Love Works – Book Review

By October 27, 2016Book Reviews, Business

Love Works. by Joel ManbyLove Works. Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders, by Joel Manby, breaks down his overriding leadership code: leading with love. Each chapter focuses on one quality that love exhibits. Love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Trusting
  • Unselfish
  • Truthful
  • Forgiving
  • Dedicated

Manby is the CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, which owns Silver Dollar City and many other properties. He was also featured on an episode of the TV series Undercover Boss.

Aire-Master CEO, Douglas McCauley, recommended Love Works at our National Franchise Conference a few years ago. The book really resonated with our franchisees. Phil Canipe, Aire-Master of Charleston, even led a book club discussion on our internal forum about it. Rather than write a traditional book review, we are sharing some of the reactions and thoughts that our franchisees posted about the principles of Love Works, as they read through the book.

Note that these comments are very candid. Following these principles doesn’t always come naturally, and we all have to work hard to do our best.

I probably have the hardest time trusting. Outwardly, it would appear I’m extremely trusting (I probably am more than I think). Inwardly, I’m a super control freak. I’m constantly at war with myself.

***

I maybe a little too trusting, but it has worked for me with very little regrets. I can most improve on patience. Once I decide to get something done, and it may involve others, my patience is what I have to work on. I can always do better.

***

I remember being publicly admonished in a college class for giving a poor speech. It did nothing but upset me and caused me to resent the instructor. Ironically, a classmate of mine saw my frustration and publicly praised my efforts the following week in front of everyone. Even the professor was moved! It completely changed my attitude toward the class and eventually led to an “A”.

***

It’s all about our walk and our love and respect for each other. I truly am a very blessed man for being a part of this organization. The great saying, that people don’t care what you know until they know you care, is where it’s at. Thank you all of my fellow franchisees, you are best.

***

I do what I can for my employees so they enjoy their job. I try to empower them so they feel like their customers are THEIR customers. That way they can get excited about working and the way they treat them. I try to make them feel that it is not just a job.

***

Leading with love requires trust. That does not necessarily mean we have to gain the trust of others. But giving our trust rather, is a requisite if we are going to lead effective teams. Another way if saying it, is that if you want someone’s trust, you must first learn to give trust.

***

Trust is not earned. It is given. In this business I feel you have no choice but to trust your employees. I give them large amounts of product and a stack of invoices. I trust they are going out there and servicing when and where they are supposed to. And doing a good job of it. They understand that they have been given this trust and perform admirably for it. I’m not constantly telling them what to do and how to do it. I think it helps.

***

This new way of thinking about trust totally upsets conventional wisdom. I think it allows for a greater responsibility on the leader and less upon the follower trying to “earn” his/her way into the circle of decision makers.

***

We like to allow the service techs to feel a sense of ownership on some level, and always answer “what should I do about X” questions with a “what do you think is the best way to handle it” response. Invariably, the guys make the decision I would have made, and I let them know that.

***

I firmly believe that when you find the right people and empower them, it pays back tenfold. I don’t want to be a micromanager. I think of myself less when I know that my employees have everything covered. Basically, I’ve empowered them so I don’t have to think of myself. I think most of us think we can do it better because it is our business and we know it better than they do. However, I’ve given each employee a piece that I think they can do just as well, if not better than me. They are doing what they do day in and day out.

***

While it may be hard to find a good employee, there are good employees at all levels, and not all the good ones necessarily want to climb up the ladder or be the boss. Some are happy being where they are, doing what they have to, and doing it well. I have seen it a number of times. Maybe they don’t want the responsibility, the stress, whatever the reason may be. And it’s OK. What really matters is that they do their job, do it right, and all is good.

***

In Chapter 6, Manby mentions that a good leader thinks of themselves less, while not thinking less of themselves. This can be a challenge for Aire-Master franchisees, knowing that we are ultimately responsible for our own successes.

***

Love is Truthful. This was, in my mind, the most relevant chapter to small business owners. Often we don’t have the accountability that many leaders of large organizations do. As franchisees, many of us don’t have business mentors. We don’t have whistleblowers. And we certainly don’t have board members to keep us in check. I found this chapter to be a very useful tool in making sure we stay grounded and accountable.

***

I have learned that when an employee, fellow franchisee, or even a long time customer tells me something that frustrates me it usually means they are right and I’m mad at myself for not seeing it sooner. It’s a difficult process, but I’m learning to use these methods to help better myself and my business.