Creating Disney Magic

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 Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Creating Disney Magic






All Episodes
Now displaying: 2018
Dec 25, 2018

Most people feel they are underpaid at their job. 

My whole career I thought I should have made more money. 

But when should you ask for a pay raise?

You agreed to do a job at a salary, so knowing when you are providing enough value to ask for more money can be delicate. 

I have never asked for a pay raise in my career. My plan was always to do a such a great job they promoted me and I would make more money that way.

But my thought was, "Love me and pay me properly, or I am likely to leave." And I did. I left jobs where I did not feel loved or values. 

If you don't feel you are making enough money, if you don't feel valued, if you don't feel appreciated, it is time to look for another job. 

When your attitude begins to get negative, you should go somewhere else. 

Keep in mind, there are a lot of factors that go into someone else deciding you should be paid more money. But the most important factor is you have to be creating so much value you are worth more money. 

Are you on Instagram? Let's connect. You can find here - @leecockerellmagic and @sugarjmaberry

Dec 18, 2018

There is one letter I take the time to write for my family every year. 

Well, two letters, actually. One letter is to let each member of the family know how much I appreciate them. We all need more appreciation, encouragement, and recognition. 

The second letter is a letter you should consider writing every year, but plan on no one reading it. 

At the end of each year, I give a letter to my family and instruct them to only open it if I die. 

In the letter, is all the information they will need if I am not here to take care of things. Information on insurance, wills, passwords, bank account numbers, phone numbers of important people, car titles, property deeds, and more important documents along those lines. 

When I die, everything my family will need will be found in one place. My family will not have to worry. Even in death, my organization will pay off. 

It is not easy to think about your own death, and sit down and get all of this information in order. But as with most things in life, you have to get the hard things done now so life will be easy later. 

Your family will have enough to deal with when you go. Don't make it harder on them. Take the time to put all of your important information together. 



Dec 11, 2018

This episode of Creating Disney Magic was recorded live in front of an audience in Indianapolis. 

One table in the front of the room was a table of high school students who are members of the Kiwanis Key Club. All the questions for this episode come from the Key Club members. 

One of the students asked how to turn around a bad reputation. Once a company gets a bad reputation, what can you do about it? 

First, you have to admit you have a problem. Many companies don't even know they have a problem. 

Next, get input from your staff on how to fix what is wrong. Don't think you know everything. People who are working face to face with customers know more than you do. 

Finally, you have to do the hard work of implementing change after you discover what you need to do. 

It takes time and persistence to turn around a bad reputation, but it can be done. 

Dec 4, 2018

This episode of Creating Disney Magic is recorded live in front of a live audience of 350 people in Indianapolis. 

We took questions from the audience while I answered live from the stage.  

Here are the questions I answer during this episode:

What do you do when you want to empower people but have trouble letting go?

How have natural disasters affected my leadership training?

When you are interviewing, how can you tell someone is a diamond in the rough if they are struggling with an interview?

As a leader, how do you ensure a work and life balance for you and your team members?

What is the best investment I have made under $100?

What can a student do to prepare themselves to be the candidate companies or looking for to fill a job?

My answer to this question is important for you, even if you are not a student. Do you have the persistence and willpower to be the best at what you do?

What type of skills do women need to develop to get an executive management role?

Dec 4, 2018

This episode of Creating Disney Magic is recorded live in front of a live audience of 350 people in Indianapolis. 

We took questions from the audience while I answered live from the stage.  

Here are the questions I answer during this episode:

What do you do when you want to empower people but have trouble letting go?

How have natural disasters affected my leadership training?

When you are interviewing, how can you tell someone is a diamond in the rough if they are struggling with an interview?

As a leader, how do you ensure a work and life balance for you and your team members?

What is the best investment I have made under $100?

What can a student do to prepare themselves to be the candidate companies or looking for to fill a job?

My answer to this question is important for you, even if you are not a student. Do you have the persistence and willpower to be the best at what you do?

What type of skills do women need to develop to get an executive management role?

Nov 27, 2018

Words help a business create magic. 

Get past the boring business language we have become accustomed to. 

