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Creating Disney Magic
15 minutes | 11 hours ago
Three Ps of Getting a Promotion
Recently, Jody and I were on a training call with an organization. One of the attendees asked what I used to look for when I was thinking of promoting somebody. It comes down to the 3 P’s: persistence, passion, and people. Persistence means being an employee that others can count on. It’s finishing the job no matter what. It’s never leaving anything hanging. When we are persistent, others can’t help but notice. We quickly build trust with others because, every time they work with us, things get done. Everyone wants to work with someone like that. Because most of our decisions in life come from our interactions with people, those who are persistent develop strong reputations. They are likely the first to be considered when there is a promotion. The second P is passion. When you are passionate about something, you’d still do it if you weren’t paid. Even when it’s difficult, you still love it and choose to do it over everything else. Passionate employees don’t need to be motivated because they motivate themselves. This is often the mark of a great performer, which leads them to get a promotion. Finally, people can help you get promoted. When I was in my 20s, I was extremely introverted and insecure. I went for a job interview in Chicago and didn’t do very well. However, the person who recommended me told the hiring team that I was a great fit for the job and they still chose to hire me. That’s the power of people. So, network within your own company to make sure people know you and will vouch for you. Most people haven’t seen you in action, so you need to do the work of finding someone who will advocate for you when a promotion arises. These 3 P’s outweigh skill every time. You can’t train someone to be persistent, passionate, or to have the right people on their side. It’s just who they are. You’ll learn the skills that will allow you to do the job well once you have it but having these 3 P’s is the only way to catch the eye of the person promoting you.
18 minutes | 7 days ago
How to Improve Customer Service
You can’t lead from your office with your feet on the desk. One of our listeners works under a boss who is likely leading that way. That listener recently asked how to bring up to their manager that their customer service was poor. Ideally, the owner of an organization would have clear expectations for providing feedback. Bosses should make it clear that they are willing to hearing employees’ ideas for how the business can be better. It is the boss’ job to create an environment and culture where employees want to, can, and have the resources, training, and trust to do a great job. If this isn’t the case, the boss may be afraid of the extra work or cost that changes will create for them. They may need training on better customer service or more experience with brave employees telling them what needs to be fixed. Without improving customer service, you will lose out on a variety of things. You may lose customers as there are countless other companies (with better customer service) where they can go to get what they want. You could also lose market share and even your reputation. If you don’t know how your service is perceived by customers, you have to get out and about. Walk the operation as your customers do. At Disney, I would schedule time in my day to get out and talk to customers, stand in lines, go to restaurants, observe what was going on, and have casual conversations with customers. This is the only way you’ll see what needs to be fixed. Once you recognize those things, that is what you need to work on for the rest of the day. If you want to learn more about customer service, there is an entire course on it in The Cockerell Academy. Find out more at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
19 minutes | 14 days ago
Presenting New Ideas to Your Boss
If you’ve worked at a company for any length of time, you’ve probably come up with some ideas for how it could improve. It’s hard when you get excited about something and bring it to your boss, only to have them shut it down. On this episode, we’re answering a listener question about this very subject. This listener explained that when she gives ideas to her boss, he always shoots them down. It’s become such an issue for her that it’s affecting her growth and happiness. She wrote in to ask for better ways to present her new ideas and get her supervisor to be less fearful about trying new things. There are many possible reasons a boss would shut down an idea. It may be that the idea just isn’t good. However, it could also be that the boss doesn’t want to put in the effort. Start with analyzing the ideas you’re bringing. Are you presenting them in enough detail? Are you explaining the end result of the changes you’re presenting? Have you thought through what will happen if you don’t implement this idea? It’s part of your boss’s job to sift through ideas he or she receives. If it’s not solving a problem for them, they probably won’t be apt to consider it. At some point, though, it’ll come down to two choices for you. Wait it out until that boss leaves the company or move on yourself. If you’re wired to do new things and think you have great ideas, it can feel like a slap in the face to have them continually shot down. This has happened twice in my own career. I didn’t align well with my boss and I felt like they weren’t listening, so I moved on. To hear more about this issue and learn ways I liked to be approached with new ideas in my time at Disney, tune in to the rest of the episode. If you have another question you’d like us to answer on the show, reach out at http://leecockerell.com or http://jodymaberry.com.
