Disney theme parks are filled with magic. You can see it in the faces of every kid and kid at heart. But the secret to making Disney magic is not as mysterious as you might think.
It all comes down to people. By hiring the right people, Disney establishes a strong foundation of talented, passionate people who deliver a signature experience for their visitors. But a slow, intentional hiring process is only the beginning. There’s still training, culture creation, and taking risks.
Our guest today was the mastermind behind all of that for many, many years.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Lee Cockerell and I talk about his journey from working as a banquet waiter to ending his career as the Head of Operations for Disney theme parks in the U.S. Listen in as we talk about how Lee used a positive attitude and self-discipline to move forward in life.
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Clarity is everything
Any parent knows the frustration of repeating yourself to your kids. Everything from cleaning their room, to remembering to flush the toilet, to keeping their elbows off the table. Retention requires repetition.
However, if your communication isn’t clear it doesn’t matter how often you repeat yourself. The same thing applies to our work.
At Disney theme parks you rarely see a confused guest. There are maps, signs, and cast members everywhere. Each attraction is clearly marked and guests know where to find food and fun. Clarity is key.
In this episode, Lee and I discuss:
- Starting a new job with zero experience
- Launching a Disney Park in Paris without speaking French
- The immeasurable benefits of traveling and living abroad
- How changing your environment leads to person growth
- Two essential characteristics of versatility
- The detrimental impact of a bad attitude
- Cultivating discipline as a competitive advantage
- Creating a legacy of character
- The positive correlation between hard work and satisfaction
- Avoiding survival mode and the fear of getting stuck
- An integral key to forging a successful career path
- The courage to step up and take the risks
- Intentionally spending time on activities that provide value
- Three truths to unlocking time management magic
- Big struggles of time management for teams
- Clarity as the secret sauce
Quotes and Takeaways
- ”Do the hard things. It will make life easier for you.” —Lee Cockerell
- “You don’t realize how much you don’t know until you get into a new situation” —Lee Cockerell
- “If you have a good attitude and you’re organized, you can get by for a long time” —Lee Cockerell
- “Learn to have resilience, be organized, and keep your promises.” —Lee Cockerell
- “A life without risks is a shame. The fun is out there on the edge.” —Lee Cockerell
- “Be a person who doesn’t have to know everything.” —Lee Cockerell
- “Manage like a mother. They’re tough, but they’re looking out for you.” —Lee Cockerell
- Creating Disney Magic podcast with Lee Cockerell and Jody Maberry
- Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney by Lee Cockerell
- The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell
- Time Management Magic: How To Get More Done Every Day And Move From Surviving To Thriving by Lee Cockerell
- Thrive15.com (Use promo code “magic” for 30 days free)