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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • "It's not magic that makes Disney World work. It's the way we work that makes Disney World magical." - Lee Cockerell
  • Lesson Nugget: Hire great people and allow them to do what they do best.
  • Ask Yourself: Am I spending my time in the wrong places?
  • Lesson Nugget: You don't need to know everything, you need to decide where you are going to spend your time and what difference you're going to make.

small business management mentoring like amazing.com

-So you're here to learn about small businsss management, right? And there's no one better to learn from than Lee Cockerell. Today Clay is sitting down with Lee Cockerell, who was the executive vice president of operations for the Walt Disney World Resort, managed over 45,000 people. And today he's going to teach you how to manage for results.

Now remember, knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you're listening to the words that Lee Cockerell's sharing and the experiences and the lesson nuggets, always ask yourself, how can I apply this to my business and my life? Because if you don't, today's episode could be more meaningless than putting a painting in your shower.

-Well, good morning, everyone. It's great to be in Portugal, my very first trip. And I already have hundreds of Facebook friends and LinkedIn. And twitters are coming in. So it's great to meet new people and to be here. I think we're going to have some fun this morning. Like that film shows, Disney's all about magic and creating magic.

But we're going to have some reality today also. Because I tell people in my book you received, the first sentence says, "It's not magic that makes Disney World work, it's the way we work that makes it magical." And I assure you that if you'll follow those same principles and those same strategies, you can create magic in your business and your organization just as well.

And it's some basic principles we're going to talk about this morning in this small business management training. And I'm going to talk to you for a little while. And then I'm going to start covering those strategies that are in the book.

And in your bag you received this. I don't know if you found it yet. Maybe you think it's a sandwich in there. These are the 10 strategies. I'm going to go through them after I speak to you a little while and kind of set this up to prepare you for more in-depth discussion of.

And even if you don't look at this this morning, you've got the book. You go through the strategies. At the end of every chapter in that book are things you can really do in your business. You can go, and you can implement these. You can start practicing them. And I assure you, you'll get better results. You'll make a better bottom line. You will have more satisfied employees. And you'll just be happier. Is everybody happy today?


OK. So you'll be happy for two hours, and then we go back into reality. Real life. Where the problems are. And it's your job to resolve those problems and to fix them.

So I don't know what Carlotta said about me. The only word I understood was Disney while she was talking. I hope she told you about me, and my career, and the things I've done, and what I'm doing now. But I get introduced a lot when I go give speeches.

And it says, Lee Cockerell ran Disney World for 10 years. And we have 50 million visitors. And we have 7,000 managers. And we do huge numbers of people. And it goes on and on and on and on about how Lee ran this and Lee ran that. And I tell people the truth since I retired. I didn't know what was going on half the time. And I was the boss. And frankly, most bosses don't know what's going on. And you know that. Right?

Because you can't. The world is too complex. There's too much going on. And the first lesson I'll tell you this morning is, you don't need to know everything that's going on. You need to decide where you're going to spend your time and how you're going to make a difference. And then you need to surround yourself by experts in IT, finance, human resources, strategy, marketing, sales. It takes real expertise today. And one person cannot be an expert in everything.

And the first lesson I learned at Disney. This is why I was successful. I didn't know what was going on, but I had people around me who did. And I made sure I had the right people. And I made sure I let them do their job. I didn't micromanage them. Because when you hire really great people, you've got to let them have authority. You've got to let them do their job. And you've got to think about that.

So the first lesson this morning may be, I'm going to talk to you a lot about where you spend your time. How you spend your time. Where you spend your time. Where you don't spend your time. Where you should be spending your time. And why don't you.

Because we all don't go where the hard work is. We go where the easy work is. So we spend our time in the wrong place in our personal lives. We spend it in the wrong place in our business lives. And then we have regrets later in life. We wish we had done this. We wish we had done that. And I want to talk about that today.

And I guarantee you. If you go back in the next two or three days and sit quietly and think about where you spend your time and how you need to change where you're spending your time, this is a big issue. And most people don't think about it. Life goes by very quickly. And then it's Christmas again. And then you're 65 years old.

I married a 22-year-old young girl, and she's on Medicare now, insurance. I'm sleeping with a grandmother. How did this happen? I have a 45-year-old son. Where did he come from? I have grandkids in college. Huh?

