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.
Creating Magic in Any Situation
This week, we have Jamie and JJ Eubanks from Magical Vacation Planner on the show.
Through this pandemic, this couple has had to put their flexibility to good use. Travel was so up in the air over the past 12 months, causing the Eubanks and their team to have to improvise greatly.
However, they have gone above and beyond during this time. As things were taken away from their clients, they saw that as an opportunity. They didn’t want their clients to miss out on anything and filled in the gaps where services were missing.
On this episode, Jamie and JJ talk about how their past helped them navigate this pandemic. JJ was a professional basketball player, meaning they were constantly picking up and moving.
That prepared them to deal with obstacles that came their way, not being in control, and being home together 24/7. When COVID hit, they were more prepared than most other people were.
We’re also talking about the other hidden blessings that have occurred in the last year. To name a few, creativity has flourished, skills have been developed, and the value of certain industries has skyrocketed.
To hear more from Jamie and JJ and learn about the amazing customer service of their magical vacation planners, tune in to this episode. If you have travel needs and would like to get in touch with Magical Vacation Planner, call them at (407) 442-2694.
We recently added a great new course to The Cockerell Academy: Real Leadership.
It gets into the details of the things that really matter. It teaches what most colleges don’t: how to treat people right, how to train people well, and how to get ahead of the pack.
It’s the little things in life that make all the difference. Every little thing you do adds up to who people believe you are. Those are the things that get you recognized by the people you work with and for and get you promoted.
A huge aspect of this course is the emotional aspect of dealing with people. We know that knowledge only gets us so far. Getting people to believe that knowledge is what really matters. When you are there for the people you lead, have empathy for them, and build trust with them, they will get more done.
We also talk about how we should really be judging performance.
Today, everything is so technical. Many people who are great at the technical side of their job get promoted but then have no leadership training. They’re left with no idea how to supervise and miserable because they’re forced into leadership with no desire for it.
This is why we need to rethink what it means to be a leader. Technical expertise isn’t enough. We want leaders who are excited about leading people, not just people who know a lot.
You don’t need a big title to start putting these things into practice now. If you want to learn how to be a great leader, join The Cockerell Academy today at http://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
Don’t Expect People to Be Like You
For the first half of my marriage, I tried to get my wife to be like me.
I always thought I was right. I liked to be in charge and make all of the decisions. I made her think she had to get approval from me to do anything.
It was the same way at work. I pushed people around and told them what to do. However, whenever someone told me what to do, I was emotionally affected.
Eventually, I realized that my attitude was creating the same problem at work as it was at home. People didn’t like or trust me. I had to learn to let people be themselves.
If you’re someone who’s afraid of being judged, always criticizing others, and living in a tumultuous environment, reflect. Honestly consider if you are the problem—because you probably are.
As soon as you understand and get honest about what’s happening, you can start to figure out how to fix it.
For me, that meant going to leadership seminars. It meant telling people the outcome I needed and then stepping back. It meant ensuring that the people around me knew I trusted them. It meant learning to let go and, as a result, coming home less stressed.
Listen to this episode for more instruction on changing your culture, both at home and at work. You may just find a transformation.
Does Your Career Influence Your Children
If you’re an entrepreneur or in any other busy career, you may worry from time to time about building and maintaining a good relationship with your kids.
On this episode, we’re discussing a listener question on this topic. This listener admitted he was afraid his kids wouldn’t push themselves after seeing how hard he and his wife work as high-energy business leaders.
This was something my wife and I discussed a lot over the years. Because of my career, I missed some things I wish I hadn’t. My son was moving all the time and often exposed to new environments and people.
Rather than just hoping it would work out that I would get time with my son, I had to schedule it. It had to become a priority in my life.
Family time won’t just appear—we have to make time for it.
However, no matter how much time we get with our families, the quantity doesn’t matter as much as the quality.
Show your kids how much you love them. Spend time with them when you are home. Be there for their important events and always keep in touch.
When you think about this and plan for it, you’ll make the right adjustments to your life. Your kids will feel like they’re safe, cared for, and loved.
You may also consider taking your kids on some of your business trips with you. That way, you create special memories and get that alone time with them.
Tune in to hear more ideas for making your kids feel that they matter and giving them the emotional support they need, no matter how busy your schedule.
If you have a question you would like me and Jody to discuss here on the show, you can reach us on any social media channel, at http://www.jodymaberry.com, or at http://www.leecockerell.com.
Navigating Corporate Culture
This week, we’re answering a listener question about navigating corporate culture.
This listener, Melissa, used to work for a small company but has now taken a corporate job. She’s worried about the adjustment. She’s used to working in a place where things happened very quickly and doesn’t want to get frustrated with all of the red tape and the speed at which things move in a large organization.
It’s very easy to get frustrated in a transition like this. When you’re used to things going quickly and are now always waiting for 10 people to sign off on one thing, you might struggle.
The best thing you can do is what I always advise: get up every morning, go to work, and be the best employee you can be.
Be yourself, help people, and set an example of the kind of culture you desire.
This will make it clear from the very beginning that you’re there to make things better.
If you go in and be great, others around you will become great just by watching you.
Melissa also asked how to be a great ambassador between the team she’s leading and those who work above her. Doing this is all about building a trustworthy reputation.
Always be honest and treat those who report to you well. Work for the situation and not for the person. Live out your principles, no matter what. If you combine your leadership style with your morals, you will always be doing the right thing.
For more advice on and help with navigating corporate culture, check out The Cockerell Academy at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.
Creating Influence Through Performance
A common theme of all the listener questions we receive is bad leadership.
Many of you are working under a boss who isn’t interested in your ideas, opinions, and feedback. They don’t want any input from their employees and don’t want to know what’s really going on in the organization.
If that’s true, you don’t have a leader at all. You have a manager. There is a big gap between the two.
Leadership means being there for your people and trying to understand their points of view. It is always keeping your eyes and ears open for how you can improve. To be a leader, you have to be consistently trying to get better every day.
When people ask me what I did at Disney, I say, “Not much.” I just made sure that things got done.
All leaders should do the same. To be effective, they need to go to the lowest level possible, stop talking, and start listening. The value of having the people who work for you trust you, tell you the truth, and give you new ideas which are priceless.
However, if you don’t have a boss who leads that way, all you can do is be a great performer. Keep doing your best. This will make a huge impact on the people around you.
From there, you’ll build a good reputation. You will create strong influence through your consistent performance. Eventually, that may work its way up to top leadership. If not, your excellence will be welcomed at another place that better suits your performance level.
To hear more advice for leading from within, tune into this episode.
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.
Great Leadership Podcast
Thanks for all the leadership lessons and feedback. I enjoy this podcast as it provides great resources, and helps me outside of my profession from a customer service point of view.
Lee’s books are great too.