19 minutes | 21 days ago
Using Habits to Overcome Depression
I’ve been very open about my struggle with depression in the past. Though I am doing great now, I still remember what it was like. A listener recently told us that they were just coming out of their own struggle with depression, but were feeling overwhelmed with building back their healthy habits. This is not something that I want to be an expert in, but the truth is that I am. We can’t expect everything to be fixed immediately. We didn’t fall into depression overnight, so we won’t come out of it overnight, either. It’s a process that takes time. However, there are things you can be doing to jumpstart that process. Some of the things that helped me were getting out into the sun, exercising, and spending time with other people. I didn’t always feel like doing these things, but I forced myself. Eventually, they brought healing and made me feel much better. Another helpful practice was scheduling my priorities. Get into your calendar and put the habits in there that you want to start again. Schedule the things that will help you. You can establish a new routine this way. Be very mindful about the way you’re treating your body, as well. Caffeine and alcohol can be really harmful. Pay attention to the way your body reacts to certain foods at certain times. Take any stressful things you can out of your life and try to keep an environment of calmness around you. Always make sure to get lots of sleep, too. That can make the biggest difference of all. Hopefully, my openness encourages you to be honest with the people around you. If you’re honest about your struggle, the people in your life can help you. On the other hand, the stress of keeping it a secret can be even worse than the depression itself. We always take your questions like this one and keep them on file, so if you have another question or topic you’d like us to talk about, reach out to me or Jody at http://www.leecockerell.com or http://www.jodymaberry.com.
16 minutes | a month ago
How to Show You Have Leadership Skills
It’s performance review time for many organizations. Towards the end of a year or the beginning of a new year, many companies will hold these reviews for their employees. They look back on what each one worked on and accomplished over the last year. On this episode, we’re discussing performance reviews from a different perspective than we have before. A listener asked how she, as an individual contributor, could demonstrate and document leadership skills to her supervisors during her performance review. First, you must understand what leadership really is. Don’t overcomplicate it. Leadership is about stepping up, raising your hand, and giving your opinion. It is doing whatever is necessary to make things better in your organization. Leaders take on responsibility and don’t back down from hard things. You have to demonstrate this leadership ability to your supervisors clearly. They’re busy, so they might not notice when you do something great. Don’t be afraid of self-promotion. If you don’t tell people something, they just won’t know. So make sure you get noticed. Go to your supervisor and tell them of your aspirations. If you’ve gotten involved and done great work, make sure they know about it. They’ll either tell you what you need to do to get where you want to go or will remember you when a promotion opportunity arises. If they’re not helping you advance, consider leaving. Go someplace where they will help you get what you want. To learn more about how to get your supervisors to notice your performance at work, listen in to the rest of this episode.
21 minutes | a month ago
Make Your Boss the Hero with Ron Logan
This week’s episode is a special one. We’re sharing a clip from our conversation with Ron Logan. Ron is retired now, but he was the Executive Vice President of live entertainment for Disney worldwide. If you have ever experienced live entertainment at any Disney location, Ron had a part in it. Even though he is retired today, his impact is still felt at every Disney park. Ron is a man of attention to detail and creativity. He wouldn’t send anything out unless it was perfect. He even brought some of the shows he produced at Disney to Broadway, which is no easy task to accomplish. In our conversation, Ron talked about his beginnings with Disney. He started out as a trumpet player on Main Street at Disneyland. This led to him putting whole parades together and eventually coming back to work for Disney full-time. A lot of Ron’s success resulted from his interactions with his bosses. He had lots of amazing mentors, but he also had some bosses he didn’t like. His secret was to treat them as the hero. If you have to deal with top executives in your job, make them your hero. Make their jobs easier and you’ll be in a much better position. Tuck away your problems with them and keep the faith. Who knows, maybe you’ll take their spot one day. You can get access to our entire conversation with Ron inside the Cockerell Academy. There is also a lot of exclusive content from me and amazing courses that teach high-level concepts you didn’t learn in college. Find out more about the academy at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
17 minutes | a month ago
Are You Helping or Enabling?
