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Creating Disney Magic
15 minutes | 18 hours ago
A while back, my son was at Disney and noticed a gorilla who was making eye contact with the man who was in charge. Based solely on the way people were acting and the way the man presented himself, the gorilla picked up on who the boss was. Executive presence is what made that man stand out. People with executive presence have immediate influence and credibility. However, they don’t let that go to their heads. They treat all people with respect, no matter who they are. They let their position go and make every interaction all about the person they’re dealing with at the time. When you’re around people with executive presence, you feel comfortable and trust them right away. The way they treat you, their focus on you, and their mannerisms make you feel good about yourself. You don’t even have to be an executive to carry an executive presence. When I was put in charge of a group of restaurants in Philadelphia Marriot, I met one man who immediately impressed me. It wasn’t until days later that I found out he was one of the managers reporting to me. Despite his position, he had an executive presence. If you want to develop an executive presence, pay attention to others. Become a good listener. Ask questions about other people rather than talking all about yourself. Don’t try to convince others that you’re a big deal; instead, convince others how important they are. If you want to learn more tips for developing a stronger executive presence, tune in to this episode.
26 minutes | 8 days ago
Creating Magic in Any Situation
This week, we have Jamie and JJ Eubanks from Magical Vacation Planner on the show. Through this pandemic, this couple has had to put their flexibility to good use. Travel was so up in the air over the past 12 months, causing the Eubanks and their team to have to improvise greatly. However, they have gone above and beyond during this time. As things were taken away from their clients, they saw that as an opportunity. They didn’t want their clients to miss out on anything and filled in the gaps where services were missing. On this episode, Jamie and JJ talk about how their past helped them navigate this pandemic. JJ was a professional basketball player, meaning they were constantly picking up and moving. That prepared them to deal with obstacles that came their way, not being in control, and being home together 24/7. When COVID hit, they were more prepared than most other people were. We’re also talking about the other hidden blessings that have occurred in the last year. To name a few, creativity has flourished, skills have been developed, and the value of certain industries has skyrocketed. To hear more from Jamie and JJ and learn about the amazing customer service of their magical vacation planners, tune in to this episode. If you have travel needs and would like to get in touch with Magical Vacation Planner, call them at (407) 442-2694.
18 minutes | 15 days ago
We recently added a great new course to The Cockerell Academy: Real Leadership. It gets into the details of the things that really matter. It teaches what most colleges don’t: how to treat people right, how to train people well, and how to get ahead of the pack. It’s the little things in life that make all the difference. Every little thing you do adds up to who people believe you are. Those are the things that get you recognized by the people you work with and for and get you promoted. A huge aspect of this course is the emotional aspect of dealing with people. We know that knowledge only gets us so far. Getting people to believe that knowledge is what really matters. When you are there for the people you lead, have empathy for them, and build trust with them, they will get more done. We also talk about how we should really be judging performance. Today, everything is so technical. Many people who are great at the technical side of their job get promoted but then have no leadership training. They’re left with no idea how to supervise and miserable because they’re forced into leadership with no desire for it. This is why we need to rethink what it means to be a leader. Technical expertise isn’t enough. We want leaders who are excited about leading people, not just people who know a lot. You don’t need a big title to start putting these things into practice now. If you want to learn how to be a great leader, join The Cockerell Academy today at http://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
16 minutes | 22 days ago
Don’t Expect People to Be Like You
For the first half of my marriage, I tried to get my wife to be like me. I always thought I was right. I liked to be in charge and make all of the decisions. I made her think she had to get approval from me to do anything. It was the same way at work. I pushed people around and told them what to do. However, whenever someone told me what to do, I was emotionally affected. Eventually, I realized that my attitude was creating the same problem at work as it was at home. People didn’t like or trust me. I had to learn to let people be themselves. If you’re someone who’s afraid of being judged, always criticizing others, and living in a tumultuous environment, reflect. Honestly consider if you are the problem—because you probably are. As soon as you understand and get honest about what’s happening, you can start to figure out how to fix it. For me, that meant going to leadership seminars. It meant telling people the outcome I needed and then stepping back. It meant ensuring that the people around me knew I trusted them. It meant learning to let go and, as a result, coming home less stressed. Listen to this episode for more instruction on changing your culture, both at home and at work. You may just find a transformation.