Words help you get to someone's heart by getting to their brain first. 

Even when it comes to Disney, without the words magic would not happen. 

Words are used in movies, of course. But Disney also uses words to connect to guests. Disney uses words to even build a better experience for employees. And the best example of this is we don't use the words employees. We call them cast members. This simple shift in words helps employees understand their role. 

Words are powerful. Words are used to shape experiences and emotions. Used properly, words can influence our behavior. 

You don't have to be Disney to create magic with words. Any organization can put the right words in the right places to create magic. 

When you can put yourself in the position of the customer, you can begin to find the right words. Rather than say what you want to say, say what the customer wants to hear. 

Ray Edwards joins us on this episode of Creating Disney Magic to talk about how to create magic with words. 

Ray Edwards has written copy for Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Jeff Walker, and many other well-known business personalities. 

You can get started using words more effectively with Ray's book, How to Write Copy That Sells.


Nov 20, 2018

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer two listener questions, but they both tie together. 

With the first question, someone asks about working with a mentor. He is a young man who wants to know how to approach someone about working with them in a mentor type relationship. 

It is not uncommon for people to ask me to be their mentor. I decline, though. If I am going to mentor someone I need to see them work and have a personal relationship with them. 

But I am willing to give advice and to let you know how I did or would handle a situation. 

You will find many people are willing to answer your questions and give advice. All you have to do is ask. 

Before you ask, read their books or articles. Listen to their podcast interviews. Attend their events. As you do this, your question may be answered and you can ask a better question.

Working with a mentor or having someone you look up to give you advice can help you build confidence.

But what do you do when something happens that takes a knock at your confidence?

There are times when you will get rejected. Or something you expected doesn't go your way. And it may knock at your confidence. Keep going. It is all you can do. Usually, when you get rejected, it has nothing to do with you. Keep moving. My entire career was not magic. 

When you fall off a horse, get back on right away. Your best days are ahead of you. Get started on having those better days sooner by getting back up. 

Do you use the Morning Magic Planner yet? Click here to get it for free. 

Nov 13, 2018

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we have another rapid-fire series of questions. 

Jody Maberry pulls out seven listener questions, and I provide a brief answer. 

Tell how you would work along with cast members to learn what they would do day to day.

Spending time out with the cast members gave me more appreciation for the hard work our team did every day. You would benefit from doing the same. Get out with your team to get an idea of the work they do day in and day out.

What do you do when you are doing a good job, love your company, but have a lousy boss?

You have to decide how long you can put up with the boss. If it is having a big negative impact on you, keep doing a good job but plan a way out. Don't stay too long at a job where you are not happy.

What is the most valuable lesson you learned as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World?

Make sure you are not being a big deal. Even my title was intimidating to cast members. I made sure I was available, approachable and open to cast member. Everyone is important.

What are your thoughts on bringing politics into the workplace?

It's a bad idea. While I was at Disney, I never discussed religion or politics. And other people's political opinions and views are not your business.

What kept you grounded while you were Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World?

You become who you are early in life. I grew up poor in Oklahoma. And I grew up in a family where you treated everyone respectfully.

Do you think someone could be as successful as you are now without a college degree?

It is harder to get a job today without a degree. But if you are going to start your own business, you don't need a degree. And if you can be successful on your own, businesses will be more interested in you.

Do you think anyone can become anything and create magic in their own way?

Yes. There are three steps to being successful. First, have a great attitude. Second, be reliable and credible. Third, become an expert in something. The main thing is to help other people before you worry about them helping you.

Nov 6, 2018

This episode of Creating Disney Magic is a bit different than usual. 

Rather than focus on a single topic, we do a series of rapid-fire questions. 

In this episode, I answer the following questions:

What is your biggest leadership failure and how did you cope with it?

What is a tip for not getting burnt out while working a full-time job while also building your own small business?

What advice can you give when it comes to coaching employees on accountability?

What is the greatest career risk you ever took?

What are my most gratifying moments as former Chairman of the Board of Heart of Florida United Way?

What imagineer did you enjoy working with?

