Before joining Herschend Enterprises, Joel spent 20 years in the auto industry, working at Saturn and serving as CEO of Saab Automobile during Saab’s U.S. turn around. He also led an Amazon start-up that introduced car sales to the internet.  -  Photo: Joel Manby / Graphic: Bobit

Before joining Herschend Enterprises, Joel spent 20 years in the auto industry, working at Saturn and serving as CEO of Saab Automobile during Saab’s U.S. turn around. He also led an Amazon start-up that introduced car sales to the internet.

Photo: Joel Manby / Graphic: Bobit

Business leader Joel Manby will share his professional and personal challenges March 27 as keynote speaker at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing, pointing them toward an overarching approach that succeeds in business management.

Manby has detailed his business lessons and leadership principles in Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders, both his session theme and title of his 2020 book.

In a recent follow up interview, Manby stressed why those pillars apply in any business environment, especially during troubled times.

“The Love Works leadership approach is always important because it has been proven to systematically transform organizations by creating lower turnover, higher employee engagement, greater customer satisfaction, and stronger profits,” Manby said. “It is more important today than ever because younger generations are more demanding of their workplace environment and require a more uplifting environment. Without a strong positive culture, organizations will have a hard time competing in the marketplace.”

A Business and Leadership Training Ground

Manby previously served as CEO of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. He stepped in when SeaWorld was mired in a brand crisis and reset its vision and culture which improved attendance, employee engagement, customer trust, and profitability.

For over a decade, he was the CEO of Herschend Enterprises, which managed over 20 entertainment properties including internationally respected brands such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Silver Dollar City, and Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park.

Before joining Herschend Enterprises, Joel spent 20 years in the auto industry, working at Saturn and serving as CEO of Saab Automobile during Saab’s U.S. turn around. He also led an Amazon start-up that introduced car sales to the internet.

For an episode of CBS' "Undercover Boss" Season 1 that aired on March 28, 2010, Manby toured some of the various amusement parks in disguise and found smiling employees that gave 110% for their jobs, according to Entertainment Weekly.

"In fact, just about the only negative moments in the feel-good reality show came — in an unusual departure for Undercover Boss — at the beginning, with Manby’s own background profile. We were shown pictures of the extreme poverty from which he rose. Manby narrated his initial success within the automobile industry, but said it came at a price. He had a 'breakdown,' he said, then amended it to 'a meltdown' accompanied by heavy drinking,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

Takeway Points for CAR Attendees

Manby, who will relay lessons learned from some of his personal trials, emphasized the concept of love in business is not about weakness nor being touchy-feely. It involves solid, principled actions rooted in toughness, clear direction, and servant-support for employees.  

He said the CAR audience can expect the following takeaways:

  • Understanding the story of leading in companies with unhealthy cultures and healthy ones and why the Love Works philosophy applies.
  • Why we should lead with love in the dog-eat-dog business world because it works.
  • Learn how love looks like in a professional setting and get an answer that differs from the one typically expected.  
  • 7 timeless leadership principles
  • Actionable behaviors that listeners can take with them to start being a more loving servant leader.

The Conference of Automotive Remarketing will be held March 26-28 at the Hilton Phoenix at the Peak in Phoenix, Arizona. Early registration discounts end Wednesday, March 6.  

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About the author
Martin Romjue

Martin Romjue

Managing Editor of Fleet Group, Charged Fleet Editor, Vehicle Remarketing Editor

Martin Romjue is the managing editor of the Fleet Trucking & Transportation Group, where he is also editor of Charged Fleet and Vehicle Remarketing digital brands. He previously worked as lead editor of Bobit-owned Luxury, Coach & Transportation (LCT) Magazine and LCTmag.com from 2008-2020.

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