This is unbelievable. And it went by like this. Don't have regrets. Start spending your time in the places that make a difference. And I had to decide how to do that at Walt Disney World.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Ask Yourself: How do I add value to the organization that I'm a part of?
  • Creating a Magical Organizations: 1. Hire the Right People
  • Creating a Magical Organizations: 2. Training
  • Lesson Nugget: Training and education is the doorway to success in life.

Find Small Business Management training with Lee Cockerell

-In engineering, I had an engineer. He takes care of all my engineering. 4,000 maintenance people. We spend $700 million a year in capital improvement projects. New roller coasters, $100 million, $150 million. He took care of all of that for me.

And why that was important? He reported to me. But I'm a college dropout, so I need a really good engineer.

And I let him do his job. He was fabulous. We worked together for 13 years.

I had the best person in merchandise, retail. Have any of you bought any Disney merchandise? Oh yeah, and you'll buy more.


Any of you have little girls in your family? Daughters? That's how you make money.


Oh, yeah. Princesses, they're great. This is like a gold mine.


Because princesses need a dress, and another dress, and then they need accessories. They need a tiara. They need shoes. They need a belt. Next year they need another dress.

Boys, boys need nothing. Boys need a sword. That's all they want. Can't make any money that way.


So I had a lady who ran retail for me. It's big business, big business. Our goal really is to get your credit card in our hands. That's the magic. And then you're happy-- that's even more magical.

And then you come back to Portugal and you wonder why did I buy all these things? You can't wear those ears in Lisbon, probably. You may be arrested.

So I let the lady do her work. I go shopping, but I'm not an expert, right? So I let her work, do the job. I don't know anything about retail.

You ever have a boss that helped you too much? Did anybody have that boss? I know you're afraid to say so right now. Bosses sometimes get involved in things they shouldn't get involved in because they don't know.

So number three, food and beverage. 250 places to eat in food/beverage operations at Walt Disney World. It's a billion dollar business, very complex business.

I was in food for 25 years, but I had a better person working for me, Dieter Hannig, fabulous guy. He really knew the business.

Food is hard because it's low margin. Food safety, very complicated. Guy was great. I didn't worry about it. I didn't spend much time with him. I didn't spend much time in retail.

Security, 1,200 security people at Walt Disney World. It's the safest place in America. That's what the FBI tells us. But we're not sure about their information, but it's pretty safe.

1,000 bus drivers. It's the same size as San Francisco, twice as big as Manhattan. It's a city. It's a big place.

And I have all these people reporting to me. And one day I was giving a speech, and a lady said, Lee, if you got all these experts doing everything for you, what do you do?


This is the, you better be able to answer this question when your boss says what do you do. Why should I keep you? How do you add value?

Why should I outsource you? Why shouldn't I turn your job over to technology? Why shouldn't I give your responsibilities to somebody else? Make sure you can answer those questions. Because every company in the world is looking to reduce cost and a lot of it's labor, and you know that.

Big problem in the US, unemployment. Big problem in Portugal, unemployment, Spain, unemployment. Every country in the world, getting people jobs and keeping your job.

And this is a big deal to think about where you spend your time that you're good at, and I had to do that. I spent my time in three areas at Disney-- three. I knew where they were. This is the key to know where you want to spend your time every day, because when you know, you will. If you just come in and go around and don't have any plan, you won't get things accomplished.

So where did I spend my time? Number one, I spent my time making sure we were hiring the right people, promoting the right people. Very complicated, making sure we really interview properly. Selection is a big deal. It's the most important thing you do in your business are the people you hire, and I'll talk about that again in a minute.

Second place I spent my time, training. Making sure everybody got trained, tested, and our managers enforced the training. Magic does not happen by accident. It doesn't happen by accident.

You've got to train people. You've got to test them to make sure they learned. And then you have to make sure that you enforce your training. So you have to have managers who have courage and have the ability to enforce it, like you do with your children.

Do you ever have to enforce things with your children when they have a performance problem? Do your children ever have a performance problem? Did your mother ever have to sit down and have a conversation with you about your performance, about your attitude, about what time you came home, where are you, how you were dressed, are you going to go out looking like that?

