326 episodes

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 Disney Magic Lee Cockerell

    • Management
    • 4.9 • 387 Ratings

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.

    Presenting New Ideas to Your Boss

    Presenting New Ideas to Your Boss

    If you’ve worked at a company for any length of time, you’ve probably come up with some ideas for how it could improve. It’s hard when you get excited about something and bring it to your boss, only to have them shut it down.
    On this episode, we’re answering a listener question about this very subject.
    This listener explained that when she gives ideas to her boss, he always shoots them down. It’s become such an issue for her that it’s affecting her growth and happiness. She wrote in to ask for better ways to present her new ideas and get her supervisor to be less fearful about trying new things.
    There are many possible reasons a boss would shut down an idea. It may be that the idea just isn’t good. However, it could also be that the boss doesn’t want to put in the effort.
    Start with analyzing the ideas you’re bringing. Are you presenting them in enough detail? Are you explaining the end result of the changes you’re presenting? Have you thought through what will happen if you don’t implement this idea?
    It’s part of your boss’s job to sift through ideas he or she receives. If it’s not solving a problem for them, they probably won’t be apt to consider it.
    At some point, though, it’ll come down to two choices for you. Wait it out until that boss leaves the company or move on yourself.
    If you’re wired to do new things and think you have great ideas, it can feel like a slap in the face to have them continually shot down.
    This has happened twice in my own career. I didn’t align well with my boss and I felt like they weren’t listening, so I moved on.
    To hear more about this issue and learn ways I liked to be approached with new ideas in my time at Disney, tune in to the rest of the episode. If you have another question you’d like us to answer on the show, reach out at http://leecockerell.com or http://jodymaberry.com.  

    • 18 min
    Using Habits to Overcome Depression

    Using Habits to Overcome Depression

    I’ve been very open about my struggle with depression in the past. Though I am doing great now, I still remember what it was like.
    A listener recently told us that they were just coming out of their own struggle with depression, but were feeling overwhelmed with building back their healthy habits.
    This is not something that I want to be an expert in, but the truth is that I am.
    We can’t expect everything to be fixed immediately. We didn’t fall into depression overnight, so we won’t come out of it overnight, either. It’s a process that takes time.
    However, there are things you can be doing to jumpstart that process.
    Some of the things that helped me were getting out into the sun, exercising, and spending time with other people. I didn’t always feel like doing these things, but I forced myself. Eventually, they brought healing and made me feel much better.
    Another helpful practice was scheduling my priorities. Get into your calendar and put the habits in there that you want to start again. Schedule the things that will help you. You can establish a new routine this way.
    Be very mindful about the way you’re treating your body, as well. Caffeine and alcohol can be really harmful. Pay attention to the way your body reacts to certain foods at certain times. Take any stressful things you can out of your life and try to keep an environment of calmness around you.
    Always make sure to get lots of sleep, too. That can make the biggest difference of all.
    Hopefully, my openness encourages you to be honest with the people around you. If you’re honest about your struggle, the people in your life can help you. On the other hand, the stress of keeping it a secret can be even worse than the depression itself.
    We always take your questions like this one and keep them on file, so if you have another question or topic you’d like us to talk about, reach out to me or Jody at http://www.leecockerell.com or http://www.jodymaberry.com.

    • 19 min
    How to Show You Have Leadership Skills

    How to Show You Have Leadership Skills

    It’s performance review time for many organizations. Towards the end of a year or the beginning of a new year, many companies will hold these reviews for their employees. They look back on what each one worked on and accomplished over the last year.
    On this episode, we’re discussing performance reviews from a different perspective than we have before. A listener asked how she, as an individual contributor, could demonstrate and document leadership skills to her supervisors during her performance review.
    First, you must understand what leadership really is. Don’t overcomplicate it.
    Leadership is about stepping up, raising your hand, and giving your opinion. It is doing whatever is necessary to make things better in your organization. Leaders take on responsibility and don’t back down from hard things.
    You have to demonstrate this leadership ability to your supervisors clearly. They’re busy, so they might not notice when you do something great.
    Don’t be afraid of self-promotion. If you don’t tell people something, they just won’t know. So make sure you get noticed.
    Go to your supervisor and tell them of your aspirations. If you’ve gotten involved and done great work, make sure they know about it. They’ll either tell you what you need to do to get where you want to go or will remember you when a promotion opportunity arises.
    If they’re not helping you advance, consider leaving. Go someplace where they will help you get what you want.
    To learn more about how to get your supervisors to notice your performance at work, listen in to the rest of this episode.

