out of necessity because the car wasn’t that great. And we knew we had to market it differently because we couldn’t be Japanese on quality at that point. So we’d beat them in the way we treated the customer. And that was the first car that really focused Kyra brand that focused on guest experience. But because of Saturn success, Saturn had a, like I said, kind of a marginal car, but a fantastic dealer network, fantastic marketing.
Scott Luton (00:15:54):
So I drove a 1994 [inaudible] did you really? I did a, it was my first car. When I got on station at Shaw air force base, it was the first call or car I ever bought on my own. Wow. And I put 125,000 miles plus some on that car, automated, automated seatbelts. It was a straight shift and it was a great car. I mean, it was, it was the first thing. I felt a lot of ownership on. Uh, and, and so I didn’t, you know, I should’ve done my homework better, but Saturn was what, a unique story there. And, and you, you, you helped launch the brand.
Joel Manby (00:16:26):
I was one of the first four marketing people. I, you know, I was right out of business school. So I was only 26. I had kind of a mid level management position, but certainly it grew over time, but just to watch it all happen was an amazing experience. And to, to see us pivot and how we were going to market and see how successful that became was just a great experience, but it was because then, then sob, Oh, I’m sorry, GM owned half a sob. And so they wanted someone because Saab had an amazing car, but horrible marketing and horrible distribution that they wanted a Saturn person specifically. So that was really a big break in my career in that I was only 35. And so in the general motors world, that’s incredibly young to be a CEO of a, um, like even Delore and you know, the fame, I think he was 38, but so it, it takes a while.
Joel Manby (00:17:20):
So that, but that was a break for me. Cause I, I received that position so early. And, you know, I think the, the one thing for your listeners that, that I was trying to think about a unique aspect of that sob experience that would be helpful it’s that we definitely were innovative and we pivoted away from industry norm and the, the, the, the industry norm in the auto industry for retail is just add as many dealers as possible. Just throw them out there. Well, SAB was dueled with all these crummy brands at the time. I shouldn’t, I won’t mention who they were, but they were always dueled up. They didn’t have individual stores like Lexus or infinity or BMW. So instead of adding more, we actually, we had a new car coming, the nine five brand new sedan. So we knew we had leverage. And so we actually decreased our dealer network, got rid of about a third of the real poor performers.
Joel Manby (00:18:17):
And the, we gave those who would commit to sod with new buildings, dedicated employees, or at least dedicated place. Even the D didn’t build a building, we would loan them money. They had to pay us back. So it was a whole program that we revitalized the whole network and about three years. And so when we brought the new car out, literally the store, the sales per store doubled from what it was before. So now the dealerships were profitable and then they put their best people. And so, so many times, and I know in supply chain, when I was at general motors, it was always, they were so focused on low cost producer or get the lowest price versus making sure the suppliers were successful as well. And that’s what we made the dealer successful and that made sob successful. And so we did have a really good turnaround, but really put the old thinking in the trashcan and try to be innovative and do it a different way.
Scott Luton (00:19:20):
Broke records, as you were talking about the sales records, uh, so them taking the risk kind of, as you put it of a young CEO at 35 really paid off in spades, what you shared a lot about what led to some of those record breaking, sell that the, the sales growth, anything else that really sticks out, you kinda, it sounds like you kind of went counter to some of the prevailing norms at the time. Anything else stick out with decisions y’all made that led to those?
Joel Manby (00:19:47):
The other big thing we did is Saab was near the bottom and guest satisfaction at the dealership level. And so, and also in quality. So we, we, the engineers in Sweden did a great job turning that around. We focused a lot on frontline and what I learned at Saturn, and it’s really stuck with me my entire career, whether we talk about theme parks or autos I’m, I love the guest experience. And it’s all about the frontline employee. If you don’t treat one key principle, I think for your listeners that I’ve always learned, the hard way is the enthusiasm of your guest experience never rises any higher than the enthusiasm of your own employee. And it sounds straightforward, but man, I cannot believe how many companies I’ve been involved in as a board member that their focus first is on the dollar. And I think that’s the wrong approach.
Joel Manby (00:20:47):
And the leadership is a balance between employee results, like are your employee scores, your guests results and your financial results. And let me say it, maybe it’s too harsh, but any fool can improve one of those things and put the company in bankruptcy, right? I mean, we can give the guests everything they want. We can give the employee everything they want, or we can drive everything to the bottom line and ruin quality and the guests will go away or the employees will quit. The art of leadership is the intersection of all three of those and trying to balance them so that you have a very profitable, thriving business. And a lot of businesses, I see don’t put enough focus on the end guest score or their, um, their, their own employees, which is really what they, when we get to the book and love works, that’s what it’s all about. And kind of my whole career I had to set up because I feel like I’m in school right now. You go in the back of the room, pay attention. So I want to, uh, so Joel, you see the reaction you’re getting from all three of us, a lot of what you’re sharing does, you know, almost stands the hair up on the back of your neck. And Rick, I want to get you to weigh in here. We ain’t heard from you yet based on what Joel, Joel was just, he did drop a lot of ton of golden knowledge there. What sticks out really to you with what he just shared?
Enrique Alvarez (00:22:09):
It’s just all about the people. I think, uh, I think it’s really key to our company key to what we do. And I think that as Joel was saying, I think if you have highly motivated and empowered, uh, employees, or even shareholders, they must feel like they’re belong to something greater than just making money. Right. And so it’s just that having a cost and using it and leveraging it to not only become successful as a company, but then also to change the world, which is what vector is set up to do. I think that’s key. And I had a question for you, Joel. I mean, it’s amazing what you’ve been sharing with us and I appreciate it for doing it. And it probably wasn’t as simple as you put it, uh, convincing an organization to go against what everyone else did at the time. And just how, how was it, what was a little bit more of the conflict that you have to undergo to, to, to have people buy into closing dealerships? Cause that’s something that, again at the time, and sometimes even now goes completely against what any, I guess average CEO would do, right?
