The Succession of Herschend Family Entertainment

Sitting around our living room teary eyed, our  team of leaders are glued to the tv. We have gathered at our Thailand base to launch a new ministry season and God is speaking to us about walking in greater integrity and strength. The tv show making us, and 18 million others, cry, is the CBS Undercover Boss story of Joel Manby, an influential Christian leader and his commitment to building up others – in the marketplace of American entertainment. Joel has experienced criticism and discouragement by bosses who should know better, yet chose Christlikeness as his own leadership model – and the results are amazing.

The following three media offerings depict the succession of Herschend Family Entertainment, the largest privately owned theme park company in the US, to new CEO, Joel Manby. Guaranteed to inspire, this study begins with Andy Stanley’s podcast interview of Joel ‘Love Works‘, then you could take a look at Joel’s book, ‘Love Works‘ (in the secular marketplace), followed by the CBS reality show ‘Undercover Boss’. This episode of Undercover Boss very unique – the employees of Herschend’s theme parks love and admire their CEO and the final outcome is more than just a repentant boss’s monetary gifts benefiting the few employees who appeared on the show.

This is the story of one leader who leads for the benefit of those he leads!


Any Stanley’s podcast can be found on iTunes

‘Love Works’ by Joel Manby is a New York Times best seller and can be purchased online or in bookstores.

The CBS undercover Boss episode is hard to come by and I have not been able to purchase it online. There are many other great video interviews of the Herschend family and Joel Manby on You Tube. If you want to watch the full episode of ‘Undercover Boss’, just email me:, it’s worth it.

The elder Herschends saw a suitable successor in Joel Manby? What are you looking for in a successor?


One response to “The Succession of Herschend Family Entertainment

  1. What I’m looking for in a successor is someone who is trustworthy, loyal, has integrity, honest, keeps his or her’s word/vow, loves people, and most of all, has an increasing passion for God, His Word and way of doing things. I guess everything I think is important is what I look for in someone I’m going to pass the baton to. I want it kept in capable and skillful hands. I believe God requires us to be good stewards of what he has given us and we are not to throw or delegate it to just anyone. It really isn’t ours to do with as we please. God is the boss. Al, I knew you’d like that last statement. Inside joke everyone, sorry. 🙂

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