Are you helping or enabling? Do you know the difference between the two? Listener Greg Parsons recently asked us what the difference is. On this episode, we’re breaking it down and explaining how you can tell if you’re helping or enabling. Helping is setting clear expectations and sticking to them. It is teaching somebody how to do something and then letting them go off on their own to do it. When you work with someone to make them responsible, you are helping them. Enabling, on the other hand, is doing something for somebody that they should have done themselves. It is not enforcing the expectations that we have set. When we enable, we’re giving people permission. We’re telling them that we actually didn’t mean what we said. In the long run, this hurts them. We need tough love instead. By helping the person take responsibility we are showing them that we care. If you have a problem that’s recurring, you might actually be the problem. By seeing the same behavior over and over again and doing nothing about it, you’re allowing it to continue to happen. Stop taking the easy way out and letting things go. Instead, educate, inspire, and hold people accountable. In this way, you’re helping them. If you want to hear more from Jody and I, tune in to our guest episodes on the podcast How That Happened. You can find Jody’s episode here and my episode here.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
What to do After a Crisis
On this week’s episode, we’re answering a question that came to us from Joe Fernandez. He is a Park Ranger and is wondering how to respond well to a crisis. Joe wants to know how he can continue to lead with a positive attitude during times of uncertainty. At Disney, we were prepared for anything. We thought about crises before they happened. You should do the same. Anticipate what could happen and make sure that you’re ready for all of it. Think about what resources you’ll need and which people you will need to go to for help. You can be ready for most things, even if you don’t know the specifics of what will happen. When a crisis does occur, do any follow-up necessary to get back to normal operations. At Disney, everyone who had a piece in dealing with a crisis would sit down afterward. We would reflect on what happened, what went right, and what could have gone better. During a crisis, you don’t have a lot of time to sit and reflect. So make the space to do it after the fact. This will make sure that you respond better the next time something happens. We’re all experiencing something along these lines with the pandemic. Use this experience to prepare you for anything else that may come along in your life or your organization.
17 minutes | 2 months ago
Don't Be Late - Your Reputation is on the Line
One important key in time management is realizing that being late is a choice. Too many of us think it’s a phenomenon. In reality, we can make the choice to be on time or we can make the choice to be late. When we become that person who is always five minutes late, our reputation is damaged. People start to believe they can’t trust you. You appear unprofessional and impolite to the people who are left waiting. Your lateness starts to become a joke. You are no longer seen as reliable or credible. You’ll get into all kinds of other trouble when you’re late. You could miss flights, let people down, make bad decisions, and miss important information. A listener named Jennifer struggles with this exact problem. She wrote to tell us that she’s heard a lot about what to do with your time, but wants to hear about how to actually get places on time. One key is to become more aware of what’s going on. Know the trends in traffic and the events that happen over and over again. It may also help to get up earlier and plan out your day. You could even consider getting to appointments an hour early to read and get some work done. Tune into this episode to hear more advice on how to be punctual. We also teach about time management in The Cockerell Academy. Learn more at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
20 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Communicate as a Leader
People feel they are the only one until you say it out loud. In a recent training session, I gave this advice when someone asked about communication. I wanted those leaders and I want all of you to understand that by not speaking up when someone says something you don’t agree with, you’re approving it. This all comes down to communicating effectively as a leader. We need to make sure that we are always clear and honest when we speak with our teams. Anything that could or might happen (whether good or bad) talk about it. Your team wants to know the rules so they won’t get penalized. Train them in those rules and then support them when they follow them. On the flip side, if we don’t practice clarity as a leader, people will assume where you stand. Unless you tell people what you believe, they won’t know for sure. You don’t want them guessing. So communicate your values, the way you work, what you believe in, and anything else you want to be clear about. This applies to all people you communicate with. Whether they’re above you or below you, make sure your message remains the same. Always be honest--the truth is always the best route. To learn more about leadership and communication join us in the Cockerell Academy - www.cockerellacademy.com