Joel Manby (00:23:15):
Yeah, no, I appreciate it’s a great question. It was interesting and regained the tension was more with the experience sob employees that had been there a long time. The board I reported to a board, the general motors board, they were very supportive because it was in bad shape, right? So we had the advantage that Saab was not profitable so that the board was willing to try just about anything. And I knew I was so committed because I had seen it at Saturn. I saw what happened when people were focused and they, they believed in what they were doing. And I just did not believe in the dueling concept where a customer would walk in and, you know, they could buy an Infiniti or a sob in the same dealership. It’s the water is always going to flow to the most profitable, which was Infiniti at the time.
Joel Manby (00:24:05):
So I was so committed. I think my belief in it convinced the employees. But to your point, I had to put a, I put a five point plan together that was really clear, showed everyone the math of what would happen, that we’re going to have a difficult year and a half doing this. But I share that with everyone in the organization, we had an all employee meeting, went through it in detail, answered questions, agnostic them, and just kept repeating that five point plan and the progress towards it over and over and over again and kept it simple so that people could see the progress. And it was really, really gratifying experience, but you’re right. There was an Le let’s face it and reggae. Um, there wasn’t all we had to let some people go. I mean, you, as a leader, they have a choice to get on the bus or get off the bus. And unfortunately, a, probably about 15% or 10, you know, 10 or 15% of my management team direct reports to me, weren’t on the bus and we had to make changes and same thing happened at SeaWorld. He’s just, I don’t like to let people go. I hate it. I hate that part of being a CEO, but, um, you know, sometimes it has to happen.
Scott Luton (00:25:18):
So let’s very reluctantly leave the automotive industry. I think it as a tough industry to leave. Cause there’s so much to dive into there
Joel Manby (00:25:27):
It is. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:25:28):
So you later served and correct me if I mispronounced this as CEO of, is it Herschend
Joel Manby (00:25:33):
And yeah, it’s Hershey and it’s not, it’s not the Hershey. It’s her shin is the name of the family.
Scott Luton (00:25:39):
Darn it. Her son love to see what you can do with a chocolate bar. So given the large differences between the automotive industry and the theme parks slash entertainment industry, and what were some of the similar leadership challenges that you have?
Joel Manby (00:25:54):
Well, you know, like Enrique said, it is all about people and that’s, that’s the common thing through all leadership, great leadership is about leading other people and, and that’s a tough job, but it’s also a great honor to do so. The similarities were that they’re all consumer based industries and the frontline that the employee that’s touching the guest, whether it’s the salesman and the car dealership or the, you know, the frontline person in a theme park, it is a very difficult task to culturally get a common set of values that they adhere to and they’re passionate about. And that’s really what I love to do. And that was the common thing between them. However, they’re very, very different in that the car industry is so large that even, even as CEO of sob and the North American market, I still had to interface and understand the global market with the Swedish executives.
Joel Manby (00:26:50):
And it was hard to really get your hands around everything. Whereas in the theme park industry, they’re smaller units and you really have complete control from a creative standpoint and I hate the word control, but I just love the creativity of whatever your cashflow was in the theme park. You could direct it towards any activity or ride attraction, a show, a themed event, better food. And there were so many options within theme parks. It’s really about a dozen businesses in one, right? You’ve got food, you’ve got entertainment, safety issues, big rides, huge, huge rides and attractions. So it had a lot of variability to it, which actually made it more complex than people would think
Scott Luton (00:27:35):
For the sake of time. We’re going to keep moving. We’re going to talk about SeaWorld in just a second. And I know lots of our listeners will connect with that story and that brand, but real quick, we had Ray McDonald on a couple of times, he’s a senior leader with the Clorox company, a great interview, great great leader. And in our last appearance, he shared a couple of stories of his interactions and just as appreciation of his frontline folks in the plants, making it happen are in a critical time for the company for, and really, I mean, not to be too dramatic for the world, especially for their products you have throughout just the first half of this interview have spoken about the frontline, have spoken about the employee experience and how that’s gotta be just as important as a customer experience. Do you think back of the interaction you have with one of your team members, perhaps one on the front line that really sticks out and something you still go to mentally?
Joel Manby (00:28:23):
Well, absolutely. I there’s so many, but when I, and we may talk about this more later, but I was, uh, I was on a show called undercover boss and we had to go on incognito and work with folks at the frontline. And one of them was a man named Richard and he was a frontline employee and his house was flooded in a flood off of a river. And he lived in a popup tent because he didn’t have insurance on his home. And when we discovered that he lived for like five months with it, with four kids in a popup tent, trying to get to work every day and struggling. And so we basically paid as a company, pay $10,000 to redo his bedroom. And they ended up putting another 10,000 in it. And it, that experience, uh, caused us to launch a foundation called sheriff forward, where the employees would put money in and then we would match it as a company.
Joel Manby (00:29:24):
And a hundred percent of that money would go to help employees in need, whether it was an insurance issue or a scholarship for their children through that experience, that one experience of helping and seeing the impact on him and then starting a program to help the whole company. It was a cultural because people started helping each other. And I think so many companies and organizations spend all their focus giving to outside sources when some of their own employees have huge, huge needs. And so I think it’s a big decision to make it. It’s not either, or you can do. And, but I think boy, like in Ricky said to take care of your employees first and they’ll be really loyal. So that’s one, one that pops the top of my head.
Scott Luton (00:30:09):
That’s a huge one. Thanks so much for sharing. And Greg, when, when you hear share it forward, I know that that resonates with you especially, right. I mean, that’s what this whole series is about, right? Is some companies give back. It’s kind of an afterthought with Enrique and a lot of the companies that we, and people that we talk about on, on this series, they give first. So I just call it giving forward.
