017 – Leadership Magic from the Happiest Place on Earth, with Lee Cockerell
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Lee Cockerell is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. As the Senior Operating Executive for ten years, Lee led a team of 40,000 Cast Members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping & entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world.
One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Lee has held various executive positions in the hospitality and entertainment business with Hilton Hotels for 8 years and the Marriott Corporation for 17 years before joining Disney in 1990 to open the Disneyland Paris project.
Click to Tweet: Lee Cockerell, former EVP of Ops for Walt Disney World shares who had the most significant impact on his career. https://yourbestmanager.com/leecockerell
Lee Cockerell Interview – Key Takeaways:
- 2:35 Lee Cockerell Career Path
- 2:35 Why Lee wrote Career Magic: How To Stay On Track To Achieve A Stellar Career
- 3:24 Lee’s Career Path
- 4:13 “Your better times are probably ahead of you, it’s never too late to get better, it’s never too late to try something else, don’t give up.”
- 6:47 Who was Lee’s Best Manager?
- 8:01 Getting over being defensive
- 8:29 “People don’t want to work with defensive people that are never wrong and who think it’s always someone else’s fault.” (Tweet This)
- 9:42 How to overcome a defensive attitude
- 13:35 The biggest leadership challenge Lee has faced
- Dealing with the hard things: terminating someone or having a hard conversation about their performance
- 16:30 Lee’s Most Magical Disney Experience
- 16:35 Lee tells a story about how his leadership team and cast members stepped up during 911
- 17:04 “We’d hired the right people, we trained them properly and we’d treated them properly.”
- 19:10 What’s Exciting Lee Cockerell today?
- Family… Lee’s Priorities
- 19:19 Time Management Magic: How To Get More Done Every Day And Move From Surviving To Thriving
- 22:09 The Value of Personal and Professional Self-Development
- 22:57 You can educate yourself. It doesn’t matter where you are from
- 23:45 “If you can’t do it yourself, go get someone to help you.” (Tweet This)
- 25:26 Lee’s Final Words of Encouragement
- “Never, never, never underestimate what you can achieve and never underestimate the impact you can have on other people every day.” (Tweet This)
Interesting Links & Resources:
LeeCockerell.com – Lee Cockerell offers speeches, seminars and consulting services to share leadership lessons learned over 40 years in the hospitality industry
Creating Disney Magic: Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service
Podcast By Lee Cockerell
Free Management Course: Fully Engaged in 10 Days – Learn Three Critical Components to Increasing Employee Engagement on Your Team