18 minutes | a month ago
Does Your Career Influence Your Children
If you’re an entrepreneur or in any other busy career, you may worry from time to time about building and maintaining a good relationship with your kids. On this episode, we’re discussing a listener question on this topic. This listener admitted he was afraid his kids wouldn’t push themselves after seeing how hard he and his wife work as high-energy business leaders. This was something my wife and I discussed a lot over the years. Because of my career, I missed some things I wish I hadn’t. My son was moving all the time and often exposed to new environments and people. Rather than just hoping it would work out that I would get time with my son, I had to schedule it. It had to become a priority in my life. Family time won’t just appear—we have to make time for it. However, no matter how much time we get with our families, the quantity doesn’t matter as much as the quality. Show your kids how much you love them. Spend time with them when you are home. Be there for their important events and always keep in touch. When you think about this and plan for it, you’ll make the right adjustments to your life. Your kids will feel like they’re safe, cared for, and loved. You may also consider taking your kids on some of your business trips with you. That way, you create special memories and get that alone time with them. Tune in to hear more ideas for making your kids feel that they matter and giving them the emotional support they need, no matter how busy your schedule. If you have a question you would like me and Jody to discuss here on the show, you can reach us on any social media channel, at http://www.jodymaberry.com, or at http://www.leecockerell.com.
17 minutes | a month ago
Navigating Corporate Culture
This week, we’re answering a listener question about navigating corporate culture. This listener, Melissa, used to work for a small company but has now taken a corporate job. She’s worried about the adjustment. She’s used to working in a place where things happened very quickly and doesn’t want to get frustrated with all of the red tape and the speed at which things move in a large organization. It’s very easy to get frustrated in a transition like this. When you’re used to things going quickly and are now always waiting for 10 people to sign off on one thing, you might struggle. The best thing you can do is what I always advise: get up every morning, go to work, and be the best employee you can be. Be yourself, help people, and set an example of the kind of culture you desire. This will make it clear from the very beginning that you’re there to make things better. If you go in and be great, others around you will become great just by watching you. Melissa also asked how to be a great ambassador between the team she’s leading and those who work above her. Doing this is all about building a trustworthy reputation. Always be honest and treat those who report to you well. Work for the situation and not for the person. Live out your principles, no matter what. If you combine your leadership style with your morals, you will always be doing the right thing. For more advice on and help with navigating corporate culture, check out The Cockerell Academy at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
14 minutes | a month ago
Creating Influence Through Performance
A common theme of all the listener questions we receive is bad leadership. Many of you are working under a boss who isn’t interested in your ideas, opinions, and feedback. They don’t want any input from their employees and don’t want to know what’s really going on in the organization. If that’s true, you don’t have a leader at all. You have a manager. There is a big gap between the two. Leadership means being there for your people and trying to understand their points of view. It is always keeping your eyes and ears open for how you can improve. To be a leader, you have to be consistently trying to get better every day. When people ask me what I did at Disney, I say, “Not much.” I just made sure that things got done. All leaders should do the same. To be effective, they need to go to the lowest level possible, stop talking, and start listening. The value of having the people who work for you trust you, tell you the truth, and give you new ideas which are priceless. However, if you don’t have a boss who leads that way, all you can do is be a great performer. Keep doing your best. This will make a huge impact on the people around you. From there, you’ll build a good reputation. You will create strong influence through your consistent performance. Eventually, that may work its way up to top leadership. If not, your excellence will be welcomed at another place that better suits your performance level. To hear more advice for leading from within, tune into this episode.
15 minutes | 2 months ago
Improving One on One Communication
It’s extremely helpful to have an advocate who is willing to be candid with you. Whether you’re like Jimmy who had people in his life willing to tell him he came across as condescending or like our other listener who wonders why he got passed over for a leadership position, an advocate can help. An advocate can give you honest feedback right from the get-go. For example, if you come across too strong, they’ll tell you. Direct communication can be intimidating. So, you just need to let people know that’s how you’ve been told you come across. Having open communication about this issue and being willing to admit your mistakes will help dilute the situation. Knowing your flaws also helps prevent disappointment when you get passed over for a promotion. You won’t be left wondering why they went with someone else. Nothing is worse than a boss that gives you false hope and, later, a bunch of excuses. The job of the leader is to develop his or her employees by telling them about their issues long before they’re offered a promotion. If you don’t get picked, it’s probably nothing against you. It likely came down to which candidate the person picking knew better. Altogether, be open to others’ advice. Listen to people when they tell you how you can improve. Keep your one-on-one communication open and you will do well.