If there is only one lesson you hear in all of my answers, I want you to remember you have to take the risk or have the regret. 


Oct 30, 2018

Early in my career, I was so driven to successful I worked six days each week. I went to work early in the morning and came home late at night. 

I didn't see my wife or son enough. Together with my wife Priscilla, we came up with a plan that would allow me to spend all of my time on my one day off with my son, Daniel. 

As I got promoted and traveled often for Marriott, I would talk to my son every night while I was gone. When I would arrive home on Friday from a week on the road, I took Priscilla out to dinner. It was a priority above anything else when I came home. 

If your job requires you to be away from home, here are some tips to make sure your family remains a top priority:

Use Facetime and other technology to keep in touch with family. 

While you are home, drop your hobbies. No golf, no beers in the garage with your buddies...make your family your hobby. 

Make sure you are paying attention to each other. You want to pick up on it when your spouse if beginning to feel stressed or depressed. 

Do things on purpose. Schedule time with your spouse and kids. 

Make it easy for your family to reach out to you. 

Change mindset when you get home. Drop work. Focus on your family. 

It's not always about how much time you spend together, but how you spend the time you have together. 

When you know you are going to have to spend time away from your family, be deliberate and talk about it. How are you going to do it? What routines are you going to set up? How are you going to make sure everyone in the family gets special attention. 

Even if you have not done a good job with this yet, it is not too late to get better. Think about how you can do better tomorrow. 

Find us on Instagram - @leecockerellmagic and @sugarjmaberry

Oct 23, 2018

Having difficult conversations is one of the toughest aspects of being a leader. 

Terminating someone, in my opinion, is the hardest thing. But having difficult conversations is second, and avoiding these conversations can often lead to having to terminate someone. 

If you can't make hard decisions or have hard conversations, don't become a parent and don't become a manager.

Most managers are not living up to their responsibility of having the tough conversations.

Tough conversations are about a variety of topics; performance, attitude, coming to work on time, poor communication,  all are topics that are difficult to talk to people about. And so many managers avoid having the conversations they should have.

The power you hold in your hands as a leader is tremendous. Depending on how you role model, how you develop, and how you handle difficult conversations can determine if an employee becomes good or if they become great. Avoiding tough conversations is hurting people who look to you to help them succeed. 

Being clear and upfront when you hire an employee can cut down on the difficult conversations you have to have. But even if you do a great job with clarity when you hire, you will still have to have difficult conversations with people. 

When someone is doing something that needs to be improved, you don't have to save up a list of transgressions. You don't have to be historical.

You can have the entire conversation in 90 seconds. Here are the steps:

Bring up the current incident.

Be clear about what is happening.

Be clear about expectations.

Leave it that. It is that simple to let someone know they need to come to work on time or stop being rude in meetings.

Make sure you are having these conversations. Don't avoid it. You know which conversations you need to have. You know what you have been putting off. You know what is happening that will eventually hurt people or cause a problem if you don't take care of it. And you know what other employees are talking about. If you don't take care of the issue, if you don't have the difficult conversations, it makes you look bad as a leader. Others are paying attention to how you handle the situation.

Often, when people are not told someone is not wrong, they will take it as acceptance.

If you want to get better at having difficult conversations, consider reading these books;

One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Paterson

Also, check on Dan Cockerell's podcast episode about the Power of Feedback

Oct 16, 2018

When I am looking to hire someone, I don't care where you went to school or what your grades were. To some degree, I don't care about your technical knowledge. 

I am more concerned about who you are. Have you experienced a hardship? Did you overcome it? Experience and exposure you get from adversity can be worth more than getting a degree or improving your technical skills. 

Who you are is what I, and other leaders, are looking at. Do you keep promises? Can you let your ego go? Can you work with and for others? Are you curious? Do you read?

Persistence will get my attention. Have you found yourself in a hole and managed to dig yourself out? 

The three most important leadership qualities can't be learned in school. 



A Drive to Improve

Don't underestimate curiosity. Curiosity causes you to think differently. When you think differently, you act differently. 

Ask more questions. Read more books. Get more experience and exposure. And then do something with it. 

