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Creating Disney Magic: Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service

Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World, shares his wisdom and experience from his time with Disney, Marriott, and Hilton. Lee discusses how you can apply lessons in leadership, management, and customer service to create magic in your organization.
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Creating Disney Magic: Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 27, 2016

Recently, a listener to Creating Disney Magic wrote in and said that it seems that Lee makes negative comments about introverts. 

In this episode, Lee addresses the listener complaint, but he also examines introverts. Lee himself is an introvert. 

The key in business is to get people in a role that best fits them. Perhaps an introvert would not enjoy customer facing jobs as much as they would enjoy a role backstage. If someone likes the work they are doing they will do a great job. 

If you work with people as individuals, you will understand how people get energy and work best, whether they are an introvert or extrovert. 

To learn more about introverts in the workplace, check out the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Or the follow-up book Quiet Power. 

The Time Management Magic Course is almost ready. To be one of the first to find out when the course is available you can add your name to the list HERE

Let Connect - 

Creating Disney Magic on Facebook

Twitter - Lee Cockerell  and Jody Maberry

Dec 20, 2016

Everyone organization will experience change. Change is healthy. 

The problem is people want everything to be the same, but they also want change. So change, even if it is good, can be disruptive. You have to manage change with customers but also within the organization. 

Change should be a part of the culture of your organization. If your organization does not have a culture of change, you will face resistance when it happens. 

Be one of the first to find out when the Time Management Magic course is available. Get on the list HERE

Follow Creating Disney Magic on Facebook

Dec 13, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares a travel story that nearly ruined his plans. Bad weather and canceled flights threatened Lee's chance to make a flight to South Africa for five speaking engagements.

Instead of giving in to the situation, Lee rented a car and drove from New York to Atlanta to make sure he made the flight to South Africa. His can-do attitude made sure he was able to meet his obligations. An attitude of determination to make things happen will set you apart throughout your career.

Get Lee's new book, Career Magic.

The Time Management Magic Course is almost here. Be one of the first to get updates. CLICK HERE to get on the list. 

Dec 6, 2016

During his time at Marriott, Lee opened 100 new hotels. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee shares what how Marriott was able to open so many hotels in a short amount of time. 

When you expand and open a new location, customers don't care that you have only been open a few days or a couple weeks. The customer paid and expects excellence. Being new is not an excuse for not delivering. 

Nov 29, 2016

Sometimes work doesn't get done because of team members. Sometimes work doesn't get done because of bad policies, poor communication, or a number of other institutional reasons. 

The real reason work doesn't get done is because of poor project management and poor time management. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee examines ways we can all get more work done. 

We are recording the modules for the Time Management Magic course. If you want to be one of the first to know when the course is available, you can add your name to the list here.

Nov 22, 2016

If not everyone can be the best is it okay to accept being average? We often put a wrong spin on success. Success is measured by happiness not by money.

Listen in as Lee talks about what success looks like and what you can do if you're ready for something different.

You can order Lee's new book, Career Magic, HERE.

Nov 15, 2016

When it comes to employee discipline, you must remain consistent and fair. 

At Disney World, with over 73,000 cast members, the only way to remain consistent and fair is to have a documented system in place. In order to get fired at Disney, you must accumulate 12 points. Everyone knows the system. Everyone knows it is fair.  

If you do not have a clear system in place, now is the time to begin. Nobody should be confused about discipline.

You can get more information on the Time Management Magic course HERE

You can order Lee's new book, Career Magic, HERE

Nov 8, 2016

It is becoming more common to have team members who are working from remote locations. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee tackles the challenge of communicating and leading a remote team. 

For managing teams, having a podcast just for your team is an ideal way to keep your team up to date and in touch with what is happening in the company. 

Team members who work remotely can easily feel like they are unnoticed and forgotten. A manager must be deliberate to make sure everyone feels included, encouraged and inspired. 

Nov 1, 2016

When Lee Cockerell was the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World, he would schedule visits at various properties. But he also made sure he visited the properties unannounced as well. 

You have to know what it is like to do business with yourself. The best way to get that knowledge is first hand. Get out there and experience your business as a customer. 

Even if you have a small business, you can find a way to get the information you need. If you want to know the truth, you will find a way. 

In this episode, Lee also tells the story behind the tie he always wears. The tie is to support one of Lee's favorite charities, Give Kids the World. You can get a tie just like Lee's, and help create magic for kids, by CLICKING HERE

Career Magic, Lee's fourth book, is available here on Amazon

Lee and Jody have begun recording modules for the Time Managment Magic Course. If you want to be the first to know when the course comes out, you can get your name on the list HERE.  

Oct 25, 2016

Creating Disney Magic has hit the 100 episode milestone. Lee Cockerell and Jody Maberry reflect on the past 100 episodes and then answer a listener question. 

Lee talks about the struggle of the balance of having enough staff to deliver an amazing experience and being mindful of staying in your budget. 

Too often, and organization needs more people because they don't have the right people on staff. 

You can now order Lee's new book, Career Magic. CLICK HERE to get your copy from Amazon.

Oct 18, 2016

Lee Cockerell's fourth book, Career Magic, is now available. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee discusses stories from the book and gives valuable career advice.  

CLICK HERE to order Career Magic from Amazon. 

Oct 11, 2016

The hit movie Frozen was an unexpected success for Disney. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell discusses how Disney handled the success. Lee also talks about how you can handle unexpected success in your business. 

The key is to already have a culture in place where your team is willing to jump in and do what they need to do to respond to the demand of the success. 

Oct 4, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell answers two listener questions, both about attitude. 

