In this transcript, Lee Cockerell (bestselling author and managed Walt Disney World Resort) talks with Clay Clark (Founder of Thrive15.com) about how to achieve excellence and customer service training on Thrive15.com!
Clay: My name is Clay Clark and I am the COO of Thrive15.com, and I am excited to be joined today with Lee Cockerell, the guy who used to run Walt Disney World Resort. He's going to be teaching us today about the daily management and operational excellent systems they put in at Walt Disney World to get the results that we love as customers. Who doesn't love Disney World?
I'm telling you, in your business, if you can learn to create that sort of magic and that excitement and achieve that sort of excellence that they achieved at Disney World, today's episode could be worth millions of dollars to you.
Now Lee, we're talking about daily management and achieving operational excellence. In your mind, what do you feel like is the biggest mistake that you see managers and leaders making on a daily basis?
Lee: I think, mainly, they're not with their customers and they don't know what the customers are thinking. That's why even at Disney, we finally required our managers to be out with the customer during the time the business is open and to do their administrative work before you open and after you close. It's like sales people.
Clay: Wait a minute. So you're saying that if I have you out in front of customers, leaders and managers need to be out with the customers during the day?
Clay: What time would you have to get to work if you're going to do your paperwork or administrative work before? What time when you have to get to work?
Lee: What time you're open is the more ... What time you start taking phone calls from customers or ...
Clay: Let's say I own a hair salon and I see customers from 10 to 7, what time should I get there if I'm a leader to do administrative work?
Lee: Whatever the workload is, you might have to get there at 7, or if you have a lower workload, you might get there at 8. You may prefer to do it in the evening instead of the morning because you have children or have to get off to school or you may have to work Saturday and Sunday if you're an entrepreneur. There's times.
Clay: You're saying like 7 to 9 though in the morning. You might want to do your paper, just roughly. Get your administrative work done and then from 9 to 7, be around the floor walking around making notes in your little book about maybe some administrative improvements or system enhancement, but you really want to be with the customer.
Lee: Yes. I would even say for an entrepreneur, it may not be every day, every hour of the day, but that you're spending a fair amount of time out there. Maybe Monday you're spending four to five hours on the floor. Maybe Tuesday you had to go do some meetings or get alone or something.
Wednesday, you're there for three or four hours on the floor. A lot of your time is spent knowing what's going on with the customers and watching your hair cutters do the cutting and doing ...
You will decide as how much time makes it work better when you're out there, because when the boss is out there showing and setting, greeting the customer, it works better. That's all.
Clay: At least half the time?
Clay: You would say 10% at the time be too little of?
Lee: Absolutely. It's going to be so you really know what's going on and you know how well each one is doing it and you can see the skill level.
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Clay: Here's where it gets tough. I was reading a book years ago and it talked about the penalty of ambition. If I'm ambitious ... This is the guy who started ESPN. I cannot remember his name but he's the personal assistant for J. Paul Getty for a while. He said, "One of the penalties of ambition is that you have to get up early or you have to do it after the kids go to bed, but you just have to get it done."
What would you say to the entrepreneur who says, "Yeah, you know, I would like to spend time on the floor with my customers or on my people, but I just don't have the time?" What would you say to that person?
Lee: I'll say, "You're deciding your success level when you do that."
Clay: Just cut and dry?
Lee: Yeah. You're going to decide to not be great. If you can live with that and the income is right, you take a chance on somebody beating you out and a new store opening up and taking your customers, that's a personal decision you make as how ...
Excellence is a state of mind. It's a state of mind.
Clay: This was brought up to me. A guy whose mentoring me years ago, I told him, "Well, I'm not an early person." He goes, "Well, either you're going to be a divorced person or poor person, because you can't be great and not be an early ..."
You're saying cut or dry. You have to get there early enough to get ...
Lee: I think you need to rethink your ...
Lee: What's the problem of getting up early? It's fun. Why is that such a bad thing?
Clay: Growing up, how I grew up, a great family, great mom and dad, but I wasn't around a lot of entrepreneurs who had been successful. I just thought it was like an ungodly idea. You wouldn't be unhealthy to wake up at 6am every day because I need my sleep. You can't wake up at 6 every day.
Lee: Part of the things you have to live in life is to make sure you forget about half the stuff you know, because half the stuff you think is not even true. That's what I'm sure and that's what I tell people.
When you go into business, you got to forget about healthy stuff your parents even taught you about those people and not religion and those people. You know those people down the street. Forget about it. Most of it is not true.