    • 15 min
    Make Your Boss the Hero with Ron Logan

    Make Your Boss the Hero with Ron Logan

    This week’s episode is a special one. We’re sharing a clip from our conversation with Ron Logan. Ron is retired now, but he was the Executive Vice President of live entertainment for Disney worldwide. 
    If you have ever experienced live entertainment at any Disney location, Ron had a part in it.
    Even though he is retired today, his impact is still felt at every Disney park.
    Ron is a man of attention to detail and creativity. He wouldn’t send anything out unless it was perfect. He even brought some of the shows he produced at Disney to Broadway, which is no easy task to accomplish. 
    In our conversation, Ron talked about his beginnings with Disney. He started out as a trumpet player on Main Street at Disneyland. This led to him putting whole parades together and eventually coming back to work for Disney full-time. 
    A lot of Ron’s success resulted from his interactions with his bosses. He had lots of amazing mentors, but he also had some bosses he didn’t like. His secret was to treat them as the hero.
    If you have to deal with top executives in your job, make them your hero. Make their jobs easier and you’ll be in a much better position. 
    Tuck away your problems with them and keep the faith. Who knows, maybe you’ll take their spot one day.
    You can get access to our entire conversation with Ron inside the Cockerell Academy. There is also a lot of exclusive content from me and amazing courses that teach high-level concepts you didn’t learn in college. Find out more about the academy at https://www.cockerellacademy.com/.

    • 21 min
    Are You Helping or Enabling?

    Are You Helping or Enabling?

    Are you helping or enabling?
    Do you know the difference between the two?
    Listener Greg Parsons recently asked us what the difference is. On this episode, we’re breaking it down and explaining how you can tell if you’re helping or enabling.
    Helping is setting clear expectations and sticking to them. It is teaching somebody how to do something and then letting them go off on their own to do it. When you work with someone to make them responsible, you are helping them.
    Enabling, on the other hand, is doing something for somebody that they should have done themselves. It is not enforcing the expectations that we have set. 
    When we enable, we’re giving people permission. We’re telling them that we actually didn’t mean what we said. 
    In the long run, this hurts them. We need tough love instead. By helping the person take responsibility we are showing them that we care.
    If you have a problem that’s recurring, you might actually be the problem. By seeing the same behavior over and over again and doing nothing about it, you’re allowing it to continue to happen. 
    Stop taking the easy way out and letting things go. Instead, educate, inspire, and hold people accountable. In this way, you’re helping them.
    If you want to hear more from Jody and I, tune in to our guest episodes on the podcast How That Happened. You can find Jody’s episode here and my episode here. 

    • 17 min
    What to do After a Crisis

    What to do After a Crisis

    On this week’s episode, we’re answering a question that came to us from Joe Fernandez. He is a Park Ranger and is wondering how to respond well to a crisis. Joe wants to know how he can continue to lead with a positive attitude during times of uncertainty.
    At Disney, we were prepared for anything. We thought about crises before they happened.
    You should do the same. Anticipate what could happen and make sure that you’re ready for all of it. Think about what resources you’ll need and which people you will need to go to for help. You can be ready for most things, even if you don’t know the specifics of what will happen.
    When a crisis does occur, do any follow-up necessary to get back to normal operations.
    At Disney, everyone who had a piece in dealing with a crisis would sit down afterward. We would reflect on what happened, what went right, and what could have gone better.
    During a crisis, you don’t have a lot of time to sit and reflect. So make the space to do it after the fact. This will make sure that you respond better the next time something happens.
    We’re all experiencing something along these lines with the pandemic. Use this experience to prepare you for anything else that may come along in your life or your organization.

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
387 Ratings

387 Ratings

Whiskey Hank ,


The best professional and personal development resource out there.

Chief Collins ,

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.


Lee/ Jody

fan o disney ,

Lee is a pro! Jody is awesome

These guys are fantastic - I don’t even work as a manager and find the show so enlightening !!

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