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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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May 10, 2016

It is not uncommon for someone to leading people who are older than they are. 

This situation can cause pushback; people may feel the boss selected the wrong person, you could now be supervising someone who didn't get the job, or people are skeptical about your age. 

Address the situation early and directly. Be open and available to answer questions. Help people understand performance is what matters. Always be willing to tell people the truth. Make sure you clarify your expectations. 

You can follow Creating Disney Magic on Facebook

You can get a free month of Thrive 15 by using the code Magic.

May 3, 2016

At your organization, you are putting on a show every day. Everygreat show has two performances going on simultaneously; onstageand backstage.

Consider seeing a play at the theater. The onstage show isobvious. You watch the actors, see the props, and hear the music.Backstage, though, there is a crew working just as hard to makesure everything goes right with the performance. You may notdirectly witness the backstage performance, but it is just ascrucial to putting on an excellent show. 

If backstage performers don't put on a great show, onstageperformers can not put on a great show. 

The same is true with your organization. 

Join us on the Creating Disney MagicPodcast Facebook page

Find out more about the Time Management Magic Coursehere

Apr 26, 2016

It is common to wonder how to motivate employees and maintain high morale. But the truth is, you don't motivate people. People motivate themselves. Your job is to create a culture where people are excited. When people are excited about the work they do, they inspire themselves.

Your job is to create a culture where people are excited. When people are excited about the work they do, they inspire themselves.

Cast members have to be committed to working at Disney. There is not room in their role in the show to be rude, to not be nice, or to not go out of your way to help somebody.

If you notice an employee is not motivated or having trouble, it is a leader's responsibility to find out why and try to help them. Discipline and empathy are important traits for leaders.  Good leaders create a trusting culture.

Apr 19, 2016

Whether you are in government, a religious organization, or running a corner gas station, customer service issues are all the same. 

No team will work unless the group is flexible, professional, and willing to work together. 

Be willing to compromise, be patient, and build relationships. 

Always keep in mind, your job is to take care of the constituents. Focus on what is best for the citizens. 

The lessons from Lee's book, Creating Magic, work in a government organization as well as they do in a large corporation. 

Apr 12, 2016

At Disney World, metrics and measurement are crucial to the operation. Cast Members are aware of what is being measured and understand how they can contribute to improvement. 

If you don't measure, you don't know if you are doing a good job or a bad job. And you won't know how to improve performance or guest satisfaction. Without knowing the numbers, you can not make clear decisions. 

Disney measures the important things and works to get a little better every day. 

If you enjoy hearing Lee and Jody together, you may want to hear Lee Cockerell as a guest on The Jody Maberry Show

Apr 5, 2016

Customers want the person in front of them to have the authority to solve their problem. If front line staff can't solve a customer's problem, it is either a training issue or you have not empowered them to solve problems. 

Reputation and customer service are linked together. When front line staff can't solve a problem, it erodes your reputation one customer at a time.

If you want a reputation for outstanding customer service, you can't worry about customers taking advantage of you. Put the proper controls in place and work to delight the customer. Don't make people's life more difficult than it already is.

You can hear a great example of customer service from Moo on this episode of The Jody Maberry Show.  

Mar 29, 2016

The three legs of a successful business are;

  1. Taking Care of the Customer
  2. Taking Care of the Employees
  3. Taking Care of the Profit

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains what you can do to create a culture of customer service when your organization currently does not focus on the customer. 

Remember, employees are the company. Customers will view your company based on the experience they have with employees. 

You can connect with Lee on Twitter - @LeeCockerell

You can connect with Jody on Twitter - @jodymaberry

And you can connect with Lee and Jody on the Creating Disney Magic Facebook Page

Mar 22, 2016

Many organizations lump training and development into one category. 

You need to understand the difference and the impact each will have on your organization. 

Training is basic and unemotional. Development is emotional and helps people correct their mistakes or move from good to great. 

You can follow along with Creating Disney Magic podcast on Facebook

Is there a question you would like to ask on the show? Reach out and let us know and your question could be featured on an episode of Creating Disney Magic. 

Mar 15, 2016

Too many people feel you have to be a fear motivated boss, but it is not true. No one wants to work with that kind of boss. 

But is it possible to be too nice?

The main job of a leader is to focus on performance. 

At Disney, Lee Cockerell had a reputation for being nice and respectful, but he got results and so did the people who worked for him. 

Be professional, treat people respectfully and focus on performance and people will appreciate you.

You can find out more the Lee's Time Management Magic Course here

Follow the Creating Disney Magic Podcast on Facebook.

Mar 8, 2016

In January, Lee explained that he was dealing with anxiety. Now, Lee gives an update on how he is feeling. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee gives an update on his anxiety. Lee shares what he has done over the past two months to help improve. 

If you did not hear the original episode about Lee's struggle with anxiety, you can listen to it here

One app Lee has is Headspace

Lee credits systems and time management as keeping him on track while he dealt with anxiety. 

If you are interested in learning more about Lee's upcoming Time Management Magic Course, you can get updates here

Lee Cockerell appears as a guest on the Jody Maberry Show

Mar 1, 2016

All of us will work with a difficult coworker at some point in our career. 

Communication and patience are the best options when working with a difficult coworker. You can create an environment to communicate with the coworker about your working relationship. Communication can possibly help you create a better working environment. If not, you need patience until the situation changes. Or, you can get yourself out of the situation. 

Do you have a question you would like answered on Creating Disney Magic? Reach out on our Facebook page.

