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Rank #200 in Management category

Business
Careers
Management

Creating Disney Magic

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #200 in Management category

Business
Careers
Management
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

347 Ratings
Average Ratings
324
9
6
6
2

Must listen leadership podcast

By Scoops1801 - Sep 23 2019
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Lee has become my leadership and guest service conscience through his shared expertise in both his books as well as the podcast. Jody is a first class moderator who guides the show in a way that keeps things reasonable for time but topics are well discussed.

Very old fashioned

By It Aint Good - Sep 10 2019
Read more
The hosts were prompted with a question about their bad theme song, instead of being open to change it they said “brands don’t change it is in the brand” brands change constantly and when receiving bad feedback, brands usually do something to appeal to their audience which makes their audience feel heard. The hosts seem slightly out of touch

iTunes Ratings

347 Ratings
Average Ratings
324
9
6
6
2

Must listen leadership podcast

By Scoops1801 - Sep 23 2019
Read more
Lee has become my leadership and guest service conscience through his shared expertise in both his books as well as the podcast. Jody is a first class moderator who guides the show in a way that keeps things reasonable for time but topics are well discussed.

Very old fashioned

By It Aint Good - Sep 10 2019
Read more
The hosts were prompted with a question about their bad theme song, instead of being open to change it they said “brands don’t change it is in the brand” brands change constantly and when receiving bad feedback, brands usually do something to appeal to their audience which makes their audience feel heard. The hosts seem slightly out of touch

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Cover image of Creating Disney Magic

Creating Disney Magic

Updated 7 days ago

Read more

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.

Dealing with a Bully in the Workplace

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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 the workplace you have to address it promptly and directly. Nobody has the right to intimidate another person.  Even if you are the boss, you have no right to damage the self-esteem of another person. You have to stay on top of the situation until you see the bully has changed or has been terminated. 

If you are the one who has been targeted by a bully,  you need to either report the situation or leave the organization. If the bully is your supervisor, continue to do your best work while you look for another job. 

If you are aware of a bullying situation that you are not involved in, you have an obligation to report it. Human Resources will want to resolve the situation, but may not be aware of what is happening. 

Follow the Creating Disney Magic Podcast on Facebook

May 24 2016

14mins

Play

Maintaning Employee Morale

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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 26 2016

12mins

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How Leaders Can Build Trust

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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 promises. That is how you build trust and begin to create an environment where people are not skeptical of leadership. 

Connect with us on Facebook on the Creating Disney Magic Podcast Page

Jan 31 2017

15mins

Play

How to Stand Out in Your Job

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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. Most people know what to do, but they don't.

If you want to stand out, focus on the basics. If you focus on these five things, you will stand out about anyone else you work with;

First impressions are important.

Be an expert in something

Find a way to get better every day.

Add value above what is expected of you.

Have a great attitude.

Be better than everyone else. Get to work early, raise your hand to take on the hard tasks, work when your boss needs you to work, be willing to do long stretches of hard work when it is necessary.

To give a simple answer...raise your expectations for your performance. Now try to meet those expectations. Keep expecting more of yourself. 

If you want to hear more on this topic, listen to this episode of the Jody Maberry Show. I also contribute some insight on that episode. 

In this episode, we mention Magical Vacation Planner. If you want to take a trip to Disney, you will want to talk to them. You can even fill out this form to get more information. 

Apr 17 2018

14mins

Play

When Does it Make Sense to Take a Voluntary Demotion?

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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 promotion. In this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Lee explains the situation that led to the voluntary and why it was good for his career. 

Get Lee's newest book, Career Magic, HERE.

If you want to be one of the first to know when the Time Management Magic Course is ready, get on the list HERE

Jan 10 2017

15mins

Play

Time Management Impacts Your Reputation

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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 not just a book, it is a way of thinking. 

Most of my career success can be attributed to 3 things; organization, time management, and persistence. 

But you can't just focus on work, you need to keep your whole life under control. If you don't take the time to plan the life you want, you will spend a lot of time living the life you don't want. 

My book, Time Management Magic will help you understand the things in your life you should be working on. Your reputation is at stake. 

