Cover art for podcast Creating Disney Magic

Creating Disney Magic

295 EpisodesProduced by Lee CockerellWebsite

Lee Cockerell shares his wisdom and experience from his time as the Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World. Lee discusses how you can apply lessons in leadership, management, and customer service to create magic in your organization.

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Working with Disappointed Customers

June 2nd, 2020

17:00

At every business, you are going to disappoint some customers. 

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we answer a listener question about customers getting upset or disappointed. 

The question is about how the …

Don't Bring Tough Days at Work Home With You

May 26th, 2020

16:01

When you have a tough day at work, you have to find a way to let it go before you get home. 

If you are a pain in the neck at home, your family won't want to see you after a workday. 

I have been there myself. 

My wife, …

What Concerns do Your Customers Have About Your Business?

May 19th, 2020

17:05

During the Coronavirus Pandemic, many businesses have had to shut down temporarily. As businesses begin to reopen, we have the opportunity to do it the right way. 

Don't just open the doors and expect customers to …

Leading a Remote Team

May 12th, 2020

16:46

Leading a remote team for the first time can be a challenge for many people. 

If your leadership style is based on face to face interaction, it can leave you feeling disease about not being able to see your team. 

How to Work with a Negative Coworker

May 5th, 2020

23:02

What do you do if you have a negative coworker?

For the most part, I recommend you stay away from negative coworkers. There really is no upside to you spending time with someone like that.

But, if this person is a …

Put Your Challenge in Front of People

April 28th, 2020

14:47

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener question that may seem unique, but it is more common than you may think. 

A listener …

Documenting HR Issues

April 21st, 2020

17:27

Documenting HR issues is important for you as a leader and your organization as a whole. 

When I was at Marriott, I learned how to coach, counsel, …

The Most Important Activity for Any Leader

April 14th, 2020

14:53

There is one activity every leader should do every day, and it may not be what you think.

In my book, The Customer Rules, Rule #15 is Be Like a Bee.

Use Free Time to Gain an Advantage

April 7th, 2020

17:44

When you have free time, what do you do with it?

Too many people let it get away without getting any value from it. But you can use free time to gain an advantage. 

There are three ways to consider how you use free …

If Disney Ran Your Life

March 31st, 2020

15:08

Jeff Noel joins us as a special guest on this episode of Creating Disney Magic. 

Jeff is a 30 year Disney veteran. For the last 15 years of his Disney Career, Jeff taught at the Disney Institute. 

Now, Jeff is a keynote …

How to Introduce Yourself to a New Team

March 24th, 2020

20:46

Meeting a new team as a leader is your first chance to let people know what it is going to be like to work with you. 

When I became the General Manager of a Marriott Hotel, I used the first 30 days to find out what …

How to Manage and Organize Your Notes

March 17th, 2020

14:27

Whether you use a paper planner or a digital planner, you are going to have notes and other items you will need to keep that don't go into your planner. 

It can be a challenge to keep all of your notes in order and …

How to Handle a Crisis

March 16th, 2020

21:04

On this special episode of Creating Disney Magic, Dan Cockerell, my son and former VP of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World joins me to talk about how to handle a crisis.

Here are four steps to keep in mind while …

Influencing Positive Change in Your Organization

March 10th, 2020

12:52

You don't have to be a supervisor to influence positive change in your organization. 

At Disney, there are hourly employees who have influence over decisions from management. 

If you want to influence positive change …

How to Handle an Unexpected Customer Rush

March 3rd, 2020

15:45

Every business gets an unexpected rush of customers. 

You have seen this either as a customer or in your own organization. 

How often in these situations are you left wondering what is going on? Most of the time, this …

How to Handle Layoffs

February 25th, 2020

16:29

Layoffs are not easy for anyone, no matter which side you are on.

When I worked at Marriott in Philadelphia, I had to lay off 10% of our staff. It was the first time I had to do this.

Every person I had to lay off I …

Leadership is Leadership No Matter Where You Find it

February 18th, 2020

16:30

Leadership is leadership no matter where you find it. 

A podcast listener wrote in with a question about how leadership looks different in a school …

You Can do More than You Did Today

February 11th, 2020

15:56

"The biggest obstacle to thriving is arriving"

- Dan Miller

Once you accomplish something big, do you keep pushing to get better? Or do you settle in?

You can do more than you are currently doing in your life. If you …

Don't Fall in Love With Your Ideas

February 4th, 2020

15:43

We often fall in love with our own ideas. 

When we have time and money invested in an idea, it becomes hard to walk away. 

But if you have been doing it for a while and it is not working, it is probably not going to …

The Three Elements of Strategic Planning

January 28th, 2020

15:22

Strategic Planning does not mean creating a big complex plan. 

The purpose of a strategic plan is simply to make business better. An effective strategic plan only has 3 elements: Customer, Employee, and the Bottom Line. 

How to Handle Disorganized Employees

January 21st, 2020

13:33

If employees are disorganized it can cause problems for you and other employees. 

As a leader, you need to deal with it. Other people are watching and wondering why you are letting this problem continue. 

Sit down with …

Get Ahead in Your Career By Volunteering to Take on More Work

January 14th, 2020

15:43

One of the quickest ways to get ahead in your career is to take on more work and do a great job.

When the opportunity arises, you should volunteer to …

Respect All Employees Not Just the Ones in Nice Suits

January 7th, 2020

16:30

There are times when people of higher positions in an organization feel like they are above other positions. 

Let me be blunt. Some people feel they are hot stuff and don't appreciate the employees who are really making …

Every Day is a New Opportunity to Get Better

December 31st, 2019

18:11

When a new year begins, the only shift I make is getting out my January insert for my DayTimer. 

A new year has no more importance than a new day. 

Many people make the mistake of having a philosophical approach to a …

Your Boss Won't Change

December 24th, 2019

16:09

Many companies focus on results and don't care how you feel. You get a paycheck and they don't owe you anything else, they reason. 

You don't have to …

The Power of Persistence

December 17th, 2019

18:06

In your book, your phone number. What do you do with all the extra phone calls you get?

Believe it or not, I don't get many phone calls. Sure, I get some spam calls. Even when I was the EVP of Disney World, I made …

Being a Parent is the Most Important Leadership Job in the World

December 10th, 2019

21:59

Being a parent is the most important leadership job in the world. 

If you can't have hard discussions and make tough choices, don't become a leader. And definitely don't have kids. 

Parenting can be hard. Especially …

Advice on Careers and Promotions

December 3rd, 2019

17:37

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we answer listener questions about careers and promotions.