Feb 23, 2016

Nearly 10 years ago, Lee Cockerell retired from his role as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World. Rather than retire to the couch and golf course, Lee made a career pivot into his own business as a consultant and keynote speaker. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we look into what it takes to make a successful career pivot. 

All of the questions about making a career pivot come from the Pivot Profiles magazine by Mike Kim

Jody Maberry, the host of  Creating Disney Magic, was featured in Pivot Profiles. 

Lee was recently a guest on The Jody Maberry Show. You can hear Lee talk about Lessons from Disney Here

Feb 16, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee explains how you can create magic in the classroom. 

A listener asks Lee how he would use his business principles to manage a middle school classroom. Lee offers his perspective on how you can create magic in the classroom. 

Lee also tells the questions he most often hears from students. 

Jody Maberry, the host of Creating Disney Magic, has launched a new podcast, The Jody Maberry Show. You can find it here on iTunes, or at jodymaberry.com. You don't want to miss Lee Cockerell on episode three of The Jody Maberry Show

Feb 9, 2016

No matter how you plan your day you have to know you will get interrupted. 

If you struggle with not getting enough done because you get interrupted, look at your schedule and consider if you are doing work you should not be doing. Also, consider if you are overplanning. 

Time Management is the key to getting work done, even when you struggle with interruptions. 

Follow the Creating Disney Magic Podcast on Facebook

Feb 2, 2016

Everybody is different, so how do you motivate employees? You have to get to know the people you work with and learn how to motivate them individually. Your job as a leader is to build self-confidence in other people. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee explores ways to motivate high performers, mid-performers, and low performers. 

Use Twitter? Connect with Lee Cockerell or Jody Maberry

Jan 26, 2016

There are two ways to get better in life; look back and fix the things you didn't do well yesterday and look forward and consider what could happen if you don't do things in the future. 

Take a few minutes each morning and reflect on the past and anticipate the future to make today better than yesterday. 

Join Lee on the Creating Disney Magic Facebook Page

Jan 19, 2016

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell talks about his recent battle with Anxiety. 

After years of pushing himself for success and holding back his feelings about stress, Lee is now dealing with Anxiety. Lee discusses his experience and offers suggestions on how others can deal with the problem. 

Jan 12, 2016

Brainstorming is a good way to solve a problem, but how do you brainstorm effectively? 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell examines how to use brainstorming to solve a problem. Lee explains how to decide who to invite to a brainstorming session and what the dialog should be. Make sure everyone understand all ideas are good ideas. What may seem like a silly idea today could be just the answer you are looking for in three weeks. If you are the boss, speak last. When a boss speaks first, it could change the input offered by the rest of the team. 

You can follow Lee Cockerell on the new Creating Disney Magic Facebook page

You can find out more about Lee's Time Managment Magic Course here

Jan 5, 2016

This week on Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell answers a listener question about evaluating risk. 

Join us on the new Creating Disney Magic Podcast Facebook page here. You can also Lee Cockerell on Twitter here and Jody Maberry on Twitter here

Dec 29, 2015

Lee Cockerell is considered an expert in customer service. His second book, The Customer Rules, is often used as an example of how to deliver excellent customer service. With that, you may be surprised to learn that Lee does not believe the customer comes first. 

Leadership comes first. 

An organization must put leadership first to create an environment where people want to work. When you create the right culture, employees will take care of the customer. 

If you invest in leadership, and leaders take care of employees, you will see results.

Dec 22, 2015

Marriott and Starwood have merged to create the largest hotel chain in the world. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains what it takes to manage a successful merge. 

Join Lee Cockerell and Jody Maberry on the Creating Disney Magic Facebook Page

Dec 15, 2015

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell examines what it takes to become an expert. 

The elements of becoming an expert are; reading, experience, ask questions, and listen more than you talk

The biggest key to becoming an expert is to decide you want to be an expert. 

Once you become an expert, start teaching others. Teaching will take you to a new level of Expert. 

Here are the books mentioned in this podcast:

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Service America by Dr. Karl Albrecht

Winning by Jack Welch

Die Empty by Todd Henry

Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell

Dec 8, 2015

Lee Cockerell's granddaughter gave him the perfect gift for Christmas one year. She gave Lee a two-page letter letting Lee know how much she loves and appreciates him.

Appreciation, recognition, and encouragement are the best gift you can give to anyone, whether it is in your personal or professional life. 

Don't underestimate the impact you have on other people. 

This week, pick someone in your life and send them a note. Let them know how much you appreciate them, or thank them for something they have done. 

Join Lee and Jody on the new Creating Disney Magic Podcast Facebook page

Interested in Lee's upcoming Time Management Magic Course? Get your name on the list here to get updates.

If you have a question you would like answered on the show, connect with Lee or Jody on Twitter. 

Dec 1, 2015

Lee Cockerell got his start in the hospitality industry as a banquet waiter. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee shares customer service lessons he learned as a waiter. 

Lee explains how customer service lessons from the food service industry can be applied to any job. 

Lee also offers some tips on improving service to anyone who works as a waiter or waitress. 

Join Lee Cockerell and Jody Maberry on the new Creating Disney Magic Podcast Facebook Page

Find out more about Lee's upcoming Time Management Magic course here

Nov 24, 2015

At Disney World, seconds matter. Everytime Disney World can take a few seconds out of your wait for a ride, the experience improves for you and everyone in line behind you. Your experience is improved, and by the end of the day many more people have been able to enjoy the ride. 

Do seconds matter in your business? What opportunities do you have to improve the experience for your customer? How can you speed up transactions?

Find out more about the Time Management Magic Course

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