19 minutes | 2 months ago
Tip on Becoming a Speaker
Everyone has a story they can tell. If you’re good at anything and have a message that can help people, you can become a speaker. It just takes habit and practice. Listener Steve Ross asked how I knew the time was right to become a keynote speaker. I started by speaking at conventions that came to Disney and eventually started working and traveling with a company for a year. I also did lots of free speaking, which helped me develop the skill more than anything else. Through these experiences, I learned that speaking is like anything else. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get. The more you practice, the better you become. If you have trouble speaking, remember to tell a story and not a speech. People love personal examples from your own life. Use those and other things that you’re passionate about. Any time you have the opportunity to stand up and give your opinion, take it; that’s what speaking is all about. Start getting into the habit of speaking by finding volunteer opportunities. There are so many out there. Find people that need help and offer to speak for them for free. Do your research and find relevant examples each time you speak. Above all, don’t stop practicing. Keep doing it and keep getting better at it. Over time, you’ll begin to see what’s most important to people. Your message will get a lot clearer. Listen to audience feedback and questions and hone your message from there. Join us in the Cockerell Academy. Find more information here - www.cockerellacademy.com
27 minutes | 3 months ago
How Being Resilient Can Impact Your Career
Team sports are all about learning to rely on others and taking responsibility for your own actions. No matter what each player looks like or where they come from, they all work together to accomplish the goal. Reggie Williams learned this lesson during his 14 years as an NFL star. He experienced incredible hardships, but through the entire process developed resiliency. Many people don’t overcome difficulties in their lives. They get angry, get in trouble, and give up. However, Reggie overcame obstacles many of us couldn’t imagine. He credits this to his upbringing. His parents emphasized the power of education from a young age. He learned to seek the truth, which provided the foundation from which he navigated many adversities in his life. Reggie has spent a lot of his life building bonds that last. In relationships, you receive not only companionship but also a reservoir of truth. If you stop kidding yourself and operate in that truth, you can deal with amazing challenges. When Reggie joined Disney, he learned so many things he hadn’t in his time at college and in the NFL. He learned how to operate a business and what true leadership looks like: not doing things your way, but the right way. To hear more of Reggie’s story and the raw truth he has to share, get his book, Resilient by Nature. You can find it here - Resilient by Nature.
13 minutes | 3 months ago
Do You Have to Pay Your Dues to Have Influence?
Are you required to put in enough time on the job to get respect or have influence? Someone who listens to the Creating Disney Magic said they have been given a responsibility that is higher than their experience. However, they’re confident about their knowledge. Sometimes, they feel like their colleagues don’t take them seriously because they’re underage for their role and asked for tips on how to develop tact, influence, and authority in everyday leadership while being welcoming, caring, and nice. This is a problem all over the world. Young people are entering the workforce while the older generation is in the middle of their careers or on their way out. There is a pervasive mentality that you have to pay your dues before you get your shot. However, the world doesn’t work that way. I didn’t finish college myself but took on highly responsible positions from a young age. I had people from Harvard, Stanford, and other big schools reporting to me. It was clear that they were annoyed, but it wasn’t my fault. All you can do in this position is to continue to do your job with excellence. Performance outweighs all else. Be professional and do your job every day the best you can. If you do your thing and do it well, people will eventually come around. If they don’t, there’s something in their wiring or some other issue they need to work through that’s the cause. Just smile and do the best you can to work through it. You can control your performance, but you can’t control what others will do or think or say about you. Even when you’re the same age as people, some will still not like working with you. They might think you didn’t go to the right school, didn’t work for the right company before, or didn’t take the right courses. All you can do is stay focused and responsible. No matter your age or position, you can become a better leader by what you will learn in the Cockerell Academy.