How should I dress on my first day at a new job?

Tell People What They are Thinking Before They Ask

November 26th, 2019

14:37

When you have a big announcement to make, you know what people are going to ask. Go ahead and address the big issues upfront before they even have to bring it up. 

If you want to be sure you cover all potential …

Can You Enforce Rules and Still Give a Great Experience

November 19th, 2019

14:34

Is it possible to enforce rules and guidelines and still focus on delivering an excellent customer experience?

At Disney, we are clear to cast …

Create a Culture of Customer Service

November 12th, 2019

18:10

At Disney, it doesn't matter what your job is. We all have the same purpose. 

Take care of the guest.

It doesn't matter if what you are doing for the …

How to Handle a Team Member Resignation

November 5th, 2019

17:31

Every organization has team members resign. Some of the people who leave are popular. Some of them fill an important role in the organization. 

How …

Own Your Attitude

October 29th, 2019

16:42

Your job is not to motivate employees. Your job is to hire the right employees. When you hire the right people they will motivate themselves. 

Not everyone agrees with this idea. Some people feel the main responsibility …

Time Management Impacts Your Reputation

October 22nd, 2019

16:27

How you manage your time is how you manage your reputation. 

Nobody is born disorganized. It is a learned thing. 

With discipline, you can do the right things when you are supposed to do them. 

Time Management Magic is …

What if You are Too Busy for New Customers?

October 15th, 2019

19:16

What if you are so busy you don't have room to fit in a new customer?

It happens. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with our current workload it is …

Is it Better to Get an Education or a Promotion?

October 8th, 2019

14:25

Is it better to get an education or the experience that comes with a promotion?

Education pays off down the road. Take the opportunity to get an education over the chance for a promotion.

Sometimes you have to make …

Get in the Right Environment to Get Work Done

October 1st, 2019

15:11

Early in my career, when I worked at Marriott, I begin working away from my office. A Library was the first place I worked away from the office. 

At Disney, I used to leave my office and work at an unoccupied office or …

Do You Need Brand Name Experience on Your Resume?

September 24th, 2019

14:26

Is it better to have experience with a Brand Name company or a bigger role with a small company?

This is something to consider, especially early in …

Product Knowledge Leads to Better Customer Service

September 17th, 2019

18:16

People are looking for experts to help them. 

The more you know about your products, the more people will trust you. 

Knowing everything you possibly can about the products you offer will lead to better customer …

The Customer is Not Always Right But They are Still a Customer

September 10th, 2019

14:50

 The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer. 

Sure, people are going to take advantage of you. But overall, you still …

Why Every Business Should Have Appearance Guidelines

September 3rd, 2019

15:19

Your people are your brand. The way staff look represents your company to every customer who walks through the door. 

At Disney, we have appearance guidelines because we are putting on a show. If you want to tell a …

Handling Difficult Situations With Employees

August 27th, 2019

18:17

One of the most difficult things you will have to do as a leader is to handle uncomfortable situations with employees. 

Talking to an employee about …

Use the Phone to Build Your Reputation

August 20th, 2019

14:56

For many people, your reputation will reach them before you have the chance to meet them in person. 

Don't underestimate the impact your phone conversations have on people. 

Your demeanor on the phone will help people …

Take Time to Celebrate Milestones

August 13th, 2019

18:34

Taking time to celebrate milestones is an important part of any organizations culture. 

With that, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate episode …

It's Your Responsibility to Develop People

August 6th, 2019

16:01

Some people don't get the development they need at home. Working with you is the first opportunity they have to learn how to be professional and get ahead in life. 

We all have ability and potential if developed …

Get Your Message Out

July 30th, 2019

17:51

If you want to get your message out, you have to do the work. 

Don't count on people hearing your message until you put it directly in front of them. 

Sometimes you have part-time staff who aren't always around. Or …

The Conversation You Should Have With Every Employee

July 23rd, 2019

17:39

When I brought on a new employee at Disney, I would have a 2-hour conversation with them, but we would not talk about work. 

A corporate feeling …

Exploring Offsite Team Building Exercises

July 16th, 2019

17:56

More than ever, it is important to get some of your team out of the office for team building exercises. People are running so fast we don't have time to settle down and think about what to do long term. 

Getting out of …

Implementing the Four Keys to Making Decisions

July 9th, 2019

22:26

At Disney World we use four keys to make decisions. 

The four keys help people understand how to make decisions. 

Here are the four keys:

Safety - Is the decision you are about to make going to be safe?

Courtesy - …

How to Build a Legacy

July 2nd, 2019

20:27

Your legacy is the only thing you can take with you and leave behind. 

As I get older, I think about what I have contributed to the world. More than …

People Who are Included are Committed

June 25th, 2019

15:29

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer several listener questions. 

How does taking care of customers and employees reduce risk?

When you treat people right and are sincere it creates an environment and …

Clarity Creates Magic

June 18th, 2019

18:58

It's not magic that makes it work, it's the way we work that makes it magic. 

And we are able to create the magic with our work through clarity. 

Here is the secret about clarity people aren't talking about...If you are …

How to Stay Connected to Your Team

June 11th, 2019

14:53

Walking through your operation every day, especially the beginning of the day, is the best way to know what is going on. 

When I ran a hotel, I walked the entire hotel every morning. By 7 am, I was aware of every issue …

How to Delegate and Get More Done

June 4th, 2019

18:19

Delegation is hard. But if you want to get more done, you have to delegate work to other people. 

Often, we don't delegate because we think we can do …

The Magic of Masterminds

May 28th, 2019

15:29

Magic happens when you get people in a room together.

We recorded this episode one day after one of my Creating Magic Mastermind events.

People usually come to these events to spend time with me, but the real magic …

A Great Leader Acts as a Bodyguard

May 21st, 2019

18:53

This episode was recorded live at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World. 

Being back at the Contemporary Resort reminded me of some fun stories from my time as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World. …

Making a Connection With Customers

May 14th, 2019

14:49

When people come to a hotel, they want their room. They don't want to get to know the staff. 

How do you balance top-notch service and getting people to their room as quick as possible? There is a way to give customers …

You Don't Need to be a VIP to Treat People Like One

May 7th, 2019

16:17

I started my hospitality career in 1964 working at a Hilton Hotel. This episode was recorded in Hilton in Yakima, WA. 

In 1973, I begin working for Marriott.  When I started my career with Marriott, many of my friends …

Don't Stay Where You Are Not Appreciated

April 30th, 2019

14:44

Don't stay where you are not appreciated.