Joel Manby (00:30:33):
And that’s what we call our program or share it for it. It’s just the same concept. And it, there’s also magic too, in the fact that the employee, and I’m not, I’m not suggesting everybody do it this way, but there was magic in that the employee started with a dollar and we gave two. And so they had some skin in the game. They wanted to see their own fellow employees helped. And it was an interesting dynamic there really created this spiral upwards of helping each other. And we went through and that was in Oh seven and Oh eight when it all collapsed financially, um, we had to make some really tough decisions and we, we pulled together as a team. A lot of the executives all took pay cuts, and we did a lot of things so that we didn’t have to lay people off. We all took reduced pay, but we got through it. And then boy afterwards, the morale and the scores were really, really strong. So it’s just to attribute to helping, helping each other.
Scott Luton (00:31:28):
So you all, if, if, if you don’t mind, I’ll reach back to you on that. Cause that seems like a really good idea that maybe we could, uh, we could do here at nectar.
Joel Manby (00:31:36):
Yeah. It’s, it’s a, you know, there are some legal issues. You have to have a separate board because you can’t give them awards. They’ll get taxed. If it’s, if you don’t have a separate board making those decisions, but there’s a way to do it all. That’s not too cumbersome. We kept it really administratively light, but it it’s still, it’s still worked really well. I’m happy to talk about it
Scott Luton (00:31:57):
As president and CEO of SeaWorld. I’m not sure about Enrique and Greg I’ve been there. One of my favorite memories as a kid, it was when my grandparents who were no longer with us were in the three houses in a row in new, new Smyrna beach, Florida. And they really spoiled us. It was the big gift to all the grandkids and they put the three families up and we went to Disney world and Epcot and SeaWorld. And it was a huge memory still today and loves SeaWorld. So as present COC world, what was one of your favorite aspects of that role, that team and that experience?
Joel Manby (00:32:31):
I could tell a hundred stories, but the thing I loved the most was being part of pivoting the organization out of a desperate troubled situation. And basically long story short, they were very popular company, popular brand. The entire company built on Shamu, the killer whale. But then when Blackfish came out, which was a, basically a shock umentary that made SeaWorld look really evil and really bad. And it was about 3% truth, but a hundred percent effective. And it really hurt our company actually took our sales down about 50% at the SeaWorld parks. And then, you know what that does to a fixed cost organization. It just, the CEO was fired. I was brought in layoffs, all the things that go with that. But the satisfying to your question, we pivoted the brand from all being all about animal entertainment, which was not going to be the rising tide in the future.
Joel Manby (00:33:28):
We changed to basically a cause driven brand, come to the park and help save the planet. And it, it basically a portion of all proceeds when you come to the park help with animal causes and we had always been doing it. We were actually the largest rescue organization for Marine mammals in the whole world and save more manatees. And the masters would probably be extinct in Florida if it wasn’t for SeaWorld, but no one knew that we were horrible marketers. So we pivoted the brand. And at the same time, you know, had to take care of a lot of tough issues to get our costs in line with the lower revenue, but it was turning. And the, as I left, we were up 12%, but kind of had a run in with the board, which was my worst experience. And that’s, that’s the story in and of itself.
Joel Manby (00:34:17):
But we had an activist investor come in, who wasn’t on the same timeline. I was, even though we were, I told the board of take three years and it did take three years, but he wanted it faster. I thought some of the things he was asking me to do were not the correct things to do for the company. So we parted ways. It didn’t have a great ending, but it was a blessing because if I had been there through, during this COVID crisis, man, I can’t imagine what’s going on there. But there was a great satisfying experience to help the company pivot and give life into people who really weren’t sure they had a future. And that as a leader, I don’t think there’s anything more gratifying than that. All this gray hair came from Seaport.
Scott Luton (00:35:02):
So I love that. That’s a certain element of that organization. That was a blind spot for me. So I’m going to dive deeper into that, that pivoting, that, that messaging changed so important. It sounds like to the culture of the organization. All right. So now right before Greg takes a deeper dive in some of your current projects, I want to pose a question to you. You mentioned, you know, the COVID-19 and the pandemic and this incredible year of challenge and difficulty 2020 has been on a variety of levels, right? And recant. And Greg, I want to ask, I’m going to ask both of y’all after we hear from Joel about a best practice from you when it comes to leadership during challenging is like this, but Joel, I’m sure that in all of your years of leadership, there are plenty of challenging years. You were talking about some of the big changes you made in the automotive industry. Clearly the SeaWorld experience I was at that was a very challenging time. And it sounds like you had a success story other than though, do you, what stands out during challenging years from a senior leadership standpoint, the health of the team morale, what’s the best practice that you go to during those challenging times like 20, 20,
Joel Manby (00:36:09):
A couple of them are COVID specific. There’s I think through your question, but one thing I’ve learned that sounds simple, but as a, as a leader, we all have a tendency in a crisis that we want to give our employees certainty. We want to say, it’s going to be completely okay, we’re going to get through this. And that’s actually the worst thing we can do because we don’t know. And what they want is authenticity. And if we try to pull the wool over their eyes at all, they see it immediately, right? I mean, we all know that you, you know it, as I say it, but what I think instead of certainty, we need to give clarity. And that’s it, there’s a difference because clarity is, I don’t know the answer to that, but here’s what I do know. Here’s where we’re going. Here’s how we’re going to adapt.
Joel Manby (00:36:57):
I think that takes some of the pressure off of us. We can’t be the shell answer man, all the time. We have to admit that there’s things we don’t know. Cause we don’t. And we don’t know where this has had an is scary. I mean, this, this is one of the toughest times I think for all of us to lead, it’s frightening. And we have to admit that. The other thing though, is I think the, one of the most challenging things is especially like in COVID or 2007, when everything, most companies have to pivot in some way, right? You have to change your business model in this environment. And what’s so difficult is to change and look at the vision, which is forward-thinking three, five years out. At the same time you have payroll to meet and you may not meet it. And you’ve got all these immediate needs.