Oct 22 2019

16mins

Play

Creating Magic with Gratitude

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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 to think about what I didn't have and complain about it. At some point in my career, I became more grateful for what I do have. You know what, life became more enjoyable. 

When you are grateful for what you have, you begin to treat people better. People around you seem to be happier. It is like taking magic with you everywhere you go. 

Gratitude is not limited to individuals. Organizations can be grateful, too. At Disney and Marriott, leaders go out of their way to make sure people matter and know they matter. Disney is the cast members. We appreciate them and in turn, cast members appreciate Disney. 

Gratitude in your organization begins with you. Even if you are not at the top of the organizational chart, you can intervene and make the environment around you better. 

Apr 10 2018

16mins

Play

The Difference Between Training and Development

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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 22 2016

14mins

Play

Mastering the Four Guest Expectations

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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 expectations with your team and figure out how you can master them. You will have to be deliberate to master these four areas. Discuss each expectation individually and figure out what it means for you and your organization. 

If you master these four expectations you will stand out from the competition. Customers will become so loyal they won't even think about going to the competition. 

May 08 2018

16mins

Play

How to Have Effective Meetings

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There are two types of meetings, either to give out information or to make decisions. Understanding the difference between the two types of meetings will determine who should be at the meeting. 

If you want to have an effective meeting, the first step is to determine if you should even have a meeting. If it is vital to have a meeting, be prepared, have an agenda and keep it as short as possible. If you start on time and stop on time, you will begin to have meetings people will look forward to showing up for. 

Would you consider leaving a review for Creating Disney Magic? You can do that here

Find out more about Lee Cockerell's Time Management Course

Oct 13 2015

14mins

Play

Can a Leader Be Too Nice?

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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 15 2016

13mins

Play

How to Give a Great Presentation

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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 offers tips on how you can give great presentations. 

Lee also gives advice on getting the job you want by doing the best you possibly can at the job you have now. 

Feb 24 2015

15mins

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Manage by Walking Around

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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 members and inspecting rooms. 

What are the benefits of managing by walking around?

Staff will see you every day. You can build relationships you would not if you were behind a desk. You can see what really happens in your business. 

If you are interested in Lee's Time Management Magic course, you can find out more here

Creating Disney Magic has a new Facebook Page. Joins Us!

Nov 17 2015

13mins

Play

How to Have A Magical Job Interview

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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 more confident, I became better at job interviews. 

Looking back on my career, I realize there are three things to help you create magic in a job interview;

  1. Talk about what you are passionate about. There needs to be something you are so good at and so passionate about you can talk about it all day long. For example, I am passionate about Time Management. In a job interview, I would work it in as much as possible. 
  2. Know the company before the interview. Study all aspects of the company before you sit across from the hiring manager. 
  3. Talk about the human side of business. When you discuss the importance of a strong culture and the value of proper training it will show what you value most, which is the people in the organization. 

Here is a bonus tip...you get the job before you have the interview. 

At Disney, we often knew who we were going to promote when the job came open. Reputation and results are what gets you from one job to the next. 

Build connections and a strong body of work long before you go for the next big job. 

Feb 20 2018

16mins

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Why Are Routines Important?

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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 losing weight, reading more books, or whatever resolution they set. 

They key is to do things on purpose. Or, said another way, routines. 

Routines are systems to help you get done what you need to get done. Can you imagine FedEx or IBM or Disney doing what they do without systems? 

Your life is no different. You need the routines to keep your life under control and moving in the right direction. 

Routine may feel boring. But you don't want it to be exciting. You don't want fires breaking out all around you and each day to be unpredictable. 

My Time Management Magic course can help you develop proper routines and get more done every day. You can find out more here

Feb 06 2018

20mins

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Customer Service as a Competitive Advantage

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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 customer service can be the best competitive advantage. 

Lee also discusses how entire communities can came together to offer great service and ensure tourists continue to return. 

Feb 10 2015

13mins

Play

Everyone Has Flies

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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 take responsibility of any problem and grab a flyswatter to attack the problem. 

Lee also discusses the impact time management had on his career and personal life. Lee's upcoming book, Time Managment Magic, outlines the system Lee uses to manage his own time. 

Dec 23 2014

14mins

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Is it Unrealistic to Have Big Dreams?