Good pay and health benefits can make you feel comfortable enough to get stuck in a place you don't want to be.

Even if the pay is good, over time you will become unsatisfied.

I …

Time is Not on Your Side

April 23rd, 2019

24:02

If you want to have success, be healthy, and happy, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to manage your time. 

In this episode, we look and four insights to help you understand time and the impact it …

Attack the Problem Not the Person

April 16th, 2019

16:37

Attack the problem, not the person. 

Often, an incident comes from a poor procedure or lack of clarity. 

At Disney, we dig all the way down and find out why this happened, not focus on blaming the person. Even when …

How to Train Staff With a Limited Budget

April 9th, 2019

14:11

Training and developing staff is one of the most important things for your organization to do. But how can you train your staff when you have a limited budget?

First, discuss the situation with your staff. Let the know …

Why You Shouldn't Get Ready for an Important Guest

April 2nd, 2019

16:55

If you are getting bad service in a restaurant, the problem is the General Manager, not the waiter. 

If you see dirty bathrooms, don't blame the guy who cleans them, the problem is the General Manager. 

If you find …

Make Yourself Available to Staff

March 26th, 2019

17:06

As a leader, one of your top priorities is to be available for staff members to see you. 

When I was at Disney World, I made it clear anyone could …

Why Every Organization Should Use Cross-Training

March 19th, 2019

15:41

At Walt Disney World, we implemented a cross-utilization program at our busiest time to make sure we had enough people to serve our guests.

One time, I was assigned to work at Pecos Bills.

As I was working the front …

Keep Track of Your Problems So You Can Fix Them

March 12th, 2019

16:46

ep track of your problems so you can fix them. 

You have the same problems that show up every week. Pay attention, keep track, and you can fix nearly …

Does the CEO Always Need to Be in the Office?

March 5th, 2019

15:01

Does a CEO always need to be in the office?

There are situations where a CEO or a leader works from home, comes in late, leaves early. 

Does the CEOs presence at work matter in getting the work done?

When I became EVP …

You Are Only One Connection Away

February 26th, 2019

15:48

Should you still aim high for a job you are not qualified for?

Not many people end up with a career in the field they went to college for. But how do …

Culture is Behavior and You Can Change It

February 19th, 2019

18:37

This episode was recorded live in London, England. The audience asked me questions and I answered. 

Here are the questions found on the episode:

What …

Becoming a Servant Leader

February 12th, 2019

14:52

A title does not make you a leader. 

A title may make you a manager, but not a leader. 

In fact, the bigger your title, the less you need to think of yourself and more about the people who count on you. 

It's not about …

How to Handle Losing Money in Business

February 5th, 2019

15:53

Losing money in your business is not an easy thing to deal with. 

When we opened Disneyland Paris, we were losing $1 million each day. Talk about …

Taking Care of Mental Health in the Workplace

January 29th, 2019

16:12

Should employers help employees with mental health issues? Yes, of course. 

But it comes down to the individual supervisor to make something happen. 

How to Ask For a Pay Raise

January 22nd, 2019

19:22

We had a question from a listener who wanted to know how to ask for a pay raise. Truth is, I had never asked for a pay raise. 

I had some ideas, but …

Handle Issues in Private and Praise in Public

January 15th, 2019

17:25

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer a few more questions from attendees of the event in Indianapolis. 

If you handle a work issue …

Speak Up and Share Your Opinion

January 8th, 2019

15:37

Don't be afraid to speak up and share your opinion. 

These days, we've all got to get better faster. The best way to do this is getting input directly from people who are doing the work and the customer. They have more …

Take Control of Your Own Leadership Development

January 1st, 2019

14:46

Leadership comes first. You have to get it right before you work on anything else. Once you get leadership right, everything else will come into line. 

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener …

When Should You Ask For a Pay Raise?

December 25th, 2018

17:31

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?

The One Letter You Should Write Every Year

December 18th, 2018

17:22

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, …

How to Turn Around a Bad Reputation

December 11th, 2018

15:58

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 …

Do You Have the Persistence to Be the Best?

December 4th, 2018

27:07

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 …

Creating Magic With Words

November 27th, 2018

22:29

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 …

How to Build Your Confidence

November 20th, 2018

15:53

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 …

The Path to Creating Magic in Your Life

November 13th, 2018

17:56

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

Jody Maberry pulls out seven listener questions, and I …

Take the Risk or Have the Regret

November 6th, 2018

16:28

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. 

Making Family Your Top Priority

October 30th, 2018

20:13

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 …

How to Have Difficult Conversations

October 23rd, 2018

17:06

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

Terminating someone, in my opinion, is the hardest thing. But …

Three Leadership Qualities You Can't Learn in School

October 16th, 2018

15:11

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 …

How Hard Should You Pursue Your Dream Job?

October 9th, 2018

15:47

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 …

Building a Magic Culture in Your Organization

October 4th, 2018

17:48

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

The Secrets of a Great Resume

October 2nd, 2018

22:25

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 …

Ask Employees How You Can Do Better

September 25th, 2018

15:53

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 …

How to Promote Yourself

September 18th, 2018

15:33

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. …

Create Opportunities by Meeting New People

September 11th, 2018

18:50

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 …

Creating Magic With the Guest Experience Cycle

September 4th, 2018

17:08

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 …

Lead by Example

August 28th, 2018

16:25

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. …

Use 15 Minutes Every Morning to Create Magic

August 24th, 2018

12:51

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 …

How to Make a Shift in the Way You Operate

August 21st, 2018

16:24

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 …

How to be a Great Coworker

August 14th, 2018

15:09

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

Two questions both involve working …

The Manager is Always Responsible

August 7th, 2018

16:29

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 …

Making Old Ideas New Again

July 31st, 2018

13:54

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 …

How to Deal With Gossip

July 24th, 2018

14:06

Gossip can spread through an organization quickly, leaving a wake of confusion, rumors, and hurt feelings. 

You must deal with gossip quickly and clearly. But it all begins when you hire someone. 

Up front, during the …

What Will Your Legacy Be?

July 17th, 2018

16:38

What will your legacy be? Have you taken time to consider this?

This episode of Creating Disney Magic is the second episode recorded live at Urbain 40 with a group from a live Mastermind meeting. You can hear the first …

Don't Underestimate Your Influence

July 10th, 2018

15:55

This episode of Creating Disney Magic was recorded live in Orlando during a private mastermind event. 

