Lee Cockerell shares his wisdom and experience from his time as the Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World. Lee discusses how you can apply lessons in leadership, management, and customer service to create magic in your organization.
Call People Out for Doing Good Work
This year, I was honored to attend the Elevate Prize Conference in South Beach. If you are not familiar with it, the Elevate Prize is awarded by The Elevate Prize Foundation to ten or more global leaders who are tackling pressing issues in innovative ways. The foundation also sponsors the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award and the Elevate Giving Program.
While attending the conference, I encountered many individuals who are making a difference in the world. From a woman helping to get bili lights to help treat jaundiced babies in impoverished countries to a gentleman helping to translate global literature into Arabic, amazing people are doing amazing things.
How can we help to get the word out about what is being done? Maybe you aren’t in contact with global initiatives. Chances are, you are closer than you think to someone who is using their time, resources, and energy to make a difference in your community. Pay attention to the news, ask around. The biggest way you can help them out is to spread the word about them. Call people and organizations out that are doing good things where you live. Real people do great work every day and need the exposure you can give to help them make a difference.
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Elevate – An Essential Guide to Life by Joseph Deitch
Dealing with the Labor Shortage
We have made mention before the current labor shortage most companies are experiencing. While people may be enjoying a time away from the daily grind, sooner or later, the vast majority will have to return to work. Many mindsets, however, have been permanently changed. The workforce will return, but with a different set of expectations.
People are going to look for companies that invest in their employees. Providing training and cultivating a culture of inclusion is key to attracting and retaining employees. It is no longer just about the paycheck. You must be a company known for taking care of your employees and your customers.
Be willing to rethink and focus on the individual. Work with employees on their schedules, make them feel special. Show them you want them there. Everyone wants to be where they are appreciated. At the end of the day, when you are nice to your employees, they want to stay. The old rules don’t apply anymore.
In the new landscape, management may not be for everyone. Make sure you know what you are getting into. Make the effort to stay close to the employees you still have. The ones that are still around are long-term people; make sure you take care of them. Seek to gain understanding and then make the effort to meet people where they are by eliminating stressors when it is within your ability to do so.
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Dealing with Customer Complaints
The way you handle customer complaints can make or break your company. Today, companies often look for a quick and easy way to deal with complaints. Automated options are a good resource, but you can’t let technology take the place of truly serving your customer.
Disney is known for its customer service and how they handle complaints. They investigate each one with a personal call. That in and of itself can serve to resolve issues. People need to feel heard, and having the opportunity to talk with someone who genuinely cares about their experience goes a long way in handling issues. Couple that with a quick response, and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. People want to know that they aren’t just a number. Personal contact and solutions show customers they are valued, which cultivates customer loyalty.
For smaller companies, you can still offer top-notch customer service. Make sure your train your employees to handle complaints. Equip them with a clear understanding of what they can do to correct a situation versus what needs to be escalated is the first step. Don’t take complaints personally or get emotional when you receive one. Respond as quickly as you can. Remove uncertainty and let your customer know you are handling the situation. Lastly, have a system in place to ensure whatever you committed to doing gets done.
Whether you are a large or small business, a personal touch goes a long way. People want to be individually served and heard. Don’t take complaints personally, and do your best to personalize solutions and service.
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Cut Through Layers of Management
There is a lot going on in the world right now. Whether it is understanding the benefit of Cloud services or navigating this new season in the world of hiring and retaining talent, leadership is taking a long hard look at how they operate. One thing leaders need to be looking at is how they can cut through the multiple layers of management and connect directly with employees.
With every layer of management you add, communication gets diluted. It becomes a grown-up version of the game of telephone. By the time concerns get to the correct individuals, the message is corrupted from the original intent. As leaders, we need to prioritize connecting directly to those at the source of a situation.
When you hire the right people and provide the needed quality training, you don’t need as many managerial layers. By respecting, including, and involving those on the front lines, you create a culture that empowers employees to do the right thing. Hire the right people, and you won’t need backup levels of micromanagers.
When you focus on the purpose and not the power, you can foster a culture of clear communication. Remember what you are here for – taking care of your customers and your employees. Seek to resolve issues quickly and correctly, and you can do more with a smaller yet stronger staff.
If you are planning a trip or looking to attend a conference, now is the time to rely on highly trained vacation planners. Reach out to Magical Vacation Planners at 407-442-2694 for a top-notch vacation experience.
Offer More Than a Paycheck
Now more than ever, individuals are resigning from their current jobs and pursuing something different. It’s being called The Great Resignation. People have realized that they don’t want to do a job that they don’t like. They also don't want to be where they don’t feel valued. They have learned that they can work from home and be with their family. They have learned that enduring a commute every day is not necessary.
Employers and leaders must be prepared to offer more. More money? Maybe. Beyond the dollars and cents, you have to be ready with more than just monetary compensation. Value your employees. Let them know they matter. Team with them. Get to know their goals and commit to helping them succeed. When people are satisfied with their work and feel valued, they don’t want to leave.
Every industry is complaining about the lack of people. Jobs are sitting undone because there is no one to do them. When you focus on people, your problems will be solved. Be nice. Be respectful and inclusive. Help your employees succeed. People want to know they matter and to feel like they are making a difference. Often, they will value knowing they matter over the money they are getting paid. Value people and they will value their job.
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Having Difficult Conversations With Your Boss
It is never easy having hard conversations. Today I am answering a listener question in this vein. An anonymous listener asks: What do you do when you love your job but can’t stand what is happening behind the scenes with management? How do you have a conversation with your boss to address your concerns?
It can be intimidating to approach your boss with concerns. Sometimes, we can even build it up in our minds and imagine the worst possible outcome. You won’t lose your job over raising concerns, especially if you do it in the right way.
Take some time to write out your questions and concerns. Do some research. Are you the only one who feels this way, or is it a recurring issue among the staff? Look beneath the surface. What is your manager like? Might there be an outside circumstance that is impacting your current situation? Once you take a good look at it and get organized, set up a meeting. Approach it humbly. Come at it from a standpoint of how can you help? Chances are your boss doesn’t even realize how everyone is feeling.
Whatever the outcome, you need to make sure that you are willing to leave if things don’t change. If you believe strong enough to bring it up, believe in yourself enough to leave if the situation gets worse. If you are planning a vacation, make sure you check out Magical Vacation Planners. If you are going to Orlando, make sure to ask about their MVP people mover. You can reach them at 407-442-2694.
Authentic, Kind, Inspiring, and Insightful
Lee is always providing honest engaging and useful advice. He is a wonderful person and I love the show and this content. A must listen! Five stars ✨❤️🏰
I really enjoy listening to this podcast about life and leadership. So many great lesson and suggestion!
The best professional and personal development resource out there.