19 minutes | 2 months ago
Building Resilience to Deal with Tough Times
In the current climate of the world, we could all use a good story about overcoming tough times. Killiam Hemmy is on the show today to share his own story of resilience. Killian joined the military right before 9/11 and quickly found himself in Afghanistan. He went back time and again, both in the military and working for the FBI. One morning, he went out for a run and suddenly collapsed. He went into cardiac arrest, which he later found out was caused by a rare genetic condition. This diagnosis plunged Killian into a deep depression. He had no motivation even to get out of the house. He went from being an extremely athletic, fit, and capable man to feeling like everything had crumbled down around him. So, he started to look at how to build his resilience back up. He went back to the basics of his days in the military. He broke everything down to their basest level. Seeing things from a step-by-step perspective helped him build back his internal resiliency. Killian now helps other people to keep looking at where they’re going but to also have a laser focus on the first, second, and third steps they have to take to get there. I took a similar step-by-step approach to my own experience with depression without even knowing it. It helped me rise up and see past my circumstances. Being the kind of leader who reveals their own fallibility has incredible power. When people see this, they trust you more. They feel like they can go to you. So, don’t be afraid to show your weakness. Take the time to make your people realize you’re with them through thick and thin. You’ll secure that relationship and their loyalty for life. To hear more tips for building resiliency, tune in to this episode. If you want to connect with Killian further, you can find him on Twitter.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
Leading an Inclusive Workplace
Jody and I have been recording a new course for the Cockerell Academy called “Everybody Matters: Diversity and Inclusion.” It’s such a relevant topic. Working on the course has brought to mind even more thoughts on how to practice inclusiveness in our personal and work lives. It starts with getting out of your silo. If you only ever interact with people just like you, you will never develop inclusiveness. Exposure and experience are the main problems here. However, when we get out of our bubbles and get to know people who are different from us, we get to experience so much more from life. It’s exciting to know more about the world, other cultures, and what people believe. Being educated about other cultures helps you in all kinds of ways. Inclusiveness goes beyond the color of our skin, though. You can and should surround yourself with a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and upbringings. Especially in the workplace, you don’t want the whole table to be filled with people who think just like you. There is discrimination today for all sorts of things. You might find it hard to accept anyone who does anything different from you. But be careful how you think; your brain might be polluted. Half the stuff in your brain isn’t true, so dig down and figure out what is. If you’re the top person in your workplace, talk about diversity and inclusiveness. Make it clear where you stand on it. Tell your employees that they’ll get ahead based on their performance, not on where they went to school, what grades they got, their religion, or their sexual orientation. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can find the whole course in the Cockerell Academy at http://www.cokerellacademy.com.
15 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Attract Top Talent to Your Organization
Given the disruption COVID-19 brought on the economy and many companies in 2020, there are a lot of people out looking for work right now. This week, we have a listener question on this topic: what recommendations would I give to organizations that are looking to attract and hire top talent in the current economy? If you’re looking for talented employees, now is the time to find them. Once the world gets back to normal, great people will be scooped up very quickly. Don’t wait to hire them or you’ll miss out. To find these people, make sure your company itself is great. Just as your company wants better talent, employees want a better company. Start getting better now by focusing on people, listening and responding to their needs, and developing a strong company culture. There is a lot more flexibility in the workplace today. People have a lot more expertise in working from home and now expect adaptations to be made available. You will attract job seekers by offering them alternative work situations. Pay attention to the talent already within your company, too. Go back and look at your training. If your employees aren’t as good as they could be, invest more into their development and set higher expectations. Then identity those employees who are most capable and move them into better positions where you’ll retain them for longer. The most talented employees out there have no problem finding a job. If they go elsewhere, you’ll be left with those who didn’t have as many options. This is why it’s crucial to become a great company now that will attract and keep the top talent. To learn more tips for attracting top talent to your organization, tune into this episode.
19 minutes | 3 months ago
Stop Saying Yes So Often
I recently sent out an email where I said, “The more you say yes at work, the more you’ll have to say no to something at home.” In response, a listener asked if I could talk more about the right balance there. When should we say yes and when should we say no while still being a good employee? Start by thinking about the most important, no-exception items in your life. Once you know these, you’ll know what the non-negotiables are that you cannot say no to. These are the things you must bring to your boss. Straighten all of those things out. If you have to leave early on Wednesdays to volunteer for your son’s football team, tell your boss that. If your daughter has a recital in the middle of the day, give them notice of that. This is a hard conversation to have, but it will build trust with your employer. Your boss will actually benefit more if you have a good situation at home. You won’t be losing sleep thinking about the stress of the job. You’ll bring your best to work every day. In some jobs, the boss will be unreasonable. Don’t stay in a situation like this for long. A few days where you have to stay work extra late is fine. However, if that’s a consistent problem, you need to find a new job. It all comes down to how you define success. Success isn’t getting a promotion or making more money. You’re successful if you are happy and healthy and if your family is happy and healthy, too. Money won’t mean anything if you lose your family or your health. Things are not the way they are; they’re the way you want them to be. So, if your situation isn’t meeting your expectations, do something to change that. If you have another topic or question you want us to talk about, send it to me at http://www.leecockerell.com or to Jody at http://www.jodymaberry.com.
15 minutes | 3 months 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 | 3 months 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 | 3 months 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 | 4 months 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 | 4 months 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 | 4 months 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 | 4 months 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 | 4 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.
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