Twelve people joined me and Jody Maberry to spend the day talking about business and creating magic. During our time …

Stand Up For Yourself

July 5th, 2018

19:52

In the last episode of Creating Disney Magic, we answered the first half of a series of questions from a listener. After listening to every episode of the podcast, a listener wrote in with a series of questions. The …

If You Believe in Something, Just Keep Going

July 3rd, 2018

17:39

This episode of Creating Disney Magic is a bit different. Let me tell you why; recently someone discovered the podcast and listened to all of the episodes in the catalog. 

After listened to well over 150 episodes, he …

How to Handle Somone Gearing Down for Retirement

June 26th, 2018

14:01

Imagine a basketball team where one player decides to stay in the offensive end of the court because it is easier for him. Running up and down the …

How to Turn a Business Around in 30 Days

June 19th, 2018

14:54

If your business is struggling, it may be hard to hear this, but here is the candid truth...Your business is as good as you want it to be. 

Most business can turn things around in only 2 to 4 weeks. 

In this episode of …

Don't Identify Yourself By the Work You Do

June 12th, 2018

15:03

When you introduce yourself, or someone asks about you, what do you say?

So many people discuss the work they do. This is especially a problem for …

How to Be a Great Long Distance Leader

June 5th, 2018

16:48

Remote teams are just a fact of business life now. There is no going back.

Whether it comes from telecommuting, an organization spread out geographically or working with employees who work from remote locations, most …

Why You Need to Ask Why More Often

May 29th, 2018

14:47

Sometimes you have to ask Why five times to get to the truth. 

What you hear at first is not always the truth. Or not the whole truth, anyway. 

At …

Creative Ways to Find and Hire New Employees

May 22nd, 2018

14:21

When you are searching for people to add to your staff, you have to have a wide approach. 

Don't just post a job opening and hope the right person applies. 

Finding the right person starts long before you have a job …

Delegating Authority During an Emergency

May 15th, 2018

13:58

Emergencies are the extreme example of finding out how well you have done in delegating authority. 

When you have an emergency you have no time for …

Mastering the Four Guest Expectations

May 8th, 2018

16:28

No matter how big or small your organization is, your customers all have the same expectations; 

Make me feel special

Treat me as an individual

Respect me

Have knowledgeable employees

Now, go through these four …

How to Avoid an Us Versus Them Culture

May 1st, 2018

15:47

Have you ever been in a situation at work where it seemed like it was Us versus Them?

When you find this situation it often comes in the form of field staff vs. office staff. 

The problem comes from the top. This …

How Do You Win Back Lost Customers?

April 24th, 2018

15:49

When you lose a customer, is it possible to win them back?

Yes, it is possible, but don't even try to win a customer back unless you are ready to have them back. 

They left you for a reason. Fix the issue that caused …

How to Stand Out in Your Job

April 17th, 2018

14:59

Often, people ask me how to stand out in their job. 

Perhaps they want to know a secret. Something no one has told them before. But it is no secret. …

Creating Magic with Gratitude

April 10th, 2018

16:21

Want to create a magic environment around you? Start with gratitude. 

When you are around someone who is grateful, you can feel it, can't you?

I used …

Facing the Truth About Bad Hires

April 3rd, 2018

14:25

Too often, when we have a bad employee, we assume we made a great hire and something then went wrong with the employee. The truth is, you made a bad hire. 

It is hard to admit, but it is true. 

In this episode of …

Does Getting Fired Ruin Your Reputation?

March 27th, 2018

15:55

Getting fired can feel like a big deal. It can feel like a blow to your confidence and your career. 

When I was younger, I took a job I shouldn't …

Is it Unrealistic to Have Big Dreams?

March 20th, 2018

14:14

Walt Disney was a dreamer. Some would say he was unrealistic. Some would say he was unreasonable. 

But without his dreams, there would be no Mickey …

It's Time to Take Care of the Customer

March 13th, 2018

14:29

On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, a listener asks what I think is the biggest opportunity for the service industry. 

We've tried everything else, now let's take care of the customer. 

No gimmicks. No marketing …

Don't Stay Where You are Not Happy

March 6th, 2018

14:17

This week I answer two listener questions. Although the details are different, both questions are in the same line of "my boss doesn't listen".

Yes, it happens. There are some lousy bosses out there. People are …

Planning for Disruptions

February 27th, 2018

15:54

If your organization has not experienced a major disruption in the past couple of years it is coming. 

Technology changes so fast, you may not even …

How to Have A Magical Job Interview

February 20th, 2018

16:16

In my younger days, I had trouble talking about myself. They even called me "Low Key Lee" because I kept to myself. So you might not be surprised to hear I did not interview well. 

But as I became an expert and became …

Incremental Sales Can Boost Your Bottom Line

February 13th, 2018

14:24

Many businesses are missing a big opportunity by not finding the right time to make incremental sales. 

Or you could call it situational selling. In …

Why Are Routines Important?

February 6th, 2018

20:12

Many people set resolutions to start a new year. Most of those people don't follow through. 

Usually, by February, people have already given up on …

Does Customer Service Hurt the Bottom Line?

January 30th, 2018

15:39

Focusing on numbers and neglecting the customer has become too common.

When times get tough, companies cut costs, often at the expense of customer service. Is that the right move? Does customer service really hurt the …

Overcoming the Experience Gap

January 23rd, 2018

15:51

Anytime you get a promotion, especially when you are young, you may face an experience gap. Whether the experience gap is real or perceived, you have to address it. 

When I was in the hospitality industry, I spent time …

How to Build Trust With Your Supervisor

January 16th, 2018

14:22

Building trust with your supervisor is an art. All of us, well, most of us, want to build enough trust so we get more autonomy and responsibility in our job. 

If you want to build trust with your boss, you begin with …

Building an Employee Referral System

January 9th, 2018

16:04

At Disney World, we are always on the lookout for good people to become cast members. When we realized some of our best new cast members were referred by current cast members, we made a program out of it. 

We had cards …

Is it Your Job to Motivate Employees?

January 1st, 2018

16:40

Often, people ask me about how to motivate employees. My answer...you shouldn't motivate employees. 

