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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: December, 2017
Dec 26, 2017

We come to you live again from the North Idaho Leadership Summit, hosted by St. Vincent de Paul. 

The audience asked questions and I answered. Again, we had a series of wonderful questions that lead to a series of candid conversations. 

People asked me about picking your battles, creating a culture, diversity, and dealing with employees who aren't working out. 

Throughout the questions and my answers, one theme was woven throughout...you have to stand up for what you believe in.

If you believe in a political position speak up about it. If you believe in building a strong culture you have to speak up about it. If you believe in diversity and inclusion you have to speak up about it. 

Speak up so people know what you believe. Don't underestimate the impact you can have. 

If you have built a good reputation you can speak up more often.

Dec 19, 2017

For the first time, Creating Disney Magic was recorded live in front of an audience. 

St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho hosted a leadership summit with me as the speaker. At the end of the first session, we took questions directly from the audience. When Jody asks me listener question on the podcast, I usually don't know what the question will be. But in this case, people were asking me questions directly on the spot. 

Three questions are featured on this live episode. Audience members asked about overcoming challenges, dealing with negative and disruptive employees, and what inspires me. 

Dec 12, 2017

During a recent visit to an upscale hotel, I asked the Bellman if there were a second luggage rack available for our room. 

"I don't know", was all he said. 

Can you imagine? Yes, you probably can because underwhelming service like that has become overwhelmingly common. 

Most people will blame the bellman for having a bad attitude, or not caring. But it is not his fault. 

Sure, he did have a bad attitude. And he did not care about guests of the hotel. But the responsibility is with the general manager. Some of the problem can be found in training, but most of the problem is in hiring. When you hire for skill, or simply hire to fill an empty position, you end up with a staff that doesn't care. 

To deliver great service, you have to hire the right people. At Disney, I hired people to work in engineering, security, transportation, and other areas I have no skill in. But I was never hiring for skill. I was looking for motivation, attitude, and passion.  

If you want to take a new approach to hiring, Carol Quinn is the person I trust. Check out her book, Don't Hire Anyone Without Me, or her website to find out more. 

Dec 5, 2017

This episode of Creating Disney Magic was recorded in the lobby of the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, ID. It was the perfect setting to discuss customer service. 

When you are at a resort or hotel, or anywhere for that matter, and get great service, it is likely the result of training. Sure, there are other factors, like good hiring practices and personal attitude, but for the most part, great service comes from great training. 

The same is true for bad service. Poor service comes from poor training. 

Poor training leads to poor service. And poor service can sour a customer's experience no matter how good your product is. And if you have outstanding service, you can get away with bad carpet. 

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