Joel Manby (00:37:44):
And one of the toughest things is, is having that balance between the two, because a leader can seem so tone deaf. If all they’re talking about is the future and how we’re going to pivot when the employee has no, you know, w if we don’t make a change here, we’re out of business or vice versa, you’ve got your nose down so much that you don’t change the business model for the future. That’s a really tough dynamic. And what I would encourage your leaders to do right now is sometimes we keep all of our structures in place and we try to run the same way. And what I’ve learned and read to do differently is recreate teams for the crisis. So instead of your normal management team, for looking to the future, maybe you need a group of young, different thinking people versus the older team, and have a lot of diversity in the room, get your creative people to think about the future and have a special crisis team.
Joel Manby (00:38:39):
That might be more the people who don’t like change as much who are focused on the day to day and give them the task of helping you as leader make these decisions. So that’s kind of having two teams based on today in the future. The third principle that I have found is when we get in crisis, we tend to want to control things too much, and leaders want to bring in the reins and when the exact opposite needs to happen, we need to delegate more because we can’t move fast enough. If we take all the decisions ourselves, especially the bigger the company, the more this is true, you may be able to get away with a small company. So I’ve seen it so many times where leaders taken the power versus clarifying the decision making and delegating so we can move faster. And I hope that makes sense, but those are the three big kind of best practices or lessons that I’ve learned. So big changes makes a ton of sense to me and appreciate you sharing, uh, Enrique, get your followup to that. What’s one thing that stands out that Joel shared, or what’s, what’s one of your key principles during tough time? Well, all those three things stand out.
Enrique Alvarez (00:39:47):
I think our, I totally agree with them and just giving, being clear and honest and open and just recognizing that we don’t have answers. I think that’s key. And, uh, our particular company, um, we have a very unique results-based culture as you guys know, which basically means taking the time and space component out of the equation. So for us working remotely, for example, was not something that it didn’t matter. I mean, we’ve done it since we started the company. We already work in smaller teams. So for me, I believe the, uh, the one key thing that has been challenging, but I think has been helpful right now during this, uh, situation, which is having offices in Mexico until eight on top of the U S it’s a, it’s a lot of things, right? There’s a lot of moving parts from the pandemic itself, do our leadership and the different governments to, uh, to the racial tensions that we have and inequality.
Enrique Alvarez (00:40:42):
And so it’s been, it’s been a lot, it’s been a long year so far, but I think my answer to your question would be just listening, uh, to people we started, uh, with this company-wide SU meetings on Mondays that are just whoever wants to join join. So it’s not a, it wouldn’t have a set agenda. It’s just, and it’s just all about like, how are you guys feeling? And people literally just talks about someone have like a, a delicate grandmother that had coronavirus, some other start sharing. Other things. Most of my team are on average younger. So they’re all sick and tired of being home. They want to go out and have fun and party and have drinks. And so it’s been, it’s been hard for everyone at different levels and, uh, and reflected in different ways. But I feel like if we spent like an hour sometimes do, depending on how much there
Joel Manby (00:41:34):
Is to share, and I think just giving time to share,
Greg White (00:41:38):
Uh, I think it’s been very important.
Joel Manby (00:41:42):
You know, I, I think that’s really important in reggae that the thing, this part of having, um, it’s so important to include people and we’re, we have much more quick check-ins because people feel isolated so quickly. If they’re not included in a zoom call and they find out about it, then they’re thinking, Oh, am I in trouble? Or am I going to get, let go, there’s a lot of negative thoughts going into people’s heads. If they’re not included, like they used to be in it. And so it’s really important to make sure you’re checking base and people who are supposed to be on a call around the call. And it’s, it’s a, it makes it much more challenging.
Greg White (00:42:18):
Great point. Okay. So Greg, if you would share your, one of the best practices you go back to during challenging times, and then you’ve got the Botox, as we dive into some of these really cool projects that Joel is up to now. So I’m that foolish person who has started or significantly pivoted three different companies in times of crisis. So in 1991, I started my first major company. We were in a major recession at that time, 2001, I started a company in April of 2001, a services company, right? When the.com implosion.com and then nine 11. Yeah. And we were a services company, right. So we were traveling around the world at the time. And then that company pivoted to be technology and software in 2007, 2008. So right as the great recession hit. So I’ve had a lot of opportunity to lead through, um, through crisis.
Greg White (00:43:14):
And I have to tell you, I don’t, I don’t think I did a great job at certain times. A lot of what Joel talked about in terms of providing clarity. And I did, I tried to own the problem. I tried to shield my people from it, but what I discovered from that and, and have discovered in times of great growth as well, is the clarity that Joel talked about, obviously involving your people is, is critical. And to do that transparency is, is the principle that I have have applied. It’s be clear. I don’t know the answer. It’s be transparent, uh, you know, and say, Hey, here’s what we’re going to do. Here’s why we’re going to do it. Here’s the impact on the upside. And here’s the potential impact on the downside. It’s just better to let people know anyway. And what I’ve discovered is the old adage, a friend in need is a friend, indeed, is that the people who are really with you that are on the bus, Joel obviously has read good to great, probably built to last as well.
Greg White (00:44:19):
I’m sure. Yeah. Love gym. The people who are really on the bus are the people who are going to fight with you through that and lean on them and, and let them, you ideas or counsel you even. And that that’s a hard thing to do. It’s a hard thing to, to let your people counsel you. But man, when you do that, it is so satisfying. It’s so it just puts everyone in the same place. It joins you together in a very unique way. It lifts everyone up and it lists the leader up, but it also lists the entire organization up to know that you care enough about them to be that open with them and let them help you through it because they will, they really will. You know, Jack, Jack Krishan at Herschend entertainment. He taught me the best words employees can hear from their leader is I need, I need your advice.