Of course, you should appreciate, recognize and …

Speak Up for What You Believe In

December 26th, 2017

19:15

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, …

Overcoming Challenges (Recorded Live with an Audience)

December 19th, 2017

13:01

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 …

Why Most Companies Get Hiring Wrong

December 12th, 2017

15:01

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 …

Excellent Service Comes from Excellent Training

December 5th, 2017

14:48

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 …

How to Become a Culture Manager

November 28th, 2017

16:57

In this episode, we talk about Jeff Merhige, executive director of Camp Widjiwagan. Jeff applied what he learned in Creating Magic to find new ways to serve better. Jeff wanted to be great, and now the Camp he runs in …

The Power of Appreciation

November 21st, 2017

16:01

When I spoke to the Tennessee Air National Guard, the Colonel surprised me with a challenge coin. 

A challenge coin is usually an award for …

Exceeding Expectations Through Innovation

November 14th, 2017

15:31

This episode of Creating Disney Magic was recorded live at the Nashville airport.

After 3 presentations in Nashville, we were waiting at the Nashville airport and took the time to record. You will like the fun, …

What Should You Do if You Don't Get a Promotion?

November 7th, 2017

15:12

Have you ever been passed up for a promotion?

How did you handle it?

If you feel you have been overlooked, there are a couple of ways you can deal with it. 

When you don't get a promotion can do nothing. Or you can …

How Should You Approach a New Job?

October 31st, 2017

14:55

When you start a new job, should you add your personal flavor right away? Or should you sit back and see how the new organization and staff operate? 

Is Technology the Answer for Time Management?

October 24th, 2017

16:48

Often, people ask me about time management. It is a common question because I wrote Time Management Magic, and so many people struggle with getting work done. 

People are overwhelmed and are looking for an answer. This …

The Real Reason People Ignore Your Brand

October 17th, 2017

14:19

Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand, returns as a guest on Creating Disney Magic to talk about why people are ignoring your brand. 

Every …

Building a StoryBrand

October 10th, 2017

16:58

Nobody really cares about your story. Rather than hear your story, they want to be invited into a story where they can play the hero.

Disney has excelled by inviting people into a story. But do you have to be Disney to …

The Magic of Clarity With Business Partners

October 3rd, 2017

15:36

This episode we celebrate the 150th episode of Creating Disney Magic. 

On this episode, we take on two listener questions. We talk about what to look for when you partner someone in business. At Disney, we were clear on …

Improving Customer Service by Traveling

September 26th, 2017

18:08

I recently returned from a tour through several countries including Russia, Czech Republic Austria, and Hong Kong. 

It reminded me how traveling and gaining a new experience can help you serve people better. 

You are …

Becoming Qualified is the Key to Making More Money

September 19th, 2017

15:15

When I was at Disney and someone would tell me they wanted more money, my answer was almost always "yes." But probably not in the way you think. 

Implementing the Disney Great Leadership Strategies

September 12th, 2017

19:13

There was a time when I was running Walt Disney World when I was frustrated we were not improving customer service quick enough. At the same time, we were not moving quickly enough to build trust with cast members. 

How to Handle Angry Customers

September 5th, 2017

18:01

In every organization and every business, we have to deal with angry customers. 

Some of them are so angry the situation can be hard to diffuse. 

When a family saves money for years to visit Disney and something goes …

Holding Contractors to a High Standard

August 29th, 2017

17:26

This week a listener asked a question about whether a company should hire employees or contractors. 

Sometimes organizations let contractors get away …

The One Question You Should Ask Every Employee

August 22nd, 2017

15:01

When I was in charge of East Coast Food & Beverage Operations for Marriott, I would stop by a hotel and meet with the waitresses and waiters. I …

How to Handle an Exit Interview

August 15th, 2017

13:09

When you leave a position, you are often asked to do an exit interview. How should you handle it?

If you are taking a position in the same company, …

The Candid Truth About Candor

August 8th, 2017

16:41

How candid are you with the people you care about? 

Candor does not show up as often as it should. But you can't have a healthy workplace without …

Are You Willing to Take a Risk?

August 1st, 2017

14:38

If you have been to Disney World, you may have enjoyed a great meal at the California Grill. You may not realize the story behind what it took to create such a great restaurant. 

California Grill may seem like a …

Introducing New Employees to Your Culture

July 25th, 2017

15:19

When you hire a new employee it can be difficult to introduce her to your company culture.

This week, I answer a listener question from someone who …

Work Life Balance is a Myth

July 18th, 2017

15:54

Work Life balance is a myth. You only have one life and it includes work, family, and your personal life. You have to get all those elements in rhythm, not balance. 

Here are three you can maintain the right rhythm in …

Why Aren't You Reaching for a Great Life?

July 11th, 2017

16:52

Do you have a great life? If not, what not? A great life is within your reach, but you have to decide you want a better life. 

"What if" are words Lou Mongello did want haunting him later in life. So he left his job as …

What Was it Like to Open Disneyland Paris?

July 4th, 2017

16:53

Twenty-Five years ago Disneyland Paris opened. On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I reflect on the experience of being involved in opening the …

Dealing With Criticism

June 27th, 2017

16:43

How do you handle criticism?

Criticism can be hard to take. Personally, I used to feel stung when someone criticized me, even if they were trying to help.

When you make a mistake or receive criticism, the only way to …

Continuous Improvement Should Be Part of Your Culture

June 20th, 2017

14:10

If you did not learn something new yesterday, you weren't paying attention. Every day is a chance to get better.

To be successful, one of the most …

Don't Get Stuck Doing What You Don't Want to Do

June 13th, 2017

17:18

This week on Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener question about changing college majors. But it leads to a conversation that is important to …

How to Use Checklists to Improve Productivity

June 6th, 2017

16:01

When people question the importance of checklists, I quickly mention pilots as an example. Would you like your pilot to fly the plane using a …

Measuring Key Performance Indicators

May 30th, 2017

15:43

Measuring Key Performance Indicators are part of the culture at Disney. Cast members know what we are reaching for and how our performance measures …

Should You Talk Politics at Work?

May 23rd, 2017

16:03

Politics is a tricky subject to talk about in the workplace. No matter which political side you agree with, you are likely to offend or incite …

Living the Disney Experience

May 16th, 2017

17:16

After hosting Creating Disney Magic for over two years, Jody Maberry spent four days at Walt Disney World. This gave him first-hand experience of the concepts I talk about every week on the show. 

In this episode, Jody …

Should You Take Advantage of Competitor's Mistakes?

May 9th, 2017

15:21

When your competitor makes a mistake, should you take advantage of it?

United Airlines has been in the news lately for mistreating customers. This is …

Why You Need to Plan Your Day

May 2nd, 2017

14:57

Imagine what it would be like if you went on vacation without planning first. You would pay more for a flight. You would end up staying in a hotel …

Successful Leaders are Self Aware

April 25th, 2017

18:28

One key trait in becoming a successful lead is self-awareness.

