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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Sep 29, 2015

Communication is usually the number one complaint in any organization. 

Too many managers don't plan their communication. Employees find it boring and don't get the message. In fact, most managers aren't even sure what message they are trying to get out to employees. 

Bob Burg, co-author of the The Go-Giver, returns to Creating Disney Magic to discuss how to improve employee communication in any organization. 

Find out more about Bob Burg here. You can buy The Go-Giver here.  

Find out more about Lee Cockerell's Time Management Magic course

Sep 22, 2015

What is the difference between a poor experience, a good experience, and a great experience?

The difference is the value you provide. 

If you provide enough value, not only will people want to come back, they will tell others about your business. 

Bob Burg, co-author of the The Go-Giver, joins Creating Disney Magic to discuss how to create magic though providing exceptional value. 

You can find out more about Bob Burg here, and buy the The Go-Giver here

Want to create magic with your time? Find out more about the Time Management Magic Masterclass here

Sep 15, 2015

Lee Cockerell dealt with depression when his wife nearly died after surgery. Jody Maberry dealt with depression after his brother was killed by a drunk driver. 

Together, they talk about how to deal with depression.

Even if you have never been depressed, chances are you know someone who is battling with depression. 

Lee also discusses how to identify and deal with depression in the workplace. 

Leave an iTunes review here.

Sep 8, 2015

Customer complaints can be delicate. How you deal with an unsatisfied customer will shape their opinion of the company. 

At Disney, Lee made sure managers knew to never get defensive with guests. Never try to win the argument with a customer. 

Your goal with a complaining customer is to win them over. Make them happy before they leave your business. 

Remember, emotional feedback from a customer will help you realize where you need to improve. Understanding where you need to improve, will help you move from good to great. 

It is not the problem that gets you in trouble, it is how you solve it. 

Click HERE to learn more about the Time Management Magic Course. 

You can leave an iTunes review for Creating Disney Magic here

Sep 1, 2015

Most people, no matter what level they are at in an organization, dread performance reviews. It does not have to be that way. 

Lee Cockerell offers some insight into a better way to handle performance reviews so employees benefit from the process. 

There should be no surprises on a performance review. Every item, good, bad, or ugly, should have been discussed throughout the year. 

Here is a performance review resource from Harvard Business Review

Aug 25, 2015

Clay Clark, the founder of Thrive15, joins Creating Disney Magic to discuss the impact online training can have on your career or business.

Thrive15 features 1,000 videos from business leaders like David Robinson and Lee Cockerell. Studying success from great leaders will give you a headstart. 

Today, a college degree is not as important as being able to deliver results. Thrive15 gives you the ability to get more results. 

You can try a free trial of Thrive15 with the code MAGIC. 

Aug 18, 2015

The Leadership Staircase consists of five levels of freedom. As you move up the staircase, you get more freedom and responsibility. 

Level four and five on the Leadership Staircase happens when you see what needs to be done and can make it happen. 

"If you can figure out what your boss wants done, those are the things you can do without approval". That is when you have made it to the top of the Leadership Staircase. 

Aug 11, 2015

Hiring the right people is the most important thing an organization can do. Understanding how to hire high performers is the key to a great work environment. 

Carol Quinn, CEO of Hire Authority, joins Lee Cockerell to discuss Motivation Based Interviewing. 

Motivation Based Interviewing, known as MBI, will change the way you hire people. When you change the way you hire people, the performance and attitude of the entire organization will change. 

Lee Cockerell says better hiring is one of the best cost management measures an organization can adopt. 

Aug 4, 2015

Most people don't realize the impact you can have on someone else by serving as a mentor. 

Early in Lee Cockerell's career, he had two people who stepped up to act as a mentor. Lee credits those mentors for the successful career he had at Hilton, Marriott, and Disney. Because of the impact mentors had on Lee, he now gives back by teaching others. 

Often, people ask how they can find a mentor. You can't find a mentor, but a mentor can find you. When you work hard and with a great attitude, someone is likely to want to work with you to help you work better. 

Jul 28, 2015

Conflict will happen in any organization. Conflict can be caused by new technology, change in leadership, change in ownership, or many other reasons. 

No matter how conflict is caused, a leader needs to tell the truth and be willing to talk about the cause of the conflict. 

Lee also offers advice on how to properly complain to a company when you experience bad service. 

Jul 21, 2015

Podcasting can be a powerful tool for business. Whether a podcast is a platform to reach customers or a communication tool for employees. 

Lee Cockerell and special guest Lou Mogello, the host of WDW Radio,  discuss the power of podcasting and the experience they have had as podcasters. 

What would Walt Disney think of Podcasts? Lee and Lou explain what Walt Disney may think of podcasting.  

Jul 14, 2015

Lou Mongello, the host of WDW Radio, joins Lee Cockerell for this special episode of Creating Disney Magic. Together, Lee and Lou discuss entrepreneurship. 

