Info

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.
RSS Feed
Creating Disney Magic: Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2014
December


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 29, 2017

This week a listener asked a question about whether a company should hire employees or contractors. 

Sometimes organizations let contractors get away with behavior they would not let performers get away with. 

If you are going to use contractors, you need to include clarity in the contract. Outline behavior, appearance, client interaction. Lay out expectations for professionalism and hold them to it. 

At Disney, we are so clear with contractors a guest would never know if they had an interaction with a cast member or a contractor. 

If contractors are not living up to expectations, you need to deal with it promptly and directly. If they are doing business in your name, they need to perform as well as you do. 

Also in this episode, I answer a second listener question about how to find a job when you move to a new area. 

Aug 22, 2017

When I was in charge of East Coast Food & Beverage Operations for Marriott, I would stop by a hotel and meet with the waitresses and waiters. I would ask one question, "What problem can I solve for you today?"

It was a small question with a big impact. 

Often, the problems they needed to be solved were simple. They were not big issues, but the problems were a big deal to the people who could not do their job properly. 

When you have an employee who serves the guest, getting them what they need to properly do their job will have a big impact. The employee will be happy and have more respect for the leadership of the organization, and the customer will be happy, too.

In order to build trust, you have to take care of the problems they tell you about.  The more you take care of employees, the more they will trust you with the problems in the way of serving customers.

If you want your copy of the Morning Magic Planner, you can find it here

Aug 15, 2017

When you leave a position, you are often asked to do an exit interview. How should you handle it?

If you are taking a position in the same company, only tell them good things. Resist the temptation to explain how you could have been handled better, or items that have frustrated you. Tell them you learned a lot and you appreciate the time people gave you. Explain how what you learned in the position helped you get a promotion. 

If you are leaving the company, feel free to tell them the truth about why you are leaving. If you have a good relationship with your supervisor, you can offer some feedback on how to improve. But there really is no upside for you to offer feedback as you leave. 

Giving feedback is as art. You have to have the right relationship to be able to give candid feedback on your way out. 

If you are faced with an exit interview, just smile and tell them how much you enjoyed your job. You can never get yourself in trouble that way. 

Aug 8, 2017

How candid are you with the people you care about? 

Candor does not show up as often as it should. But you can't have a healthy workplace without candor.

If you want someone to do well, you have to tell them the truth with empathy. This is what candor is all about - truth with empathy.

You shouldn't tell truth if there is nothing in it for the other person.

You can get a reputation for being someone who tells the truth to help other people.

If you don't tell someone the truth and they fail, it is your fault.

Begin today. Be candid.

Aug 1, 2017

If you have been to Disney World, you may have enjoyed a great meal at the California Grill. You may not realize the story behind what it took to create such a great restaurant. 

California Grill may seem like a standard at Disney World now, but it was a risk to get the restaurant off the ground. 

When we wanted to add the new restaurant, Deiter Hanning -a world-class chef -  and I flew out to visit Michael Eisner and ask him for $6 Million dollars. 

It was a risk that paid off. For me and for Disney World. California Grill turned around food and beverage at Disney World. 

Are you willing to take a big risk?

You have to be willing to put yourself on the line and take a risk. 

If you feel comfortable, you are not taking enough risk. 

Risk can seem scary.  Throughout my career, I have managed risk by making sure I have a hand in the outcome.

Here are two ways you can manage risk;

Don't be afraid to get experts around you. When you have consulted experts you will be prepared for any resistance you may get. 

Don't do things too fast. Take time to understand what you are doing. And give the emotions time to pass. 

1