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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 joins show host Jody Maberry to discuss how you can apply lessons in leadership, management, and customer service to create magic in your organization.
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Jan 26, 2021

Recently, Jody and I were on a training call with an organization. One of the attendees asked what I used to look for when I was thinking of promoting somebody.

It comes down to the 3 P’s: persistence, passion, and people.

Persistence means being an employee that others can count on. It’s finishing the job no matter what. It’s never leaving anything hanging.

When we are persistent, others can’t help but notice. We quickly build trust with others because, every time they work with us, things get done. Everyone wants to work with someone like that.

Because most of our decisions in life come from our interactions with people, those who are persistent develop strong reputations. They are likely the first to be considered when there is a promotion.

The second P is passion.

When you are passionate about something, you’d still do it if you weren’t paid. Even when it’s difficult, you still love it and choose to do it over everything else.

Passionate employees don’t need to be motivated because they motivate themselves. This is often the mark of a great performer, which leads them to get a promotion.

Finally, people can help you get promoted.

When I was in my 20s, I was extremely introverted and insecure. I went for a job interview in Chicago and didn’t do very well. However, the person who recommended me told the hiring team that I was a great fit for the job and they still chose to hire me. That’s the power of people.

So, network within your own company to make sure people know you and will vouch for you. Most people haven’t seen you in action, so you need to do the work of finding someone who will advocate for you when a promotion arises.

These 3 P’s outweigh skill every time. You can’t train someone to be persistent, passionate, or to have the right people on their side. It’s just who they are.

You’ll learn the skills that will allow you to do the job well once you have it but having these 3 P’s is the only way to catch the eye of the person promoting you.

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