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Practical Leadership Essentials

In this transcript, Lee Cockerell (former Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World® Resort) discusses practical leadership essentials on Thrive15.com, one of the most affordable business schools in Michigan! 

Lee:    All right. You heard it from the man. It’s truth. Think about that. Trainings, it’s ... A lot of people fail in their lives and career and they never know why, because nobody ever told them. You know what? We were designed … God did one thing. Let me tell you what. We all think we know where we are, and we all think we’re perfect, unless you’re married, and you’ll know you don’t.

    Make sure. Are you development? It’s the best thing you can do for your children. Is it hard? Yeah. It’s gut-wrenching sometimes. After having those conversation, tears going on, defensiveness, and your kids pushing back, but that’s the best thing you’ll ever do for development. It’s the best thing you’ll do for your employees, because that’s how they’re going to get ahead.

    10 years, you talk about the power of leadership. Right there you hold people. You got 10 people at your job, your office, your work. Their future is in your hands depending on how much you train them and how much you develop them.   

    You, 10 years from now they will be a whole lot better and doing a whole lot, works better or not. That’s how powerful it is. That’s how powerful it is. You want to use that wisely and make sure you do it, and do it right on the spot while it’s fresh in everybody’s mind. Takes some months, not every Friday, and I think about that a lot.

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    Those are four things people who work for you can expect. I will say the volunteer should be able to expect that. That’s all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with somebody observes you not if two or three of you volunteers are standing around talking to each other not paying attention, coming to front door I hope pass the door, see who mentioned it to you. I’m sure he has a way of doing it nicely, because volunteers can just leave. 

    By the way, some people shouldn’t be volunteering, because it’s become the social thing and they don’t do their job, which is … I would think rethink what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re reenrolling people every week when they walk through those doors. They’re signing up again. You are the face of the church. You are the face. 

    In fact, some of you are so good they look for you. Maybe they better keep you on the same spot, so I can find you, because they get to know you then they’ll talk to you, then they’ll come to you when they have a problem. Powerful. Powerful thing.

    We have so much in power if we want to, and if we realize, make sure you’re doing the right things. I’m telling you in Disney, we walk around. The manager walked around all the time getting people refocus on what they’re supposed to be doing, which is focus on the guests, focus on the guests.

    In a hospital if you’re a nurse, focus on the patient. If you’re a school teacher, focus on the student, not on the union and not on always nonsense. Focus on what you’re supposed to be focused on. 

    We always tell people in the hospital, I talk to nurses sometimes. I say, “Take care of those patients like it’s your mother laying in that bed, or your wife, or your daughter. That’s how you take care of them.”

    Military, I talk to a general one day over Fort [inaudible 03:43]. I said, “What’s your theory on training?” He said, “We train out troops the way their parents want them trained.” Pretty powerful to save their lives. Be in shape. He said, “Being fit is big deal on the army. One second can save your life. Being able to move quick ...” “Being able to move quick can get you out of trouble. We train them the way their parents would want them trained.”

    Think about it when you see somebody walking and it’s your mom and dad coming in for the first time. They just moved here. Really covering up with getting engaged with the church and can’t wait to come back the following Sunday. First impression. Big deal. 

I’ll tell you about impact. I do some work in the Netherlands with a group. Is it called “Efteling Theme Park.” There’s about five million visitors a year over there. They hired me to come over and train all their managers and work with the frontline, because they were going to go from being a seasonal part to a year-round park, open every day.

I went over there and I spent the week with the managers. Then the night before we opened, the park open fulltime from then on. We went to a place like this. It’s seated about 3,000. I was going to speak to the frontline guest members, employees.

The night before, we went there to see the stage and I want to get a feeling for what it was like Sunday night. As we walk through, we came through the kitchen to get to the stage. There was a lady down at the end moping the floor, little old lady mopping the floor.

The guy I was with didn’t say “hello” to her, “good evening,” didn’t introduce me to her. I walk down to her, and I walk down and I said, “Hi. I’m Lee Cockerell.” She said, “I know who you are. I’ve seen your picture around here. I got you promoted. You’re going to give a big speech tomorrow.” I said, “That’s right. Are you coming?” She said, “No. I wasn’t invited,” because she just mops the floor. 

I looked at her boss and I said, “Hey. You don’t care if she comes, do you?” He said, “No. That would be fine.” He got some training. She got invited.    




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