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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 Mouse. No Snow White. No Disneyland or Disney World. 

If you have big dreams, people are going to tell you that you can't do it or you are being unrealistic. 

Remember, when someone tells you something can't be done, they are talking about their limitations, not yours. Don't listen to them. Take your shot so you don't have regrets later in life. 

People who create change don't listen to the negative people. Block them out and find ways to make things happen. 

Mar 20 2018

14mins

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Excellence Through Clear Expectations

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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 if it is not followed by testing and enforcement. Training and enforcement create excellence because it builds confidence. 

Apr 07 2015

14mins

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Don't Identify Yourself By the Work You Do

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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 those of us in the United States. 

Be careful about becoming who you work for instead of who you are. 

Some people never recover from having a big-ego job. I get it. Those jobs make other people think you matter. Or, that is what you think, anyway.

When I retired, people would ask me if it was hard to leave a high position at Disney. No. It wasn't hard to retire, even though I was Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World. 

During my career, I never really identified myself with Hilton, Marriott, or Disney. I worked for Lee Cockerell. 

People get attached to their job because they work for a high profile company, or have a big position. It leads them to stay too long or keep doing work that doesn't make them happy. 

Next time you introduce yourself, remember this...who you are is more important than what you do. 

Jun 12 2018

15mins

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Advice on Careers and Promotions

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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?

Before your first day, you should already have an idea of the culture of the company and the way people dress for work. On your first day, dress slightly better than the usual work appearance. It is better to show up a little overdressed than underdressed. 

People do judge you on how you look. Make sure you look professional. 

What would you tell an employee who wants a raise beyond the usual annual raise?

The simple answer is to tell them the truth. Often, people want a bigger raise because of the amount of time they have been in their job. But they are in a job that doesn't pay more than they are earning. Tell them the truth about what it would take to get a job that will pay them more. 

During my entire career, I never asked for a raise. I just kept doing my best and kept getting promotions. With each promotion, I made more money. If you become the type of employee your company won't want to be without, you will always have a better chance for a raise. 

What if I am so good at my current job my boss won't promote me?

You have to have a candid conversation with your supervisor to find out what it will take to move up to the next level. If you are a great performer, having this conversation won't impact your job. If you are going to raise your performance, you need to know what your supervisor expects. 

I used to ask my boss, "Are you telling your boss something about me you are not telling me?" I made it as easy as possible for my boss to tell me how I could do better. 

Your job and career have to be good for you, not just for the company.

If you want to read about my career and the lessons I learned along the way, check out my book, Career Magic.

Dec 03 2019

17mins

Play

Tell People What They are Thinking Before They Ask

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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 questions, get a team together. Talk about what questions, concerns, and issues people are going to have with the announcement. Come up with 5 or 6 questions you know people are going to have and include the information in your announcement. 

Anticipating the problems and addressing the issues upfront will soften any pushback you might get. 

As an example, At Disney, when we moved from paying people weekly to every other week and moved from paper checks to direct deposit only we knew this may cause concerns for some cast members. 

Since we knew people would have some issues, in advance, we put together a process to help people set up a bank account if needed. Or help them set up direct deposit into their bank account. Offering the help upfront made adopting the new system easier for the people it would impact the most. 

Working through this process will help you find ways you can help people. 

Don't lay it out and tell people it is their problem. Problems caused to employees are your problems, too. Work with them to ease the concerns before they become problems. 

Get it down to the basics. This will cover the biggest issues. One-off questions can be handled by individual managers. 

Nov 26 2019

14mins

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Can You Enforce Rules and Still Give a Great Experience

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

At Disney, we are clear to cast members about the responsibility to enforce rules and be polite at the same time. 

No matter what rule or policy you have, there will be someone who does not like it. 

Always remain polite and courteous and explain why the policy is in place. And be consistent about enforcing the policy. 

You probably already know the 5 or 6 policies you have in place a customer might complain about. Train employees on how to answer and handle those complaints. Don't wait for people to complain before you help employees. Be proactive. 

You can also find ways to serve the customer while enforcing a policy. When you visit DisneyWorld, we provide lockers so a guest can put something away if they are not allowed to bring it into the park. 

