Part biography, part “how to” management book, and part philosophical tract, Joel Manby’s excellent new book, Love Works, is inspiring, readable and useful. Subtitled “Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders,” Manby uses his experience as CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, Inc. (think Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN and other attractions from Georgia to New York to California) to explain a practical and effective method of management approach based on “leading with love.”
Herschend Family Entertainment is a family business in its third generation. Manby constantly credits Jack and Peter Herschend, brothers who led the company for over 40 years, for teaching by eample “how to lead with love.” Manby’s thinking behind the book involves how he is seeking to build the Herschends’ family values and their example into the DNA of the company’s culture.
As one who works with hundreds of family businesses, I see Love Works, in addition to its many other merits, as a terrific primer on the importance and power of fully integrating an owning family’s values in their enterprise. We often say that the strength of a company’s culture, built on its owning family’s values, is among the most powerful competitive advantages that a family firm can achieve. There are few examples of how this can be accomplished on a practical basis. Manby provides just that with Love Works, and I thank him (and the Herschends) for it and recommend the book to every family business for what it teaches.