To become self-aware, you need people who are willing to speak into your life. You …

Overcoming Resistance to Change

April 18th, 2017

13:37

Implementing change can be hard. 

A new policy can bump into many roadblocks, including seniority. 

Before you make a change, you have to understand …

Are You Offending Your Customers?

April 11th, 2017

15:36

Too many organizations overreact when a customer does something negative.

Look at the signs you see at most organizations. What language do the signs use?

You see words like "Don't", "Prohibited", "No".

All words your …

How to Fire an Employee with Compassion

April 4th, 2017

16:01

There will come a time when you have to fire an employee. Whether they can't get the job done anymore, or the requirements of the job have changed, there are situations when you have to let someone go.

Depending on who …

Women in Leadership Roles

March 28th, 2017

16:40

Change comes slowly in some organizations. It is not just organizations that change slowly. Even in some countries, change can take longer than you …

How Can You Inspire Yourself?

March 21st, 2017

16:03

How do inspire yourself?

For me, inspiration comes from doing what I love. I focus on being a teacher and helping people grow. When I receive a note from someone explaining how Time Management Magic, or one of my other …

How Can a Small Business Compete With Big Business?

March 14th, 2017

16:57

Often, small businesses have an advantage over big businesses. I know, it doesn't always feel like you have the advantage, but you can get to know your customers better. 

A big business may have a lot more products, …

Making Employee Accommodations

March 7th, 2017

16:20

Always remember, employees are unique people. We all have our individual needs. At times, we may need accommodations to keep the rhythm between professional and personal life in sync. 

In this episode of Creating Disney …

Implementing New Ideas in your Business

February 28th, 2017

12:43

Good ideas are everywhere. You can learn something new to apply in your business by visiting competitors or even other businesses in a different …

Managing Time Conflicts

February 21st, 2017

13:48

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer a listener question about managing time conflicts. 

Specifically, he asks about dealing with …

Removing Hassles for Customers

February 14th, 2017

15:43

To create a magical experience for your customer, you need to identify and remove any hassle the customer may encounter. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we examine how you identify what is getting in the way …

What If You Can't Impact Change?

February 7th, 2017

18:20

Is it possible to initiate change if you are not in a leadership position? 

Some organizations are reluctant to change. Sometimes a boss can think they know everything. 

All you can do is to finesse in a change. Ask …

Introducing the Time Management Magic Course

February 2nd, 2017

15:37

The Time Management Magic Online Course is now available. 

Based on the book, Time Management Magic, this course goes deeper into the content and concepts behind the book. The book introduced you to the idea of Time …

How Leaders Can Build Trust

January 31st, 2017

15:26

Today, many people are skeptical of leadership. How can you overcome this?

People will remain skeptical until you build trust. You have to show you are credible, reliable, do what you say you are going to do, keep your …

Is There an "It" Factor?

January 24th, 2017

14:09

Is there an "It" factor? Do some leaders just get it? 

Yes, some leaders have it and some don't. But it is possible for you to learn it, enhance it, build it. You have to understand your impact on the people around …

Communicating with Vendors

January 17th, 2017

17:00

In this episode, Lee discusses communication with vendors. A key to working with vendors is to get as much information as you can and be prepared. With more knowledge, you will understand if you are getting treated …

When Does it Make Sense to Take a Voluntary Demotion?

January 10th, 2017

15:04

Does it ever make sense to take a voluntary demotion? 

At one point in Lee's career, he took a voluntary demotion when he was passed over for a …

Should You Give a Gift to a Supervisor?

January 3rd, 2017

14:26

During the holidays, gift giving can be awkward. Should you give a gift to your supervisor? As a supervisor, should you accept gifts from employees?

Do you have to be an Extrovert to Succeed?

December 27th, 2016

14:24

Recently, a listener to Creating Disney Magic wrote in and said that it seems that Lee makes negative comments about introverts. 

In this episode, Lee addresses the listener complaint, but he also examines introverts. …

Managing Change in an Organization

December 20th, 2016

14:36

Everyone organization will experience change. Change is healthy. 

The problem is people want everything to be the same, but they also want change. So change, even if it is good, can be disruptive. You have to manage …

Be Determined to Make it Happen

December 13th, 2016

14:01

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares a travel story that nearly ruined his plans. Bad weather and canceled flights threatened Lee's chance to make a flight to South Africa for five speaking …

Lessons From Opening 100 Marriott Hotels

December 6th, 2016

15:01

During his time at Marriott, Lee opened 100 new hotels. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee shares what how Marriott was able to open so many hotels in a short amount of time. 

When you expand and open a new …

The Real Reason Work Doesn't Get Done

November 29th, 2016

15:41

Sometimes work doesn't get done because of team members. Sometimes work doesn't get done because of bad policies, poor communication, or a number of …

Is it OK to be Average?

November 22nd, 2016

14:21

If not everyone can be the best is it okay to accept being average? We often put a wrong spin on success. Success is measured by happiness not by money.

Listen in as Lee talks about what success looks like and what you …

How to Be Consistent with Employee Discipline

November 15th, 2016

14:11

When it comes to employee discipline, you must remain consistent and fair. 

At Disney World, with over 73,000 cast members, the only way to remain consistent and fair is to have a documented system in place. In order to …

Working with Remote Teams

November 8th, 2016

13:25

It is becoming more common to have team members who are working from remote locations. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee tackles the challenge of communicating and leading a remote team. 

For managing …

The Value of Unannounced Visits

November 1st, 2016

16:41

When Lee Cockerell was the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World, he would schedule visits at various properties. But he also made sure he …

How to Balance Between Service and Budget

October 25th, 2016

17:04

Creating Disney Magic has hit the 100 episode milestone. Lee Cockerell and Jody Maberry reflect on the past 100 episodes and then answer a listener question. 

Lee talks about the struggle of the balance of having enough …

Creating Magic in Your Career

October 18th, 2016

17:19

Lee Cockerell's fourth book, Career Magic, is now available. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee discusses stories from the book and gives valuable career advice.  

CLICK HERE to order Career Magic from …

How to Handle Unexpected Success

October 11th, 2016

14:36

The hit movie Frozen was an unexpected success for Disney. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell discusses how Disney handled the success. Lee also talks about how you can handle unexpected success in …

Attitude Makes the Difference

October 4th, 2016

14:06

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell answers two listener questions, both about attitude. 