Nov 19 2019

14mins

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Create a Culture of Customer Service

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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 guest is in your job description. 

A culture of customer service doesn't happen by accident. It has to be part of your culture. It has to be repeated. People have to hear it over and over. 

No matter what your job is, your purpose is to take care of the guests. 

At Disney, our purpose was to make sure guests have the most fabulous time of their lives, no matter what your job title is. 

When all 80,000 cast members at Disney World focuses on this purpose, a guest will have an unbelievable experience when they least expect it. 

Imagine someone working in security being able to tell you what the specials are at the restaurant. Something like doesn't happen. Except it does at Disney. Taking care of the guest is baked into our culture. 

Hire the right people. Train them. Explain expectations. Give them examples. And then let them take care of the customers. Hold them accountable. And role model what you want to see from employees. 

Customer service is not a department. It is a way of doing business.  

Nov 12 2019

18mins

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How to Handle a Team Member Resignation

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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 you handle the resignation will have an impact on other employees. 

Begin by telling the right people in the right order about the resignation. Doing so will eliminate the wrong story getting into the rumor mill. Within a couple of hours, everyone who needs to know should know. Then you can let other team members know. 

Communicate quickly and keep it positive. 

At Disney, I had senior executives leave the company for better opportunities. I didn't want them to leave, but people are going to do what is best for them and their careers. 

Don't burn bridges. Always keep it positive whether you are the one leaving or someone left behind. 

When I left Marriott, I told Bill Marriott first. Then I talked to my direct boss. I even helped them work on transitioning a new person into my role. 

Marriott treated me well over the years. When I left, I wanted to treat them well, too. And I did not take any people with me to Disney, even though there were people who wanted the opportunity to join me at Euro Disney. 

Remember, your career does not revolve around a single company. And you shouldn't expect anyone else to have their career revolve around your organization.

Nov 05 2019

17mins

Play

Own Your Attitude

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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 of a leader is to motivate employees. 

During my career, I have had obstacles, bad bosses, bad work situations, bad pay, lots of stress, bad work environments, and in all of those circumstances, I motivated myself. 

You own your own motivation. You own your own development. And your attitude. No one else is responsible for your motivation. 

At Disney, we hired people with the right attitude and gave them a professional, respectful environment to work in. Our job was to train them and development. But cast members owned their own motivation and outcome. 

As a supervisor, if someone has a bad attitude, you will never motivate them. 

As an employee, you will eventually run into a boss who doesn't like you and doesn't work well with you. You will still have to do a good job. 

If you want to learn more about the ups and downs of my career, check out my book, Career Magic

"Only you are responsible for your happiness and your health." - Sunshine Payne

Oct 29 2019

16mins

Play

Time Management Impacts Your Reputation

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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 not just a book, it is a way of thinking. 

Most of my career success can be attributed to 3 things; organization, time management, and persistence. 

But you can't just focus on work, you need to keep your whole life under control. If you don't take the time to plan the life you want, you will spend a lot of time living the life you don't want. 

My book, Time Management Magic will help you understand the things in your life you should be working on. Your reputation is at stake. 

Oct 22 2019

16mins

Play

What if You are Too Busy for New Customers?

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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 difficult to fit in new customers. 

But you should never leave it to someone else to get back to you. Put in a system where you get back to a potential customer without putting the burden on them.  

If you leave it to a potential customer to get back to you, they will find someone else to do business with. Don't let a customer try a competitor before you even get the chance to serve them. 

Make it easy to do business with you, and more people will do business with you. 

If you put a system in place where you call back customers and keep communicating with them they will be willing to wait. 

Don't string along a customer, but keep the contact alive. 

Most people are so disorganized they will forget about you if you don't keep reminding them. 

Don't just think about how busy you are right now and let them walk away. Consider the lifetime value of a customer. 

Most customers, when they find someone great, will stay with you. Make sure people get the chance to experience how good you are. 

If you keep these ideas in mind, people will be glad to wait for you:

Make every customer feel special. 

Treat people respectfully. 

Be reliable and credible. 

People will wait for quality. 

Have the attitude that you are the giving one. Treat people special, even if they are not yet a customer. 

If you can't serve someone, recommend someone else who can help them. Even if you don't make the immediate sale. People will remember how you treat them. Be the giving one. 