Greg White (00:45:14):
I need your help with something. And it just lifts them up. Like you said, I couldn’t agree with you more than Greg. I just think, um, we think we have to have all the answers and we don’t because we have great employees. And so I, yeah, I love, I love what you said, so true. Yeah. Well, uh, unfortunately you don’t, I don’t learn these things by knowing them. I learned these things by making the mistake and not exactly right. I mean, I’ll you, those things I brought up, I learned because I did it wrong two or three times and trying to pass on the learnings, but you’re right. We learned a lot more through our mistakes than through our success. No doubt.
Enrique Alvarez (00:45:55):
That’s why right now there’s, uh, there’s so much opportunity to grow as a society, as human beings as just one, one world. Basically, I think there’s, it’s challenging. And I know that there’s a, there’s a lot of things that need to be fixed, but I feel like it’s also a really good opportunity for us to, to, uh, reflect on the things that we’ve been doing so far. And hopefully we’ll come out of this better. And again, not as companies or individuals or families, or just, hopefully we’re just going to be and become a better society coming out of this. Um, I really trust that’s going to be the case.
Greg White (00:46:37):
I think if there’s anything that I’ve seen, it’s that transparency is more prevalent and Joel, I’m sure more than when you were leading companies at GM, um, and, and the right to fail the right to fail the right way. Um, but the right to fail, the what right. To try and, and transparency is a key part of that. You have to have the board or your employees or your customers recognize that we’re going to try something and it may not work, but we believe it will work. And here’s why I think those are, those are all things that bode well for society in general, um, and, and businesses. Right? Yup. Yup. So Joel, you just relaunched sort of relaunched love, works your book, right? So can you tell us a little bit about, about what the book is about? Love works in
Joel Manby (00:47:30):
The title itself. I just want you to listen to this, to stay with me for a minute, because I know that title can, can throw people off. And it’s basically a leadership book that teaches about the difference of do goals and be goals. And we all have do goals, which is hitting your profit margins, hitting your sales targets, be goals are what kind of leader do we want to be? What kind of person do we want to be? Because there really, it should be no difference between those two things. And at Hershey and SeaWorld, we took those beagles, those values, and we didn’t just put them on a plaque like 90% of the companies do only 10% of companies actually put processes behind them to really infiltrated into the culture. So that the love in this book is seven words that paraphrase first, Corinthians 13 out of the Bible, but it’s not love.
Joel Manby (00:48:27):
The emotion is love the verb. The Greeks have four different words for love. We don’t have time to get into all that. Americans only have one. So when they hear love, they think emotion, they think romance, they think soft. This is not any of those things. It’s a verb. And it’s how you treat people regardless of how you feel about them and all the things you guys have been talking about on this call, respect and dignity and listening and being transparent. It’s all part of those seven words. And it’s being patient kind, trusting, truthful, unselfish, forgiving, and dedicated. And, and we actually taught our leaders these words and we put behaviors with them and we measured them. We actually, in the review process, you weren’t just measured on your Dougal’s. You were also measured on your B goals and for anyone who wants to establish a strong culture that I believe needs to be done because so many people, again, they put it on the wall, but there’s nothing else that reinforces those cultures or is entirely driven by the personality of the top leader that works as long as that is there.
Joel Manby (00:49:42):
But, you know, as you buy companies and while your organization, that culture needs to be put into all these other divisions. And, and that’s really what the book is about is loving, caring, servant leadership, but it also gets business results. And, um, you know, I’ll just give one anecdote on it. This is a terrible stat, Greg, but 30 on Gallup has measured employee satisfaction, employee engagement for about 50 years. The average score of the top score and engagement is only happening. 30% of the time. It’s only 30% of employees are fully engaged in the work. And it’s been pretty consistent for 50 years. It’s actually a little better now, but when her shin would go in or see what we put these, these principles in place, our engagement scores would go over 60 to 70, sometimes even 80% over a three year period. It takes some time.
Joel Manby (00:50:41):
It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s, it really does also get business results. It’s not the reason to do it, but it’s a result of it. I updated it because I wanted to put in some of the lessons from SeaWorld. I also wanted to share some of my, you know, a lot of personal failure in some of the learnings since I wrote the first book. But I, I feel a calling now with whatever years I’m left, I have left on this earth to try to help other leaders see this way of leadership. Because I don’t one thing I learned in, in early on when I was at Hershey and I had an for 20 years when I was in the auto industry, I had this angst inside of me. I felt like there has to be a better way to lead. I didn’t have great modeling.
Joel Manby (00:51:28):
And the auto industry, it was, you guys know it it’s autocratic, it’s fear, but it used to be it wasn’t til I got to Hirschmann that I saw this type of leadership and how successful it was. And I said, this is the answer. This is what I’ve been looking for. And then when I was on undercover boss, and that show was in front of 20 million people after the NCAA quarterfinals 20 million people watched that show, I was just inundated with emails and letters and cards saying we want to work in a company like this, that that’s when I decided to write that book to try to help other people see you don’t have to be a church to be successful, but you, you, you can get great results and treat people the way you want to be treated. And I know on one hand it sounds like common sense, but I, I realize after getting inundated from America, uh, after that show that a lot of people feel that way, they feel undervalued, they feel under appreciated, and they don’t understand how they fit into the total formula at the company, or heck these principles work in the home too.
Joel Manby (00:52:33):
So that is what love works is all about. And that’s why I rewrote.
