Former SeaWorld CEO, Joel Manby, returns to the podcast and opens his notebook and heart on leading from the C-Suite through numerous crises: Including his partnership with Amazon during the dot com crash of 2000, leading through The Great Recession, and leading through the Black Fish documentary crisis as CEO of SeaWorld.
Joel also talks about how to coach yourself through hard times, and how he got through suicidal seasons when things looked more bleak than he thought he could handle.
Welcome to Episode 341 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey gives his latest thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis and how to respond as leaders.
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Leaders in Living Rooms
I want to introduce you to a great podcast that is a part of my personal repertoire.
It’s from my good friend and leader, Sean Morgan, and it’s called Leaders in Living Rooms. On Leaders in Living Rooms, Sean has backstage conversations, living room style conversations, with leaders like Jud Wilhite, Brady Boyd, Aaron Brockett, David Kinnaman, Kenton Beshore and myself. Sean is a hyper connected leader, and spends a lot of time with founders like me and with their successors to discuss a major issue in church and business, leadership transitions.
Check out Leaders in Living Rooms wherever you get your podcasts, or go to
Text willithrive to 33777 to get access to Carey’s Will I Thrive quiz
Text HOME to 741741 if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts
3 INSIGHTS FROM JOEL
1. You’re most tempted to quit moments before your critical breakthrough
In the interview, both Joel and Carey open up about their dark seasons of leadership, when they struggled with suicidal thoughts. What they both learned from those seasons is that even though it seems like suicide might be the best way out at the time, there is so much good ahead. Don’t quit. The days ahead are so much brighter than you think they are.
Joel emphasized that if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, don’t keep medicating the pain. Whether it’s food, alcohol, drugs, or binge-watching Netflix, you are only making the problem worse, not better. If you face the pain with a good counselor, you can get through it. And if you are struggling with those thoughts, please call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
2. When considering pay cuts and austerity, start top-down
When the COVID-19 crisis started, many companies’ first moves were to lay off staff to keep the company alive. Both Joel and Carey agree that layoffs should be a last resort. Cut all other possible expenses first before considering layoffs.
If you do need to look at cutting salaries, clearly communicate your plan to the team. Then start with the top of your organization and work your way down. Joel recommends cutting up to 50% of the CEO’s salary and tapering the percentages down the deeper into the organization, but everyone should take their fair share of cuts.
3. When crisis hits, don’t assume all responsibility, delegate it
When COVID hit, the natural instinct was probably to take on as much responsibility to make sure that the organization survived. If that was you, you’re probably exhausted and have no clue what to do with some of your staff members. That’s not a great place to be.
Not only have you exhausted yourself as a leader by accumulating more and more responsibility and decisions, but you’ve also created a bottleneck in your organization that will slow your team’s progress as they try to pivot into the new normal. Do yourself and your organization a favor and delegate some of your responsibility to your team today.
Quotes from Episode 341
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Ian Morgan Cron
How does your Enneagram type handle stress and uncertainty? Ian Morgan Cron is back on the podcast to discuss how different leaders process crisis, how to get and stay healthy in the midst of an upside down world, and gives more free therapy to Carey on how to handle his unhealth in times of crisis. Ian offers some highly practical advise on how to be a much healthier version of yourself in the midst of the crisis, reconstruction and the uncertainty ahead.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 342.