Oct 15 2019

19mins

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Is it Better to Get an Education or a Promotion?

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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 decisions that will pay off later. Passing up the temporary rewards of promotion in favor of getting an education is one of those times. 

A promotion pays off now, with more money and responsibility. But you can get that and more if you get an education.  

Promoting too fast can even take away the opportunity to get experience, exposure, and education to help you later in your career. 

Do the hard things now so you can have a better life down the road. 

Oct 08 2019

14mins

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Get in the Right Environment to Get Work Done

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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 work from the California Grill when it wasn't open. 

Now, I still do work away from my office, which is in my house. 

There are too many distractions at home. My productivity has gone up while working from a local coffee shop.

When you are working outside your usual setting, you get more inspired. For me, I get more energy. 

Put yourself in the right environment to get the work done. 

There are jobs where you can't leave to work in a different environment. But you could still consider doing paperwork, catch up work, or your planning time away from where you work.  

Working in the right environment will help you move items from your ToDo list to your Done list. The more you get done, the better your life will become. 

Oct 01 2019

15mins

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Do You Need Brand Name Experience on Your Resume?

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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 your career. 

When you have a brand name like Disney on your resume, people notice. If you have worked at Disney or Marriott, other organizations will know you have received a high level of training and know how to serve customers. 

On the other hand, you may be able to get a better spot at a smaller company to gain experience. Leadership experience with any organization can be valuable. 

Smaller companies can be risky, though. Are you willing to take on more risk? Or, do you want a more comfortable and stable job?

Hilton, Marriott, and Disney provided brand name experience for me. But I was also willing to move for the right opportunity. So I had the best of both worlds; brand name experience with the chance to take new roles for the experience. 

Don't worry too much about the first 5 to 10 years of your career. Get as much experience and exposure as you can. 

No matter what job you take, do a great job. Focus on making yourself better every day. If you do that, it won't matter as much what job you have and which company you work for. 

For more insight into my career, check out my book Career Magic

Sep 24 2019

14mins

Play

Product Knowledge Leads to Better Customer Service

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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 service. 

Product knowledge doesn't happen by accident. You have to be deliberate. Schedule time to get out in your operation and see what is really happening. Use your product in the way customers will use your product. 

If you are going to make it happen, you have to schedule it. Do it on purpose. When you are done, schedule when you will do it again. Never let up on the pressure and pursuit to know more about your product and how a customer does business with you. 

Knowledge will help you control the business. You will know what is going on and people will want to help you. 

If you work with vendors and third parties, it is your responsibility to make your expectations clear and hold them to a standard. 

Don't recommend a product, service, or person unless you have first-hand knowledge. 

Click Here to get my free Morning Magic Planner.

Sep 17 2019

18mins

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

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 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 shouldn't make your policies too strict because a few people will take advantage of you. 

Treat the customer like they matter to you. 

Mr. Marriott told me, "Always give the customer the benefit of the doubt." Go in favor of the customer. 

If you find a trend or something, in particular, getting abused and it becomes a problem, then you can make a policy dealing with it. 

If a request is unreasonable, it may be time for the manager to get involved. But you will be better off given front line staff the ability to deal with customer requests. 

Customers are more likely to continue to do business with you if you treat them with respect and make it easy to do business with you. 

You will have to continue to find ways to get better faster. And find ways to serve customers in new ways. 

Sep 10 2019

14mins

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Why Every Business Should Have Appearance Guidelines

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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 story people will believe, everyone has to look like the part they are playing in the show. 

Every business should have appearance guidelines. Staff should be dressed to fit the theme of your business. What do customers expect employees to look like when they visit your business? 

Now put guidelines in place to govern clothes, hair, tattoos and other aspects of appearance your customers will see. 

Don't make the mistake of thinking appearance only matters to companies like Disney. Every business is putting on a show. Appearance matters. 

Giving attention to appearance guidelines is one way you can begin to build your reputation. 

When it comes to implementing appearance guidelines, consider what message you want to send to your customers. Appearance guidelines will also give clarity to people upfront which will help people decide if they want to be part of the show you are putting on. 