Greg White (00:52:39):
Wow. Um, so very, yeah. Wow. Uh, again, I feel like I’m in school here. First of all, I have to say, I can see why you have been the CEO of so many organizations, and I have a feeling that you get that offer frequently and probably will after this year. So Joel, don’t do it again. I want to keep whatever here. Um, and secondly, it’s interesting the way that you approach, um, love because it it’s, it’s true. There are four words in Greek for it. And one of the things that we have taught our three daughters is if you ask any of them, that will say this about that word, about love, love is an action, right? You don’t fall into love. You don’t fall in love, you kick and scratch and bite and claw your way to be, to give love. Right? And, and I think when people recognize that it is more action than emotion, you know, as we talk about changing society, that’s, that’s what the kind of thing that we need for business, for, you know, for personal life and for society is you have to recognize love.
Greg White (00:53:56):
This is also biblical it’s. Um, love your neighbor as you love yourself. And one of the, one of the people that went to my church had a very simple analogy. You know, he said, would you leave yourself sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire? I mean, that is the essence of what love is. And that is the essence of loving your neighbor of loving someone as much as you love yourself as give them everything that you would give yourself. So, um, I, and I think that you exemplify that spirit. You, so I really appreciate, first of all, you resurfacing the book and putting some of your learnings. You are a great example of transparency and giving. So let’s talk a little bit too about this philanthropic organization, orange that you’re working with today. Tell us a little bit about that organization and how, you know, what it is you do and, um, you know, the cause and that sort of thing.
Joel Manby (00:54:50):
Well, I appreciate the words on love, you know, I think before we go to orange, it, if we had a, just a touch of that in politics today or in the race issue, it’s, it’s not that it’s not that difficult, but we have stopped listening to each other and unfortunately, social media and the way we do things today, it’s all soundbites and we don’t have dialogue enough anymore. It’s monologue, monologue, monologue, monologue, and hate. If you don’t think the way I do and that we have to dialogue, and these, these issues we’re talking about whether it’s race or COBIT, they’re complex issues, they take discussion and soundbites just drive me nuts because they make it so simple and it’s not, but, um, you know, orange is a great, great thing in my life. Um, I’ve actually been chairman of it since the beginning and it was finally, it was I I’m chairman and the CEO, Reggie joiner.
Joel Manby (00:55:50):
Um, he built it and we basically sell and service curriculum to churches. So all over the world, we have 8,000 customers in 42 countries. Um, it’s gone from one church to now, actually it’s over 10,000 now, uh, churches. And I, I love it because it it’s all values-based stuff. So we have a value per month, good values that, you know, whether you’re a, a person of faith or not, they’re still great values to teach your children. And that’s, that’s what spending my, some of my time on just helping them get through growing pains as, as an organization and kind of going from that entrepreneurial leader to having a transition to the future. So that’s, that’s where I’m working, but, but my, my real calling where I feel that is, is teaching love as a leadership principle. And I do that at orange. We’re putting that in place there as well as with other organizations.
Greg White (00:56:49):
So you’re the chairman, but you’re pretty actively involved
Joel Manby (00:56:53):
Right now. I’m also interim head of marketing, but I’m just helping them get, get some new processes in place. And we’re putting a new person in place there. Cause that’s just temporary. I’m really involved with Reggie and in helping, it’s a really tough transition for an organization to go from about 150 employees. And now we’re headed towards 300 and we just need to, we need help in the processes and systems that make it function outside of just one entrepreneurial leader. And that’s a tough transition for any organization, but that’s, that’s really my main thing that I’m, I’m helping with.
Greg White (00:57:30):
There are lots of those sort of ceilings that any kind of company, any kind of organization hits. You’re making me think of a friend of mine, Eric Perkins, who lives in Flint, Michigan. They have this thing. We, in fact, we were just talking about it, Scott and I were just talking about it, called the entrepreneurial operating system. And it is a very organized way of getting companies to kind of break through those glass ceilings. And a lot of it is about transparency and, and communication and that sort of thing
Joel Manby (00:57:58):
Most, yeah, there just has to be trust. And usually that this is an interesting analogy. Um, usually there’s a, a visionary and they’re surrounded. They surround themselves with operators to get what they want done, but then they tend to not like the process people or the, what I would call the Synergizer, who kind of wants to get the best solution, not just what the visionary wants, that they tend to kind of throw out those people in the beginning, but diversity is not just diversity of color or race or gender. It’s, it’s a diversity of thinking as well. Right. We need to surround ourselves with process people if we’re visionaries or creatives, that sounds obvious, but it’s really tough to do because the visionaries really don’t want those people around and yeah.
Greg White (00:58:47):
Dream killers, right. They’re seen as dream killers, but they’re really, they’re really facilitators. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And they’re difficult and real. Yeah, that’s right. I mean, they’re the ones who, you know, I I’ve had that. I’m a, I’m a visionary. I am the, let’s go take that Hill. And I need that person that says, Hey, don’t forget your boots and packs and guns boys. Right. It’s really, and there’s a really good Ted talk for this. They are the ones that are, uh, usually the ones that converted the lone nut into a leader without those people,
Enrique Alvarez (00:59:22):
Then he’ll always be just this long, low, not with this crazy idea. Yeah,
Scott Luton (00:59:26):
That’s right. That’s exactly right. You need someone to put that to ground, right. So you’ll,
Enrique Alvarez (00:59:32):
We have a lot of, uh, listeners and some good friends that are trying to give forward. And, and as Greg was saying it, and, um, what are you? You lead orange, what’s a great organization. Uh, what are some of the challenges? What could you do
Scott Luton (00:59:46):
Tell to this
Enrique Alvarez (00:59:48):
Visionaries entrepreneurs, people that are really trying to change the world out there, people that are really working and their main drive, they’re driven by making a positive impact in the world. What would be a couple of like suggestions? And I’m sure that they can also buy your book and there’s going to be tons of opportunities to learn there. But, uh, if you could just summarize it, what, what would you tell it to non-for-profits right now? Cause I’m sure they’re really, really struggling with everything that’s going on.