Knowing stuff is easy. Doing stuff is hard. Be curious and then had the discipline to create action from your curiosity. 

A good book to understand the mindset shift needed to embrace these qualities, check out Motivation-Based Interviewing

Do you have the Morning Magic Planner yet? Click Here to get it for free

Oct 9, 2018

Many people have a job they would consider a dream job, but they never go for it. 

And if they do, they wonder how hard they should pursue it. 

There can be more than one way to get your dream job. Sometimes you need to take a job just to get in the door.

Are you willing to take a gamble on yourself? Take a lower job so you can show them how good you are.

Or, know specifically what you are going after and find out what you need to do. 

Most hard things take time. You have to invest in yourself to figure out where you need to improve and work on it. Stick with it.

And be willing to take a risk. It won't fall in your lap. You have to be willing to take a risk.

People underestimate what they can achieve. Too often, I hear people reference their background, education, parents, the city they live in, or a number of other reasons they can't pursue their dream job. None of that matters. Don't sell yourself short. You can accomplish it if you set your mind to it and become deliberate.

Focus on what you want and figure out how you can get it. It may take you a year or it may take five years. You have to be relentless. Get up every morning and go for it. Be relentless. Wear people down until you get what you are after.

As you pursue your dream job, don't let up on your standards for the current job you have. You are a professional. People are counting on you. Yes, go after your dream. But never let your performance slip when you are being paid to do a job. 

Oct 4, 2018

After 27 years with Disney, including becoming the Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, my son Daniel retired to pursue his own speaking and consulting career.

At Disney, Dan had a wonderful career and a job most people would love to have. Yet, he left to pursue his dream and to be able to help more organizations. Many people would say Dan took a big risk. 

As Dan says, "The future is not going to be clear, but you have to move forward with confidence that it is going to work out." He knew his experience from Disney would allow him to help more people if he struck out on his own. 

Now, Dan focuses on helping companies develop a culture that is a positive experience for employees. Culture is like the weather in the way it impacts people. But you have the ability to influence the weather in your kingdom. Come rain or shine, you have to show up as a leader and create the right environment for other people. 

Dan has just launched his own podcast, Come Rain or Shine. You can find it on iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Or visit Below you listen to the episode where Dan interviews me for his podcast. You will enjoy it. Dan asks some great questions.

Oct 2, 2018

The secrets to creating a good resume may not be what you think. 

It is not design that matters. Or keywords. Getting people to know you, the person is what matters. 

Too often, people consider a complete resume to be a chronological list of the jobs you have had. If you do this, you are going about it all wrong. 

Want to find out if your resume stands out from the crowd?

Show your resume to people you know and ask for their feedback. Also, show your resume to companies. Don't apply for a job, just ask if they would consider giving you feedback on your resume and insights into what they look for.

If you don't have enough experience or the right experience, you need to include a letter to show a potential employer what they will not see on a resume. Are you persistent? Give examples to show how you stick to it, keep your promises, and you do what you say you are going to do. Find a way to show what makes you different and how you can benefit the organization.

Use the letter as an opportunity to convince an organization to hire based on things that are not even job-related. Convince them you are the right person. 

People want to know what you can do for them, not where you have worked and for how long.

But here is the biggest secret about a is not about the resume at all. If you want to get a job, it is about the relationship. If you rely on your resume, you won't get very far. Spend your time building relationships. The relationships you build are what gives credibility to your resume.

We have a seminar coming up that is open to the public. Join us to talk about leadership, management, and customer service. We will be recording a live episode of Creating Disney Magic, too. Get more information HERE.

Sep 25, 2018

The secret to understanding how you can operate your business better, serve customers better, and better support your staff is right in front of you.

All you have to do is ask.

Asking employees how you can do better is a powerful way to infuse new ideas into your organization.

When I was with Disney, I would do this often.

I would meet 10 or 12 front line cast members to find out what is going on with them. Meeting with employees will uncover information you can get no other way. They know something you don’t know. They know a lot more than you about the jobs they do. Listen to them and help them do their jobs better.

Everybody is an expert in something.