Sep 03 2019

15mins

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Handling Difficult Situations With Employees

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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 their behavior is hard. Terminating people is probably the hardest thing you will have to do. 

All of the hardest things you have to do at work, and in life, involve people. Decisions about products are easy. 

Unfortunately, too many people don't deal with the hard things. By letting it go, you are making your life harder. And you are not doing any favors to the other person either. By not dealing with the situation, you are holding them back from improving their life. 

When difficult situations happen, a tough conversation or even termination, it won't feel good but you shouldn't feel guilty about it. 

Remember, if you don't deal with the situation it will only get worse. These things don't get better on their own. 

Aug 27 2019

18mins

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Use the Phone to Build Your Reputation

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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 know you are respectful, professional, helpful and will show people they can ask you hard questions. Phone conversations will help you build trust with people. 

Don't do phone calls on a whim. Prepare for a call so you know what you want to accomplish while you are on the phone. Look something up about the other person before you talk to them. Don't let a phone call be a blind conversation. 

When you handle phone calls the right way, people will feel like they already know you before they even get to meet you in person. 

When you answer your phone, say your name. Cut out the confusion. "Hello, this is Lee." Right away, people will know who they are talking to. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions and have a short personal conversation when you are on the phone. People want to feel like they matter. If you only stick to business when you call, you can't build a relationship. In a 30 second conversation, you may get an answer to your questions, but you won't learn much about a person. And you won't make them feel special. 

Aug 20 2019

14mins

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Take Time to Celebrate Milestones

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

With that, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate episode 250 of Creating Disney Magic. 

Over the past 5 years, with each episode approximately 15 minutes long, we have produced more than 62 hours of lessons in leadership, management and customer service. If you have listened to the episodes, with only 15 minutes once per week, you have accumulated a lot of information. Perhaps more information than if you took a university course on leadership. It doesn't take much to make a big difference. 

Another lesson from creating 250 episodes, is if you get started you can create something special. But you have to get started, put in the time to do the work and you can become an expert. When Jody Maberry and I started this podcast we didn't know where it would go or what it would become. 

Here is the most important lesson from this episode, you need to take the time to celebrate milestones. Everyone likes to be recognized and celebrated. Plus, when you celebrate milestones and accomplishments, it shows other people what it takes to get recognized. As people understand what types of situations you celebrate, it helps build culture. 

We all want positive comments and feedback. Take a moment to celebrate yourself and those around you. 

If you want to help me celebrate the 250 episode milestone, would you consider leaving a rating and review for the podcast? Here is a direct link to leave an iTunes review. If you listen in another platform and they allow reviews, please go ahead and leave a review there. 

Thank you for your support. We wouldn't have gotten to 250 episodes without you. 

Aug 13 2019

18mins

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It's Your Responsibility to Develop People

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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 properly. But not everyone gets the development they need to be successful. 

As a leader, your responsibility goes beyond technical training. Upfront, let them know what matters. Be clear. Then teach them how to be great. 

Developing employees helps your customers, but it also flows out into their personal life. 

One of the most satisfying things in your life is the impact you have on other people. 

Be a teacher. Not a boss. 

Aug 06 2019

16mins

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Get Your Message Out

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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 staff on different shifts. 

Use technology to make sure all staff members hear the same message no matter what time they work. Or, move around meeting times. If you want to figure it out, you will figure it out. 

Don't worry about annoying staff by getting your message out so often. Worry more about making sure you are clear. 

Write out what you expect, why you do what you do, and what employees can expect. 

If you want to get your message out, you will have to say it over and over. When you feel like you are saying it too much, people are just now beginning to pay attention. You have to get the message to staff on different shifts and in different ways. 

Jul 30 2019

17mins

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The Conversation You Should Have With Every Employee

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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 meeting can leave a new employee feeling unsettled. A one on one meeting to find out more about them as a person sets them at ease and welcomes them to the company.

Having a  conversation without talking about work gives a new employee a positive onboarding experience. 

During our talk, I  wanted to get to know them; their background, family, kids, and jobs they have had in the past. I would let them know I expect them to take care of their family before they take care of work. 

People need to know what they can expect when trying to juggle personal life and work life. 

The better you get to know people, the better you can work together. 

Jul 23 2019

17mins

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