15 minutes | 3 months ago
Invest in Training for Employees
Not only does training benefit the employees of a company, but it benefits the company itself, too. As we’ve talked about in previous episodes, when you spend time and money on someone, it shows them that they matter and that you care about them. They understand just how valued they are. Training also builds trust. Your people will say good things about you behind your back when you invest in them. It creates a powerful environment between the two of you, which is contagious. Other employees will pick up on that culture and want to be trained themselves. When employees are properly trained, they take better care of your customers. They do their jobs much better. Training is an investment, but it has a huge payoff later. Employees who are confident and care about the company will earn your money back. They’ll grow and be worth more. When you need to fill a position, one of your trained employees can be promoted and you won’t have to spend the time and money to go out and recruit someone new. Finally, training gets all of your employees on the same page. You can know they’ve all received the same message and training. The company is greatly benefitted by this. We’re already talking with many companies about instituting the Cockerell Academy as the training program in their companies. This is one way to make sure every employee is trained in the same way. To learn more about the program, head to CockerellAcademy.com.
17 minutes | 3 months ago
You Can't Separate Work and Home Life
In a past episode of Creating Disney Magic, I said it was a mistake to try to live two separate lives; one at home and one at work. Since we have never discussed it in a full episode, a listener wrote in asking us to talk more about it. So in this episode, we get right into it. The truth is, you don’t get to live two lives. You have to get everything done in the one life you are given. The way to do this is through time-management. This isn’t a skill that’s only applicable to work. You need to implement good time management at home, too. List out everything you need to do in a planner, then go through and prioritize it. If the two most important things you have to get done today are personal, that’s okay. If you need to finish up a work project after supper, that’s okay, too. Management is all about control. All the stuff you have to do isn’t business or personal--it’s just life. Your personal issues affect your work and vise-versa. So, keep all aspects of your life under control. Additionally, it’s a mistake to keep your personal life from your staff. If you act like a robot and never share, people won’t be as open or trusting with you. It’s all about making connections. You never know who you will help by sharing something you’re going through or who will be able to help you. To learn more about time management and to keep up with the best work we’re doing right now, check out the Cockerell Academy at www.cockerellacademy.com.
15 minutes | 3 months ago
Tell the Right Story During a Job Search
Many people are struggling with the job search right now, so on this episode of Creating Disney Magic we and a listener question. She asked, “How do I reenter the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for 17 years?” In this episode, I explain how to sell yourself through your resume, even if you don’t have directly relevant experience for the position for which you’re applying. It’s all about the story you tell with your resume. Take what you’ve done and tell a story with it. Be authentic and truthful, because the employer wants to hear who you are more they want to hear what you’ve done. That’s what people are looking for long-term. So, write about who you are. Write about any experiences you’ve had that have developed leadership, organization, or management traits within you. Write about the things you’ve dealt with as a mom or in whatever situation you’ve previously found yourself in. Most importantly, show them that you’re a good gamble. If you tell them that you’re willing to take on an entry-level role and prove that you deserve a full-time position, you will create a win-win situation. They have nothing to lose by hiring you. You’re coming in to get experience and an opportunity, so be willing to take any position that gets your foot in the door. Another thing that impresses employers is the preparation you’ve done and the training you’ve received. For example, going through Cockerell Academy helps you think about the things you need to know and prepares you for elements of an interview you may not have known to think about. You can find it at www.cockerellacademy.com.