Ask employees to look out for things they should tell you.

Once you get everyone involved in helping you run the business, it is amazing.

We all like to give our opinion about the work we do. Give people the chance to offer their opinion and insight.

Here are 3 questions to ask employees:

What should we stop doing?

What should we start doing?

What should we continue doing?

Take the time to sit and listen. Let them talk.

Sep 18, 2018

Did you know people used to call me Low-Key Lee?

Don't make the mistake of thinking your work will stand for itself. People have to know you did the great work. 

I made this mistake when I interviewed with Marriott. When I assumed the great work I had done at Hilton would speak for itself. It doesn't work that way. You have to promote yourself. At the time, I didn't know how to promote myself 

Low-Key Lee was not the person Marriott wanted to hire. Fortunately for me, someone I worked with at Hilton was now at Marriott and he knew I was the right guy for the job. But had the hiring decision had been made based on my interview, I would have never been hired by Marriott. 

The feedback from the interview taught me a lesson. During the rest of career, I did a better job at promoting myself and the work I have done. 

Make sure you know what you believe about management and leadership. When you are around your boss, give your opinion based on what you believe. It is a way to promote yourself, show what you can do, and improve the company. Over time, if you do this and plan how you can send a message about how valuable you are, you will prepare your boss to think of you when the time comes for a promotion. 

Sep 11, 2018

One of the most effective ways to create new opportunities is to meet new people. 

Meet people and keep in touch because you never know what could pop up later.

If you don't know people they can't help you.

If you don't know people you can't help them. 

I meet as many people as I can. It doesn't matter who they are or where they are from.

Don't expect anything from the people you meet. Just enjoy meeting them and enjoying the diversity of conversation. But, sometimes opportunities arise that wouldn't have been available unless you had met the right person.

Sometimes an opportunity arises right away. Sometimes it is ten years later.

As an example, Lee Sheldon from the United Kingdom makes a brief appearance on this episode of Creating Disney Magic. Lee explains how him reaching out to me led to us teaming up to do a live event in London.

I first met Jody Maberry when he asked me to be a guest on his Park Leaders podcast. Back then, I didn't even know what a podcast was. And now we have published more than 200 episodes of Creating Disney Magic. Who knew that would happen? You never know what opportunities arise when you meet new people.

Our partnership with Magical Vacation Planner came about because two things happened. First, I met Jamie Eubanks, the founder of the company. Second, we kept in touch.

One of the ways I meet new people, is I make myself available. I'm not shy about telling people I am at Starbucks every morning. People often show up there to meet me.  My phone number was in one of my books. I encouraged people to call me.


Sep 4, 2018

On the 200th episode of Creating Disney Magic, we examine the Guest Experience Cycle.

Disney implements the Guest Experience Cycle to make sure guest have the best vacation of their lives. 

Anticipation - Anticipate what your guests will expect so you can work on those items before the guest arrives.

Arrival - What will the experience be like when your guest arrives? Whether a guest arrives in person, on the internet, or by phone what will the experience be like for them?

Experience - Think through what the entire experience of the guest will be like. A guest will have many experiences during their time with you, not just a single experience. Each one of these experiences should be thought out by you in advance and planned.

Departure - You have one more opportunity to make a guest feel good. What will you do with it? Don't let a guest leave without doing one more thing to make them feel special.

Savor - If you have anticipated and planned an excellent experience for a guest, they will savor the visit. Your goal should be to create an experience so delightful the guest savors the moments they had with you. 

If you adopt the Guest Experience Cycle, you will begin seeing a difference in your business in a week. 

Don't underestimate the impact this simple plan can have on your business. You will have guests and customers return because you made their experience so delightful. Never forget, the customer you have is a whole lot more valuable than the customer you might get. Rather than spend money on promotion and trying to get new customers, invest your time and dollars into the Guest Experience Cycle and take care of the customers you already have. 

It doesn't matter what business you are in, and how big or small your business is in, the Guest Experience Cycle will have an impact. 

Remember, you can create magic, too. 

Career Magic is available as an Audiobook. You can get it Here. 