Attitude makes the difference in they way you serve customers and guests. Attitude will set you and your …

Tips on Getting Hired at Disney

September 27th, 2016

15:26

Often, Lee Cockerell gets questions about how to get hired at Disney. 

Truth is, it is not easy to get hired at Disney World. It gets harder when you can not afford, in salary or the step back in your career, to take an …

Getting Paid is Good Customer Service

September 20th, 2016

18:14

Do you ever have trouble getting paid what you are owed?

A collection problem can be the beginning of the end of a business. 

In this episode of …

Combining Technology and Service

September 13th, 2016

16:37

Applied the right way, in the right situations, technology can help you create magic and serve customers better. Applied in the wrong way, technology …

Should you be Social Friends with Employees?

September 6th, 2016

15:57

Is there a downside to being social friends with people who report directly to you?

It can turn into a difficult situation. The more you get to know …

The Story Behind Disney Pins

August 30th, 2016

15:40

While Disney was preparing for the millennium celebration, some cast members recommended Disney adopt the idea of tradable pins. The cast members had been at the Olympics and noticed athletes traded pins to each other. …

Maintaning High Standards

August 23rd, 2016

18:51

Maintaining high standards can be a challenge in any setting. It becomes even more difficult when you have a large company, are dispersed …

Why Traditions are Getting in Your Way

August 16th, 2016

14:53

Recently, Disney began to allow facial hair. Through guest surveys and rigorous examination, Disney realized an old policy had become a tradition. …

Retail the Disney Way

August 9th, 2016

14:21

If you have ever been to Disney World and made a retail purchase, you probably noticed how well the cashier treated you. Rather than going through the motion, a cast member working in retail engages customers and adds …

Partnering With Your Boss

August 2nd, 2016

15:43

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares about his relationship with Al Weiss, who was Lee's direct supervisor at Disney World. The great relationship Lee had with Al allowed them to partner …

Be Nice to Everyone on the Way Up

July 26th, 2016

16:02

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell shares how a relationship Lee built at Marriott led to an eventual job offer at Disney. 

Relationships and connections you make early in your career can have an …

Dealing With Tragedy

July 19th, 2016

14:35

Lately, it seems we hear about a new tragedy every day. Even Disney World, the happiest place on earth, is not immune from tragedy. 

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell talks about how to deal with …

When Should You Leave Your Job?

July 12th, 2016

15:24

Do you ever find yourself wondering if it is time to leave your job? Do you wish it was Friday, even though it was only Monday morning?

Showing up every day to a job you don't enjoy and where you are not appreciated can …

Customer Service Stories

July 5th, 2016

14:21

We have many examples of customer service stories in our lives. Most of them are bad. In fact, we probably have come to expect poor service. There are times when we get service so good we want to share the experience …

Helping Employees Return to Work

June 27th, 2016

16:24

Employees have personal issues. Sometimes those issues will require time away from work and with that, a transition back to work. 

In this episode, Lee Cockerell discusses how to handle employee's personal issue. He …

Preparing Students for Job Interviews

June 21st, 2016

16:55

If you have a student in your life, this episode of Creating Disney Magic will provide insight to help them interview and prepare for their first job. Lee offers ideas to prepare for an interview, how to conduct …

Do the Hard Stuff First

June 14th, 2016

16:15

"If you want your time to count, you must count your time." - Kary Oberbrunner

If you want to do the most important work and have the most impact, …

Should Companies be Involved in Community Service?

June 7th, 2016

13:48

Should companies be involved in community service?

At Disney, there is a culture of helping the community. Cast members work hard and put in long …

Seven Guest Service Guidelines

May 31st, 2016

15:49

If you have met Lee Cockerell in person, there is a good chance he handed you a bookmark. The bookmark is a promotion piece that includes information on all of his books. 

The bookmark also includes Disney's Seven …

Dealing with a Bully in the Workplace

May 24th, 2016

14:43

If you have a bully in the workplace, it is going to have a negative impact on productivity and employee morale. 

As a leader, if you have a bully in …

Leading a Discouraged Team

May 17th, 2016

13:50

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic Lee answers a listener question about leading a discouraged team. 

If you take on a leadership role with a …

Leading People Older Than You

May 10th, 2016

16:55

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 …

Onstage Service vs Backstage Service

May 3rd, 2016

15:04

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

Maintaning Employee Morale

April 26th, 2016

12:51

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. …

Customer Service in Government

April 19th, 2016

13:09

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 …

Metrics and Measurement

April 12th, 2016

14:30

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 …

Empowing Front Line Staff

April 5th, 2016

12:33

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 …

Improving Customer Service

March 29th, 2016

13:29

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 …

The Difference Between Training and Development

March 22nd, 2016

14:40

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 …

Can a Leader Be Too Nice?

March 15th, 2016

13:54

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 …

Anxiety Update

March 8th, 2016

16:55

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 …

Working With Difficult Coworkers

March 1st, 2016

14:43

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 …

Making a Career Pivot

February 23rd, 2016

15:54

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 …

Creating Magic in the Classroom

February 16th, 2016

15:01

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 …

Planning for Interruptions

February 9th, 2016

13:52

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, …

Motivating Performace

February 2nd, 2016

16:26

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. 

Make Today Better Than Yesterday

January 26th, 2016

13:18

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 …

Dealing With Anxiety

January 19th, 2016

27:48

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

After years of pushing himself for success and …

How to Brainstorm Effectively

January 12th, 2016

13:18

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

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell …

Evaluating Risk

January 5th, 2016

13:30

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 …

Customers Do Not Come First

December 29th, 2015

13:40

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 …

Managing a Merge

December 22nd, 2015

13:52

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

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains …

How to Become an Expert

December 15th, 2015

12:17

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 …

How to Give the Perfect Gift

December 8th, 2015

12:41

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 …

Customer Service Lessons from a Waiter

December 1st, 2015

13:45

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 …

Seconds Matter

November 24th, 2015

15:21

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 …

Manage by Walking Around

November 17th, 2015

13:58

When Lee Cockerell was a hotel general manager, he would walk around the hotel. Three times each day he would walk through the hotel, greeting staff …

Dealing With a Disruptive Employee

November 9th, 2015

14:16

Lee Cockerell answers listener questions in this episode. 

How do you deal with an ambitious worker who causes a disruptive environment? 

How should …

Should You Attend Every Meeting?

November 3rd, 2015

13:42

In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell answers listeners questions. 

Should you attend every meeting you are invited to attend?