Of course, it's a big deal. It's the most important thing parents worry about is training, education, because that's the door that opens all success. And that's the door that provides great service, no matter whether it's somebody cleaning the bathrooms, making up beds, selling tickets, selling ice cream. People have to be trained. Training is what builds your self-esteem, builds your self-confidence, makes you believe in yourself... Small Business Management.

So many companies don't spend enough time training. People don't know what they're doing. And I'm sure you go out today, you go to a place, people don't know what they're doing. So you don't have a good brand. You don't have a good image. You don't have a good reputation.

So that's the second place I spent my time. I'll talk about that more in a minute.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Creating a Magical Organizations: 3. Being a Good Role Model
  • Lesson Nugget: Tell your employees that you respect them and they matter to you.
  • Lesson Nugget: Don't miss out on opportunities to show your appreciation to the people that are close to you and who work for you.
  • Where to Spend My Personal Time: 1. My Health
  • Lesson Nugget: You will not get to where you want in life without scheduling and planning out your time.

Find Small Business Management online training with Lee Cockerell

-And the third place I spent my time was trying to be a good role model, to create a culture, and an environment where 73,000 cast members in Orlando wake up in the morning and want to come to work, not have to come.

They want to come because of the way they're treated, respected, included, involved, listened to, trained, developed, have opportunity for promotion, to get ahead. This is a special environment, this is a special culture, and it's one of your main responsibilities, to create this culture. So everybody wakes up in the morning.

What you're trying to do is make sure that everybody in your business matters, and they know they matter. You think it's important to know you matter in life? Does anybody think it's important to know you matter? It's the number one thing people want in the world, is to know they matter, that they're respected, that they are somebody. And the number one way you make sure people know they matter? Tell them. Simple thing, use your lips-- not text them, not send them an email, not write it in the sky-- tell them.

It's like my wife, I used to tell her I loved her annually. She didn't think that was a good idea. So one day somebody said, I'm getting married. My husband better tell me every day for our whole marriage he loves me. So I went home that night, my wife's standing in the kitchen, I said, Priscilla, I love you. She said, what's going on?

Seriously, she didn't believe. What's going on? Because when you change your habits, people are suspicious. That was the same week Tiger Woods got in trouble with his wife. He lived two miles from me. We were all under suspicion.

I said, no, I do love you, darling, and I used to tell you. The first five years we were married, I told you every day. Then after 10 years, I told you once a week. Then after 20 years, I told you once a month. And then I told you quarterly, when the taxes were due. And then I told you annually. I put it in my day planner and checked it off. It became a responsibility, but I didn't do it often.

And my wife used to tell me, Lee, if you love me, tell me. Don't keep it to yourself. And I will tell you right now, if you respect your people, tell them. Every single person needs to hear this and you will never overdo it. Nobody's going to say stop, I can't take it anymore. You're just being too nice to me, I can't take any more recognition.

Everybody in this audience, I guarantee you-- including me-- misses opportunities every single day to give people appreciation. Every day. At home, at work, in your neighborhood, on the street, every day. You need to think about that.

So that's where I spent my time, three areas. Three areas. And it's really a big deal to understand where you're going to spend your time. I understand where I spend my time in my personal life.

I have three-- my goals are kind of simple. First, my health, number one. Because my wife says if I'm not here, I can't take care of number two, my family. And if I quit speaking, she has to quit buying purses and shoes. So I take care of my health, I exercise every day, I have a plan. I schedule it twice a week with weights.

Because I tell people this morning, I'm in the ozone. I'm going to be 70 next week. Ozone, the obituary zone. People my age die like this, I'm trying to put it off a while. I need to get my grandchildren to be older because they adore me. They like me better than their parents, because I buy them cellphones, laptops, iPads, anything they want... Small Business Management.

So where do spend your time? So every day, I know, I have it scheduled. Every day, I don't just do it by accident. You've got to know where you're going to spend your time. You've got to know, or you won't get there. You've got to plan your life better.

It's like your vacation. Does anybody have a problem planning their vacation? You're very good at that. But you don't plan your life. And if you don't plan your vacation, you don't know where you're going, and when you get there, you may not be happy, because you took the wrong road. And when you get-- in your life-- you get there, you may not be happy, either, and it's all under your


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