Joshua Gagnon

thoughts on Jesus, leadership, and the Church.

Ep 014: Leadership Magic - An interview with Lee Cockerell

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Lee Cockerell is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies, which was used to train and develop 7,000 leaders at Walt Disney World. He now dedicates his time to public speaking, and has authored four books: “Creating Magic”, “The Customer Rules”, “Time Management Magic”, and “Creating Career Magic” which is soon to be released. Lee also performs leadership and service excellence workshops and consulting for organizations around the world as well as for the Disney Institute. Lee and his wife Priscilla live in Orlando, Florida.

Learn More About Lee:

Lee’s Website: http://www.leecockerell.com/

Lee’s Blog: http://blog.leecockerell.com/

Lee’s Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/creating-disney-magic/id954054965

Lee’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeCockerell

Carol Quinn’s Hiring Training Program: http://www.hireauthority.com/

3 Takeaways for Leaders:

Take risks. Take calculated risks to an extent, then go with your gut the rest of the way. Lee admits that after every great obstacle he faced, life just got better for him, and it’s because he took a risk. He expressed his desire to never live with regrets, which prompted him to move several times and step out of his comfort zone.

Get better before you get bigger. Many times the temptation for growing organizations can be to boast about the size, but rather than tell others how big you are, you should focus on getting better. The size does not matter as much as the quality of the product you are offering.

Focus on culture before vision. Lee said there are three things they focus on at Disney: hiring better, training better, and having a better culture. The culture they create is one where everybody matters and they know they matter. For every hire, leaders must show them that they matter, and the best way to do so is by telling them.

Quotes From This Episode:

“Spend a lot of time every day thinking—it’s a very good habit to get into.” – Lee Cockerell

“Culture has to be the foundation which vision and mission are built off of.” – Josh Gagnon

“Culture’s not part of the game, culture is the game.” – Lee Cockerell

“The more you can know about a person, that sends the message that you care about them.” – Lee Cockerell

“Opportunity is the best benefit any organization can give you.” – Lee Cockerell

“If you need [volunteers], let them know they matter and that what they’re doing matters.” – Josh Gagnon

“Leaders want to present the highlight reel, and those looking at that highlight reel feel more insecure about their reality.” – Josh Gagnon

“The fastest way to forget what God thinks of us is to be consumed by what everyone around us does.” – Josh Gagnon