What …

Creating Work Life Balance

October 26th, 2015

15:04

To create balance at both work and home you need to be clear about what you need  to get done at both work and in your personal life. 

True balance comes when everyone in your life is happy. If you are happy, but your …

Creating a Culture in any Organization

October 20th, 2015

16:18

You need to decide what culture you want and introduce it to everyone in the organization through clear expectations. 

The way the leader acts …

How to Have Effective Meetings

October 13th, 2015

14:42

There are two types of meetings, either to give out information or to make decisions. Understanding the difference between the two types of meetings …

Creating a Mission Statement

October 6th, 2015

15:25

In any organization, we all have different jobs, but there should be a single purpose everyone is working towards. 

A mission statement does not have …

Improving Employee Communication with Bob Burg

September 29th, 2015

16:19

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 …

Creating Exceptional Value with Bob Burg

September 22nd, 2015

16:57

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 …

Dealing With Depression

September 15th, 2015

13:04

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.

How to Handle Customers Complaints

September 8th, 2015

15:56

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 …

How to Handle Performance Reviews

September 1st, 2015

16:33

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 …

The Thrive15 Effect with Clay Clark

August 25th, 2015

19:47

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 …

Climbing the Leadership Staircase

August 18th, 2015

15:57

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 …

Motivation Based Interviewing with Carol Quinn

August 11th, 2015

14:48

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 …

The Impact of Mentors

August 4th, 2015

15:44

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 …

Leading Through Conflict

July 28th, 2015

17:05

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

The Power of Podcasting with Lou Mongello

July 21st, 2015

16:00

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

Lee …

Becoming an Entrepreneur with Lou Mongello

July 14th, 2015

16:37

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 …

Two Pillars of Great Parenting

July 7th, 2015

14:35

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 …

Transitioning From the Military

June 30th, 2015

15:29

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 …

How to Handle Emergencies

June 23rd, 2015

14:53

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 …

Meeting With Employees

June 16th, 2015

14:56

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 …

How to Solve a Problem

June 9th, 2015

17:01

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 …

Exercise Will Make You a Better Leader

June 2nd, 2015

15:23

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 …

Your Attitude Will Set You Apart

May 26th, 2015

16:16

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 …

Leaders are Readers

May 19th, 2015

15:39

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 …

The Value of a Good Story

May 12th, 2015

15:40

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 …

How to Hire Outstanding People

May 5th, 2015

17:07

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. 

Why it Matters to Look Professional

April 28th, 2015

13:47

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 …

How to Manage Your Reputation

April 21st, 2015

14:31

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 …

Advice on Writing

April 14th, 2015

15:46

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 …

Excellence Through Clear Expectations

April 7th, 2015

14:02

One of the keys to creating magic is having high expectations. You can use training to set clear expectations for everyone on your team. 

Training is important to any organization, but training does not have an impact …

A Look at Walt Disney

March 31st, 2015

15:07

Lee Cockerell never met Walt Disney. In this episode Lee discusses what he would have asked Walt Disney if they had met. Lee also discusses other …

How to Get the Most Out of Training

March 24th, 2015

15:33

When you attend training or a conference, just being there is not enough. You need to get the most out of the training. 

Lee Cockerell offers advice on how to get the most out of any training, conference, or class you …

What it Means to Be a Professional

March 17th, 2015

14:28

Being a professional means more than dressing nice. Being a professional is an attitude and a decision to act a certain way. A professional adds value in any situation. 

Lee Cockerell also explains how companies give …

Why You Need Better Processes

March 10th, 2015

14:57

Many organizations get off track with bad policies and processes. Customers see it and feel it, but often, an organization does not realize the …

Developing Young Leaders

March 3rd, 2015

14:54

Developing college and high school students into leaders gives them a head start in life. Lee addresses how students can begin to develop as leaders …

How to Give a Great Presentation

February 24th, 2015

15:00

Lee Cockerell tells the story about growing from a shy young man who dropped out of speech class in college to becoming a keynote speaker. He also …

Creating a Disney Culture in Paris

February 17th, 2015

14:30

When Lee Cockerell took a job with Disney he moved to Paris and hired 200 managers for a new resort. In this episode Lee explains how he created a …

Customer Service as a Competitive Advantage

February 10th, 2015

13:45

If your business relies on a product as a competitive advantage, it is only a matter of time before you begin to lose customers. Other business can match your product, but your service will set you apart. 

Excellent …

You are Putting on a Show Every Day

February 3rd, 2015

14:20

When the doors open at your business, it is as if the curtain opens for a show. 

To put on a great show, it takes everyone in your organization to …

Customer Service is Not a Department

January 27th, 2015

13:15

Have you ever called a company with a question or concern only to be transferred to a customer service department?

Lee Cockerell explains that customer service is not a department. Instead, customer service is an …

Helping Others Become Great

January 20th, 2015

13:48

Don't underestimate the influence you have on other people. As a leader, it is your responsibility to help those around you become great. 

Lee Cockerell explains how you can help others live up to their potential. 

Lee …

Is Your Time Management Effective?

January 15th, 2015

15:00

Is your Time Management Effective?


In this episode, Lee Cockerell explains how to effectively manage time and get more done. All of us have the same …

Are You Overworked or Under-Organized?

January 13th, 2015

14:44

Most people can get 50% more done with their time. Being overworked is not the problem. Being under-organized is the problem.

In Lee Cockerell's new book, Time Management Magic, he outlines the exact system he used to …

What is the Main Street Diary?

January 6th, 2015

11:59

Lee Cockerell explains how he used a weekly newsletter, the Main Street Diary, to build connections with Disney Cast Members. The Main Street Diary …

Customer Service From a 12 Year Old

December 30th, 2014

16:16

Lee Cockerell asked his 12 year old granddaughter what makes great customer service. Her simple answer of "Be Nice" can have a profound impact on …

Everyone Has Flies

December 23rd, 2014

14:34

Lee Cockerell explains an early lesson he learned from Bill Marriott. 

This lesson about flies at a hotel stuck with Lee through the rest of his career. Understanding the concept of "Everyone Has Flies" caused Lee to …

Disney Does Not Have Employees

December 23rd, 2014

12:57

Everyone who works for Disney is a cast member, not an employee. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell explains why they are called …

Lee Cockerell's Story

December 22nd, 2014

18:50

Creating Disney Magic with Lee Cockerell delivers lessons in leadership, management, and customer service. 

In this introductory episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee Cockerell tells his story, beginning with growing up …

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