Joel Manby (01:00:14):
It’s going to sound cliche and repetitive maybe, but it’s just, who is just what I’m about. And what I believe is that the best place to start is with yourself and then the employees around you get healthy because I, this is a tough time and it is tough. We are tough on ourselves. We’re making mistakes. We’re not sure. So get rest and make sure you’re healthy because the mistakes I’ve made in my life that are big mistakes is because I wasn’t healthy either. I was not sleeping enough or drinking too much because of the stress or coping mechanisms, whatever your coping mechanism is. And those are dark moments in my life that I regret. And so sometimes we want to change the world and we’re so focused on that versus man, just take care of yourself first, then take care of your employees and, and then make sure that survives and stays healthy and then worry about the rest. Cause in some ways, and I, it sounds selfish, but we have to, we have to shrink in and make sure those around us survive because let’s face it, man. This is not this, these are tough times and mental health issues, suicide rates, you know, suicide hotlines are 200% up. We just have to make sure we help those around us. If everyone’s doing that, the world will take care of itself
Scott Luton (01:01:42):
To your point. Joel, we spoke earlier this week on a separate podcast series, focused on veterans. And we spoke with a wonderful leader that lost her husband, a Navy seal back in 2010. And one of the big takeaways for me from this conversation and from someone that’s had this tremendous amount of grief and tragedy, and she’s been able to redirect it and then help a ton of other people. And one of the key things she says, Hey, you’ve got to take time to make sure yourself you’re in a good spot so that then you can be in position to help a lot of other folks. And then, you know, in the veteran community, a lot of folks, one of the challenges we have is that you don’t to admit anything’s wrong, cause you don’t want that stigma or whatever it is. And, but, but there’s so much, there’s an application. There’s a transfer they’re out.
Enrique Alvarez (01:02:28):
I believe too, that the senior leadership in the private sector where you also don’t want to share, there’s something wrong
Joel Manby (01:02:37):
Help, man, I guess seek counseling ever since, you know, I went through my dark periods in life. I’ve, I’ve see a counselor every month and therapist to just make sure I don’t go off the ledge again, that’s, that’s part of the book. I didn’t go into that. But part of the redo is just, I had a really tough personal situation that Etsy world. And that’s when I also went through the divorce. So just going, I was, you know, going through that trans transition was really, really difficult. And so I didn’t take care of myself enough, I should have. So I think it’s a great lesson for all the leaders right now is we have to forgive ourselves first because we’re going to make mistakes and then worry about those around us.
Scott Luton (01:03:19):
It’s such a key takeaway for our listeners. I mean that with a lot of what you’ve shared here, I’ve got again, 17 pages notes, Greg, that seems to be kind of our status quo here. I love how real and authentic the story and experiences you share. Joel, and we’re going to have to bring you back because we can’t get enough into this first hour. But one last question we want to ask Enrique. I know you’re always curious as we kind of expand the conversation, but let’s see what else is on Joel’s mind here, business wise,
Enrique Alvarez (01:03:49):
And we’ve talked a little bit, or actually a lot about like what’s going on this days and how many different moving parts, uh, they’re out there. And of course, one of the main things that you mentioned, and I totally agree with you is just take care of yourself first, but what kind of other indicators in the large scale supply chains are you kind of keeping track of right now? I mean, what, what worries you? What, what’s some of the things that with everything that’s going on, you’re trying to, to be more aware of,
Joel Manby (01:04:17):
We talked about it a little bit before we hit record button, but you know, the, the interesting thing about supply logistics is you don’t notice it until it’s really messed up and it’s just like the goalie analogy, right? You don’t notice the goalie until he lets less the ball through the goal is scored that I have just noticed. It’s fascinating to watch all the businesses and how they’re adapting and you go into food chains and they’ve changed their menus and they’re out of this. And out of that, I just I’m fascinated by it. And it makes me appreciate so much what all of your listeners do, what you guys do for a living basically. And it just makes me admire it because I notice now how, how messed up the chains can be right now from a big picture standpoint though. I, what I’m really focused on, I, I am afraid of what’s happening if we don’t apply learning to it and love to it, especially with the race.
Joel Manby (01:05:17):
And COVID, I, I also think we, we can’t be fearful with COVID. I feel like the information is not accurate. We’re not getting the full information is causing a lot of fear that I think I personally feel is unnecessary. If you look at the real data, but because the press is, it has a fear based approach or a drama based approach. I think we’re making decisions out of fear. And I just want, I want to get back to being proactive again as a country and being aggressive because we need to look at the negatives of, of not reopening the, you know, the, the unemployment, the abuse at home, the suicide rates, all the negative things. We have to be conscious of that. So what I’m paying attention to is just trying to get the facts right. And communicate that to other people. So we can move in a positive direction and not a fear based direction. You know,
Scott Luton (01:06:14):
Let’s do that by having a dialogue. What you’re saying earlier, Joel, I think really the last thing. Yeah, a real dialogue. The last thing our country and really global society needs is one more thing to divide us. It’s there’s smart people all around this whole discussion that can all embrace the facts and then have a meaningful dialogue without casting stones and making demagogues out of folks. You know, let’s get back to love. Does work, uh, loved us. Well,
Joel Manby (01:06:41):
It does work and you know, let’s trust each other. Let’s talk about it. Let’s be truthful and not be fear-based. Absolutely.
Scott Luton (01:06:48):
Okay. I am so glad that Enrique and vector, the global logistics helped connect us with you, Joel, because this has been, at least from my perspective, a fascinating and a real conversation with a senior leader that’s been there and done it. And you don’t hear with Joel and, and Greg check me. You don’t hear a lot of the same lip service that you hear with a lot of senior executives. I mean, you’re getting the full story, the good, the bad, and some of the ugly. So thanks so much, Joel, for your time with us. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you though. How can folks learn more about the book and about orange and connect with your story?