Aug 28, 2018

If you want to make a difference in your organization, you will have the most impact if you lead by example.

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we talk about 3 different situations, including leading by example. Here are the first two:

How to handle meeting a celebrity at work. 

Be polite and courteous. Say hello and go away. At Disney, you can't bother a celebrity or ask for an autograph. They are there for a private event or to spend time with their family. If you are at work, remember you represent the organization.

How to equip staff members to give bad news to customers

You have to give staff members not only the training, but the authority to be able to deal with difficult situations. If you are not going to equip them to serve the customer when something goes wrong, then it is best to have a supervisor talk with the customer.

Now, let's talk about leading by example.

The real story of this episode, though, is a discussion about Phil Gaines. The recently retired Director of South Carolina State Parks. On the final day of his 37-year career with the park system, Phil returned to the park when he first began his ranger career. He spent the day picking up trash, cleaning bathrooms, and doing other tasks that so many people feel are beneath someone with a big title.

Phil Gaines is leading by example. Any of us can take this same mentality and have an impact on our organization. This same attitude and passion are what got Phil the job of Director. Professionals do what they do. Hard work and leadership led to Phil Gaines becoming Director. It doesn't change because he has a big position. It doesn't change because it is his last day.

At Disney, everyone sets the example for cleanliness. It doesn't matter what your position is. When you become a big deal, don't. Don't be a big deal. No one wants to be around someone who thinks they are a big deal. But if you lead by example, you will set the tone for everyone else. People will know what to do when they see you perform.

If you are going to take a vacation to a Disney property, get in touch with my friends at Magical Vacation Planner. They will make sure you have a great vacation.

You can get my Morning Magic Planner here for free

Aug 24, 2018

Often, people ask me about my morning planning time. 

I like that question because morning planning has helped me create magic. 

So many questions about morning planning time led me to create the Morning Magic Planning Course, which you can find here

My career at Disney has been well documented on the Creating Disney Magic podcast, but you have to rewind nearly 40 years to discover one of the biggest secrets to my success. 

Before I discovered the secret, I was disciplined, but not organized. At work, I kept putting off hard items. I would avoid certain projects and then dread the day when my boss would ask me about it. Then in 1980, I went to a time management seminar. 

At this seminar, I learned about time management and morning planning. Since that day, I have spent 15 minutes planning every morning. Morning planning made me a new man. Since that day in 1980, I have been organized, I have kept my promises, I do what I say I am going to do, and people know I am reliable. 

Here are the two things that will impact your career; a good attitude and being reliable. 

A good attitude is up to you. But I can help you become more reliable. 

Reliability comes back to planning. Fifteen minutes of planning is all it takes to remove distress. 

Distress is when things feel out of control. When you spend your days dealing with whatever is thrown at you, it feels out of control. 

But it doesn't have to be that way. 

You can remove distress. You can remove regrets (if you don't have regrets now you will later if you don't take action to get your days under control). 

You can get this under control. 

This is why I developed the Morning Magic Planner and the Morning Magic Planning Course

If you use this planner for 30 days, you will never want to go a day without planning time again. 

Life is better when you are the one controlling it. 

You know you have responsibilities you are not tending to and projects not getting finished. Subconsciously, this is putting more pressure on you and adding to your distress. 

It's never too late to get better. You can change if you want to. 

Remember, things are never the way they are. Things are the way you let them be. 

How much longer will you let things be this way? 

You can get the Morning Magic Planning Course HERE. Or, if you want to use the planner without the course, you can get it here. 

Aug 21, 2018

People only change for two reasons; crisis or education. 

Making a life change because of education is much better, believe me. But too many of us wait until we are smacked in the face to make a change. 

Making a change is hard, though. In my personal life, I made a drastic shift after going to a Time Management seminar in 1980. Before then, I worked hard and I worked a lot. Yet, I still missed deadlines and didn't get all my work done. But this 2-day changed everything. It shifted the way I thought. It shifted the way I approached life. The seminar taught me how to do things on purpose. Each day since then has been both full and fulfilling. 

There is an example of changing how I operate in my personal life. 