13 minutes | 4 months ago
Invest in Employee Development
Show your employees that you care and in return, you’ll get commitment. When I was at Disney, we gave housekeepers an hour to attend English lessons. We hired local professors to teach these classes. As a result, the turnover rate for housekeepers dropped down to almost zero. When you’re investing in people, you’re showing them you care. Leadership is about taking care of people. It’s all about showing people they matter. One way to do that is by helping them with their education or training them in some other way. Many people in entry-level jobs underestimate what they can achieve in life. A leader’s job is to build up these employees’ self-confidence and help them know they achieve great things. When you help people get knowledgeable, you change their life. This, in turn, changes their children’s and their grandchildren’s lives. It also enhances the environment of the company and attracts even more great people to it. You may not immediately see it if you’re only looking at the numbers, but showing employees they matter will benefit you. So, even if just for an hour a month, start investing in them now. If you want to become a stronger leader, join us at www.cockerellacademy.com.
16 minutes | 4 months ago
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
When we don't have much experience in the field we're working in, or get a big promotion, we can have what some people call Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when you feel like you aren't deserving or good enough for the opportunity, even if your track record might suggest otherwise. These feelings can be especially prevalent we don’t have much experience in the field in This week’s episode features a question from a listener who is struggling with imposter syndrome. On the episode, we talk about how to overcome imposter syndrome when we’re leading a team with far more experience than us. When I first started working at Disney, I didn’t know anything about the theme park. In fact, I had never even been to Disney World! I wasn’t there to run the parks, though. It was my job to be a leader and let the experts around me run the parks. The first thing you should do is get everything out of the way upfront. Have a team meeting and have the person who hired you to explain why they chose you for the job. Tell your team that you’re excited to learn from them. Think up every question they may have and address all of them. If you have the right attitude, have support from the boss, and get every concern squared away immediately, you’ll learn the job. Don’t come in and assert your authority. Be cooperative. Be willing to admit when you don’t know something and ask your team questions. If there are still employees who aren’t going along with the decision, talk with them one-on-one. Ask them what else you can do to make them happy. Just deal with it and put the flame out as best and as quickly as you can. Above all, remember that someone in leadership believes you can do the job. They saw something in you. Go in every day seeking to prove the doubters wrong. If you want to become a strong leader and not worry about imposter syndrome, join us in the Cockerell Academy.
16 minutes | 4 months ago
Innovation Through Structure
Innovation doesn’t get in the way of structure. Innovation helps create structure. Your organization needs to have policies, procedures, and standards within your organization in order to protect your employees and prevent disaster. Once we figure out the best way to do something, we must do it that way and make sure everyone in the organization knows we do it that way. Structure won’t lead to micromanagement if you’ve hired the right people. If you can rely on your team, they will follow the policies and procedures you’ve put in place. Anything can get better. If leadership wants to improve something and has the drive to do so, it can be improved. Structure won't lead to less innovation. Instead, when you get the right policies and procedures in place, they will create more freedom. They take away the questions and in that way create more innovation. On this episode, we talk about why structure is so important in organizations and how to make sure it doesn’t impede innovation. To learn more about adding structure and innovation to your team, check out CockerellAcademy.com.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
Create a Reputation Worth Talking About
On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, I answer two listener questions. Both about looking for or starting new jobs. Here are some tips; Applying for jobs online is tough. It is better to know someone. Be recommendable and have someone who can recommend you. Use a resume as a way for people to find out who you are, not just what you have done. My career didn't take off until my mid-forties. By the time I had an opportunity with Disney, I was ready. Don't be afraid to start over or make a big shift in your 30s or 40s. One thing valuable to employers is experience, which you have after you have worked for a while. Your greatest assets are your attitude, and what other people are saying about you. Be flexible, volunteer for assignments, work the tough shifts, keep learning, have a great attitude, and stick out like a sore thumb. Get a reputation where people notice you and are talking about you. To get more career advice and training you won't find anywhere else, join us in the Cockerell Academy.
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