Attitude makes the difference in they way you serve customers and guests. Attitude will set you and your organization apart. If employees have a bad attitude, it is because managers allow it. It has to be dealt with promptly. 

But even a good attitude can't overcome poor performance. Being nice only goes so far. Being nice and acting professional is a given. It has to be there. But if you can't perform, attitude can only take you so far. 

Leaders have to deal with the whole person, not just the pieces they want to deal with. 

Sep 27, 2016

Often, Lee Cockerell gets questions about how to get hired at Disney. 

Truth is, it is not easy to get hired at Disney World. It gets harder when you can not afford, in salary or the step back in your career, to take an entry level job. 

There is no short cut to getting a job at Disney, but Lee shares little steps that may help you get noticed. 

Lee's new book, Career Magic, is available for pre-order. You can order it here

Sep 20, 2016

Do you ever have trouble getting paid what you are owed?

A collection problem can be the beginning of the end of a business. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell gives counsel on how businesses can get paid when customers are slow to give money. Remember, if you don't collect the money you are owed, you can not serve your customers. If you go out of business, you and your customers will lose. 

Lee also discusses the importance of staying current in the news that is most relevant to you. 

Sep 13, 2016

Applied the right way, in the right situations, technology can help you create magic and serve customers better. Applied in the wrong way, technology can move you further away from customers.

In this episode, Lee examines how restaurants and other service industries can use technology to enhance they way they serve customers.

Lee will be speaking at the RSummit in Las Vegas, October 12 - 14. If you have a restaurant business, this summit will help motivate progress and innovation. You can find out more here.

Sep 6, 2016

Is there a downside to being social friends with people who report directly to you?

It can turn into a difficult situation. The more you get to know people in a personal friendship, it can become difficult to handle some situations professionally. 

If your social friendship does not get in the way of either you or the employee doing your job effectively, then it can work out. But it can still be tricky. The perception of others in the workplace can be damaging, even if there is not favoritism for the employee. 

Aug 30, 2016

While Disney was preparing for the millennium celebration, some cast members recommended Disney adopt the idea of tradable pins. The cast members had been at the Olympics and noticed athletes traded pins to each other. The idea was adopted by Disney World and has gone on to become a multi-million dollar per year idea. Disney trading has become a popular past time for Disney enthusiasts. 

The lesson in the story is to keep your eyes open for new ideas. Watch for ideas and concepts others are already doing that you can put in place at your organization. 

Aug 23, 2016

Maintaining high standards can be a challenge in any setting. It becomes even more difficult when you have a large company, are dispersed geographically, or work with franchisees or independent distributors. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains how you can maintain high standards in these situations. 

Lee also reminds us that average is a dangerous place to be for companies and individuals. 

Aug 16, 2016

Recently, Disney began to allow facial hair. Through guest surveys and rigorous examination, Disney realized an old policy had become a tradition. Facial hair on cast members did not tarnish to Disney image, or change the positive feelings guests have for cast members. 

Traditions can get in the way in families, business, and your personal life. 

In business, some policies are still in place only because they are already in place. They no longer serve the customer or add value to the business operation. 

When was the last time you examined the behaviors in your organization to determine what you want to allow and what you want to change? Do you have policies that don't allow you to serve your customers? Do you have behaviors that are not fair to all your employees? What traditions do you need to let go?

Aug 9, 2016

If you have ever been to Disney World and made a retail purchase, you probably noticed how well the cashier treated you. Rather than going through the motion, a cast member working in retail engages customers and adds to the overall Disney experience. 

This week on Creating Disney Magic, Lee answers a listener question about how Disney achieves such a high level of excellence in retail sales. 

The key to success in any organization is for everyone to know their role in the show. You get there by hiring, training, and rehearsal. Most organizations do not have standards or a script and retail employees do not understand how they should act. 

If you have a question you would like Lee to answer on the podcast, you can submit it here

Referenced in this episode is Jeff Noel's appearance on the Jody Maberry Show

Click HERE to get your name on the list to find out more about Lee's Time Management Magic course. 

Aug 2, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares about his relationship with Al Weiss, who was Lee's direct supervisor at Disney World. The great relationship Lee had with Al allowed them to partner together to become more effective in getting work done. 

Lee shares examples of how you can partner with your boss to make sure you are effective and getting the right work done. 

The key to partnering with your boss is to be a great performer who gets things done. Then you can begin to build a better relationship with your supervisor. 

Jul 26, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares how a relationship Lee built at Marriott led to an eventual job offer at Disney. 

Relationships and connections you make early in your career can have an impact on your career years down the line. Don't be afraid to meet people, no matter your job or level in the organization. Introduce yourself to executives and managers. 

Be the best performer you can possibly be at your job. Great performance will always win out, but people also need to know you. 

Click HERE to get on the list to find out more about the Time Management Magic Course. 

Jul 19, 2016

Lately, it seems we hear about a new tragedy every day. Even Disney World, the happiest place on earth, is not immune from tragedy. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell talks about how to deal with tragedy and how to move on once it has happened. 

If a tragedy happens at your organization, tell the truth. Don't try to cover anything up. People can forgive you if you tell the truth about what happened. 

Jul 12, 2016

Do you ever find yourself wondering if it is time to leave your job? Do you wish it was Friday, even though it was only Monday morning?

Showing up every day to a job you don't enjoy and where you are not appreciated can be tough. 

If you want to have a great life, you will have to take a risk. Most satisfaction in life comes on the edge. 

Still keep doing a good job at your current job while you look for a new job. 

If you stay at a job hoping things will change, you will be disappointed. 

In this episode, we reference when Lee was a guest on Starve the Doubts. You can hear that episode here

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