At Disney, we made a change in how we operated throughout Walt Disney World when I introduced the Great Leader Strategies. 

In both cases, making a change involved 2 steps; 

Step One: Deciding to Change

Step Two: Taking the action to change

Whether you are making a personal change or changing the way an organization operates, you have to know why you are making the change. You have to be committed to the change. You have to have clarity. And finally, you have to do the work every day. Making a personal change is tough, but imagine how tough it was to implement a culture shifting change to over 40,000 cast members. Any change takes time. 

You can change now because you know there is a better way. Or you can change later because you are forced to through a crisis. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. 

Career Magic is now available as an audiobook

Before you plan your next vacation, talk to our friends at Magical Vacation Planners

Aug 14, 2018

This week on Creating Disney Magic, I answer two questions about working with co-workers. Working with Co-workers.

Two questions both involve working with co-workers. First, how do you handle it if you have information or knowledge that can help co-workers?

Someone would only ask this if they have ambition and a steak of leadership. Often, people keep their heads down and do their job without consideration to co-workers, unless it has a negative impact on them. Even so, this can still be delicate. You have to approach this the right way. You have to have the right intention. But if you work it out with your supervisor to help train on a particular process or procedure, not only will you help your co-workers, you will stand out as a leader.

The second question is how to be a good follower when you may be more qualified for a supervisory job than the person who was promoted to the job. Here is another delicate situation. In this case, the best thing to do is to forget it. Just be nice, let him figure it out, and do your job the best you can. There are times when being a good follower is nothing more than doing your job the best you can. If your opinion is ever asked for, offer your best advice.

Have you downloaded my free Morning Magic Planner yet? You can get it here.

Creating Disney Magic has partnered with Magical Vacation Planner. Talk with them before you plan your next Disney vacation.

Aug 7, 2018

No matter what business you are in, poor service happens because of the general manager.

If bathrooms are dirty, don't blame the guy who cleans them. Look at the general manager.

If food arrives late at a restaurant and service is lousy, it is not the cooks and servers. It is the general manager.

If people stick to doing only what is in their job description, it is because the manager allows it.

As a leader, there are three steps to help staff create magic.

  1. Set Expectations
  2. Enforce expectations
  3. Train so staff can meet your expectations

Also, consider what plans you have to address any emergencies or unexpected situations come up. For example, what happens at a hotel or restaurant if the kitchen goes out of commission? Or, insert your own what-if situation.

If the staff is not prepared, it is because of the general manager.

Bottom line; the manager is always responsible for what happens in his or her operation.

I am excited to announce our my new partnership with Magical Vacation Planner. If you are going to visit a Disney property, make sure you talk to them. Magic Vacation Planner will take care of you.

Jul 31, 2018

This episode was recorded while I was in Italy. The sound quality is not the best because I had to find an internet connection that worked good enough to record. 

There is a reason I wanted to make sure we recorded an episode while I was in Italy. I have said before, the best way to gain exposure and exposure is to travel. When you meet people from other countries, you will find out they are as wonderful as your neighbors. Spending time with them will open your eyes to new ideas and new ways of doing the things you are most comfortable with. 

Which bring me to the topic of this episode, making old ideas new again. 

Disney took an old idea, Minature golf, and made it feel new again. Disney miniature golf courses don't feel like the old boring mini-golf courses you might expect. They are special. They tell a story. 

There is a lesson you can learn from a Disney Miniature golf course. You can take anything and make it better. An old idea can be new again if you add your own spin, your own story to it. An old idea can be new again if you find a way to do it better than you have been doing it. 

We all get set in our ways and accept things are the way they are. We get lazy. Take time to consider if you are as good as you could be? Are you as good as you should be? Can you do better?

Go out and get new ideas and apply them to what you do. Go somewhere you might not expect to get new ideas. Start with a game of miniature golf.

Don't settle for average. Ask people around you; customer, coworkers, vendors, and get new ideas. Always be on the lookout for a way to get better. Each day you are not getting better you are getting worse. 

The audio version of Career Magic is now available. You can get it here

1 2 3 Next »