Hear the story of the different directions Lee and Lou took to become entrepreneurs. Lee explains how his experience at Disney has served him in his new role. Lee also offers advice for other entrepreneurs. 

Jul 7, 2015

Lee Cockerell explains why physical fitness and a love for reading are the most important gifts a parent can give to a child. 

Physical activity contributes to health and mental outlook as well. If you start active habits with children early, it is likely to stay with them when they are older. 

Reading can also give children a headstart in education and learning. Reading can build vocabulary and generate ideas that will open doors and generate new opportunities. 

Jun 30, 2015

Lee Cockerell served in the military before his long career in the hospitality industry. 

You can get ahead by using down time in the military to become an expert in the area you want to have a career when your service is over. 

Lee offers advice on finding a job once you have left the military. 

Lee also suggests ways business owners and managers can help veterans who work for their organizations. 

For more inspiration, read Dave Burlin's article 5 Things Veterans Should Know About Their Career Do Overs.  

Jun 23, 2015

Lee Cockerell explains that his proudest moment at Disney was 9/11. During such a tragic time, Disney Cast Members stepped up and took care of guests. Lee explains what happened at Disney World that day and offers lessons other businesses can learn from Disney. 

A plan and practice will keep your business prepared for any emergency. Already knowing what to do will make emergency response instinctive. 

Jun 16, 2015

During his time at Walt Disney World, Lee Cockerell went out of his way to create a welcoming, friendly, and productive environment when he met with cast members. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee explains the step he took to create the right environment. Lee's open environment trickled down through the rest of the Disney World. 

People will know your reputation before they know you. When you create a welcome and candid environment, people will know about it before they ever meet with you. 

Lee also talks about how and when to meet with people who report directly to you. 

Jun 9, 2015

No matter how big of a problem you face, the solution is right in front of you. Understanding who to bring into the room to solve a problem is the key for a leader to solve any problem. 

Lee Cockerell explains how he solved problems when he was the Executive Vice President of Operations for Disney World. He also explains how he solves problems as an entrepreneur. No matter the size or nature of a problem, you can solve it the same way. 

Jun 2, 2015

Exercise is an important aspect of being a powerful leader. Lee Cockerell explains why you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. 

Lee talks the small ways he puts exercise into his day by parking three blocks away, taking the stairs and using small opportunities to add movement into his day. He also works with a strength training twice each week. 

Exercise helps leaders release and relief stress. Putting exercise into your calendar ensures you don't less stress build up. 

May 26, 2015

Skill can be learned, but attitude must be decided. Lee Cockerell shares a story of how his attitude while peeling potatoes in the Army set him apart. Doing work with a positive attitude, no matter what your job, will ensure you get noticed. 

Having a great attitude and being reliable are the two most important aspects of your career. Self-reflection is the first step to ensuring you are working with a great attitude. 

May 19, 2015

To be an effective leader you need to be a reader. Lee Cockerell explains how reading helps a leader understand current events and effective leadership methods. You can become an expert in any topic just be reading a couple of relevant books. 

Lee also offers reading recommendations. 

May 12, 2015

Stories are a powerful way to connect with other people. 

Stories are all around us in books, movies and even podcasts. Understanding how to tell a good story gives you an advantage in your career. If you want people to remember a point, wrap it in a story. 

In this episode, Lee also talks about why you are cheating yourself if you are not copying ideas from other people. 

May 5, 2015

Your people are your brand. If your employees give terrible service, peope will perceive your company the same way. Bad service given by bad employees will lead people to find another place to buy what you are selling. 

The key is to hire outstanding people. Hiring outstanding people will give you a competitive advantage over competitors. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains the process to hire outstanding people. 

Apr 28, 2015

The founder of Marriot gave Lee Cockerell an unexpected lesson in why you should look professional.

Since Lee learned this lesson, he has always gone out of his way to look professional. In this episode, Lee explains why you need to look professional and the impact it will have on your career.

Lee also talks about the new videos he has filmed for Thrive 15 to help you with time management. Use the code MAGIC for one free month. 

Apr 21, 2015

Lee Cockerell is known as the lovable leader from Walt Disney World, but that wasn't always his reputation. Lee was so tough on those around him he was known as the Doberman. Back then, Lee was not managing his reputation and he became known as someone you may not want to work with. 

Lee will tell you he is no longer a Doberman, he is now a Cocker Spaniel. He changed his mindset and the way he worked with other people. Eventually, he built a reputation as a great leader. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee offers advice on how to manage your reputation. 

Apr 14, 2015

Although Lee Cockerell is best known for his time with Disney, he is also a great writer. Lee is the author of three books and several hundred blog posts. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee answers questions from writers. Lee discusses writing habits, how to deal with writer's block, how to research for your book and much more. 

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