Joel Manby (01:07:25):
Yeah. So for, for the, the book and love works is really just Joel manby.com. And if, if you, you can buy it on Amazon obviously or audible, but if you go there, there is a three part series on leading through a crisis, like a video series that you can get that I’ve recorded. Some of the things you’ve heard here today, but expand on all that. So it’s Joel man, b.com and the books love works. And then, uh, oranges is think orange.com um, primarily a church based organization. But if anybody is interested, certainly we take donations there if they’re interested. But, um, Joel, mami.com is probably the primary one.
Scott Luton (01:08:03):
We’ve been talking with Joel Manby current chairman of orange, powerful nonprofit, as you just mentioned, they’re in 40 countries, helping churches and helping a ton of people. You got to check out the book to our audience, love works. You can find out more information
Greg White (01:08:16):
About firstname.lastname@example.org. Hey, before we sign off Enrique and Greg and Joel, thanks again for your time and your perspective. This is gonna be a tough question. This is going to be the trillion dollar, most challenging question and regain Greg gets all day. What’s your favorite thing, your most powerful thing that Joel shared here today that you’re going to take this into your next conversation. Okay. Why don’t you go first?
Enrique Alvarez (01:08:40):
Yeah, sure. Why don’t you let me go first. Scott, give Greg some time to [inaudible] first. I will. No, I, so the one thing, so I, I take tons of things and literally this are my notes from today. Some of them, I have some action items. Uh, one thing that, uh, that I think is incredibly powerful and resonated with me the most, a night when I hear it, I can make a note, put my name around it. And it just the, the employee matching, uh, helping employees and with each other, I, I literally will come back to you. You’ll with more questions about how to set that up. Cause I really believe that if you lead people, part of the team help each other out, and then you have the company supporting that, it just reinforces what we’re trying to do, which is we’re all in this together. Right? And by this, I don’t mean vector it just life. And I think it’s a really, really good reflection of some of the other things that you’ll mention. So for me, it would be that I think, uh, yeah, empowering people to help other people and, and just being part of that.
Greg White (01:09:47):
It’s tough to narrow it down. Just one that’s
Enrique Alvarez (01:09:49):
Yes. That is a challenging question.
Greg White (01:09:52):
Greg, you, you kind of already had your mind made up, please share love is an action word. That’s so clear. Joel is the first person I’ve ever heard. I know there are lots of people who think and say that, but he’s the first person I’ve ever heard actually express it that way. And the clarity, right? When, when in a time of crisis leading through crisis, lead with clarity, be open, be transparent, share and engage your team. And yeah, that’s it. Which ones, which ones you’re Scott. I think two things there’s so much here, but, but number one, the importance of dialogue, the importance that, that it’s okay to disagree that we got to get back to that that’s a huge, not just supply chain business, the world and being dramatic. They can learn from that if they put it into action. And then secondly, as we’ve seen here, once again, some of, you know, there’s a sliver of senior leaders that know and know how important it is to be open and share and share transparently again, the stuff that, that hasn’t gone, gone well, and how folks there’s so many people that can learn from, from what didn’t go well, there’s so much that went well with, with Joel’s journey that we talked about, but then some of the biggest lessons learned that he shared that we, we can all learn from is when things didn’t work and, and you
Scott Luton (01:11:14):
Gotta be okay and confident with yourself to be able to share chapters and that’s. Um, so Joel, thanks so much for your approach with this interview. Um, uh, hopefully folks enjoyed as much as we have. Uh, I know that that selfishly, this is one of the highlights of our week and we had a pretty powerful conversation yesterday, Greg, on race and industry. Uh, so this has been a big week of learning and development from a leadership standpoint, at least from our asset. No doubt. And I learned that, I learned that Joel is smart enough to put his books on audible for those of us that listen rather than read. Cause basically I would have been waiting for the movie to come out. So thank you. And there’s one on the way. I bet there’s one on the way there’s and if there’s not doggone it, there should be right. All right. I’m the, I read it myself and I cry a few times. So be ready for them, man. Thanks, Joel. Well, we’ve been talking once again with Joel man, but you can learn email@example.com, J O E L M a N B y.com. You can also check out the orange, firstname.lastname@example.org. Joel. Thanks so much. Thank you, Joel. Thank you, Joel.
Scott Luton (01:12:22):
I appreciate it. It’s been a blast. Yeah. Likewise also big thanks to my cohost of your day. What a great conversation Enrique with vector global logistics. Thanks so much Enrique Alvarez. Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Greg. It’s always a pleasure sharing this microphone with you guys. Well, we appreciate your sharing, bringing these stories to us. These are inspirational. So we love this series gold as Greg texted me earlier, this is, this is sheer gold. This hour has been cause it’s been great. So, uh, Greg, always a pleasure. Appreciate all of your constant leadership and advocacy. And these are great conversations that goes with you to our listeners. Hey, if you enjoy today’s conversation, check us out at supply chain. Now radio.com. You can find the podcast wherever you get your podcasts from. As we always challenge ourselves and the audience, Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see, next time here.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott, Enrique, and Greg welcome Joel Manby to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.
Joel Manby As CEO of major corporations for over 25+ years, he has learned a number of lessons through experience during his tenure. He summarized these leadership principles in his book Love Works detailing 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, and stronger profits. Prior to becoming an author, he 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, he 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, He 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 CarsDirect.com in 2001.
Joel has a bachelors of science degree from Albion College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was honored to be the valedictorian of Albion College, a Rhodes scholarship finalist, an academic all-American and two sport collegiate athlete. 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. He has held this position for over 20 years. In addition to his duties as chairman of Orange, He consults and speaks on Love Works, crisis leadership lessons, and other leadership topics designed to fit the needs of an audience.
Enrique Alvarez serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as: Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials and Private banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has a MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean and also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: http://vectorgl.com/
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