Come Rain or Shine: Lessons in Leadership and Culture from a Life at Disney-logo

Come Rain or Shine: Lessons in Leadership and Culture from a Life at Disney

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Creating and maintaining a magical culture in any organization takes dedication and commitment. Dan Cockerell, a 27 year Disney veteran and retired Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, share stories and insight to help you build the mindset you need to build a strong organizational culture. Come Rain or Shine will equip any leader with the tools to influence the weather in your kingdom for years to come.

Creating and maintaining a magical culture in any organization takes dedication and commitment. Dan Cockerell, a 27 year Disney veteran and retired Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, share stories and insight to help you build the mindset you need to build a strong organizational culture. Come Rain or Shine will equip any leader with the tools to influence the weather in your kingdom for years to come.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Creating and maintaining a magical culture in any organization takes dedication and commitment. Dan Cockerell, a 27 year Disney veteran and retired Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, share stories and insight to help you build the mindset you need to build a strong organizational culture. Come Rain or Shine will equip any leader with the tools to influence the weather in your kingdom for years to come.

Language:

English


Episodes

Immersing the Guest in the Show

1/17/2019
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After previously discussing the second key of courtesy, in this episode, I rejoin the podcast to discuss our third key, show. Once people are safe and secured in a highly courtesy environment, it’s important to focus on infrastructure. First impressions are important as they cement the memory for most people. Accordingly, staying in character, paying attention to maintenance and cleaning issues, even the background music must be set just right. Since the value of the show is helping people...

Duration:00:27:01

Setting Courtesy Expectations

1/10/2019
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After previously discussing the first key of safety, in this episode, I rejoin the podcast to discuss our second key, courtesy. While safety comes first, having guidelines and setting behavioral expectations for courtesy is important. Like safety, courtesy should never be compromised despite the fact courtesy can have different meanings to different people. Accordingly, how corporate guidelines are established is critical since granting employees the freedom to make exceptions can be an...

Duration:00:16:53

The Relationship Between Safety and Culture

1/3/2019
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If you’ve ever wondered what Disney considers its greatest quality control measure, safety, far and away, tops the list. After previously unveiling the four keys Disney uses to create magic (i.e. safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency), in this episode, I discuss the relationship between safety and culture as well as performance and awareness. No question, we live in an increasingly distracted world. For many businesses, this means safety is not only compartmentalized from present culture...

Duration:00:25:45

The Four Keys to a Great Customer Experience

12/27/2018
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At Disney World, we used Four Keys to engineer a great experience for every guest. We call them the four quality standards. These standards give us a way to put behaviors behind our concepts like “creating magic” or “creating an escape for guests”. With the quality standards in place, it gives our leaders and cast members a frame work on how to make decisions. With the framework comes clarity. With clarity comes consistency. Think about how consistent the service and experience is at Walt...

Duration:00:15:15

Creating Clarity in Communication

12/20/2018
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If you’ve ever wanted to know how to better lead through effective communication, you must hone the bottom line of your expectations. In this episode, I discuss the importance of communication, its benefit on organizational culture, and how greater clarity can enhance objective outcomes. Whether you’re a supervisor or supervisee, at the end of the week, it’s critical for employees to have a platform to share what they know. In our case, I encourage each of my employees to share three...

Duration:00:20:58

The Value of Round Table Discussions

12/13/2018
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Before speaking to the executive team, I like to spend time with frontline employees. If you want to find out what's going on in a company and what people are thinking, you have to talk with the people who are on the frontline interacting with your customers. In this episode, I share how we have roundtable discussions with the frontline employees. We start with an icebreaker and explain why we’re there. We give them a list of questions to answer individually on post-it notes. They have...

Duration:00:22:12

Prioritize Your Work to Impact Your Culture

12/6/2018
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At Disney, I was responsible for 12,000 cast members. Jody and I talk about how I prioritized things. Everyone has the same amount of minutes in a day to get things done. It’s just about how you use that time. There is no magical formula and it really is a dilemma. You have to make a list, be relentless about what you prioritize, and put the most important stuff at the top and work your way down. There may be really important things you’re not going to get done because something else...

Duration:00:18:22

Managing Culture When Your Organization Grows

11/29/2018
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On this episode, we talk with Simon Little of Studio STL in Port Townsend, WA. Simon runs a business that used to be just himself and has now grown to several employees. We discuss some scalability principles he can apply in a small office environment that would make an impact for the staff and clients. Before anyone worries about scaling though, they should make sure they have the right processes in place. Some examples include making sure you’ve got the right talent on board, ensuring...

Duration:00:23:29

How to Get the Feedback Every Leader Needs

11/22/2018
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We all need feedback to get better. Feedback usually goes from supervisor to employee but sometimes it’s good to have feedback going the other direction too - employee to supervisor. However, that’s certainly not easy for it to go “up the chain” even though it’s beneficial. There are creative ways to go about this though. For example, I had a voicemail system set up where a cast member could call and leave a voicemail sharing the issue they were having. Sometimes it was anonymous and...

Duration:00:25:44

Serving Everyone as an Individual

11/15/2018
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We had a listener question on this episode about food allergies and how Disney World works with that. Disney does an excellent job working with food allergies from a real and perceived risk and this listener is curious how Disney tackles this issue so well. We believe we do this well because it stems from our culture at Disney and the reason we exist which is to help guests have the best vacation they’ve ever had. We’ve listened to feedback and realized it was important to adapt our menus...

Duration:00:25:33

How to Find Out What is Going on in Your Organization

11/8/2018
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The one thing I used to worry about at the Magic Kingdom is that I had a blind spot or something I wasn’t aware of going on in the park. I wanted to do my best to know what was going on on the frontlines. To do this, I’d visit the park as a guest once a month. I’d listen to what the other guests are saying and try to see things from their point of view. I’d take note of what worked well and what didn’t along with what they thought was confusing or needed more clarification. I’d call the...

Duration:00:22:13

How to Turn Values into Action

11/1/2018
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In leadership, you can have as many values as you want but if you don’t put actions and behaviors in line with those values, they don’t mean anything. It seems the values of an organization are on a poster on the wall but they aren’t taken down often enough to be analyzed. Put your values into action by assessing the values you want to be your reputation and think about an action plan to implement them. When you act like a role model who shows your values, people see they’re important and...

Duration:00:19:10

Three Elements of Great Feedback

10/25/2018
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I just came back from a trip to Zurich where my dad and I did some consulting for a company. They mostly wanted to discuss how to give effective feedback. We talked about some reasons why we don’t give feedback and here are some of the common responses: I don’t know how, I’m afraid of the reaction, I’m not sure how to open the conversation, etc. We discussed how if you don’t have feedback, you don’t have growth. If people don’t get feedback, they don’t get better. And if they don’t get...

Duration:00:18:45

Balance is a Part of Culture

10/18/2018
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Balance is the holy grail of life and I don’t know if we’ll ever really find it. A concept I learned a long time ago is the difference between problems and dilemmas. Problems have solutions and dilemmas can only be managed. I think balance is one of those dilemmas where there never is a final answer. Everyone deals with balance and is trying to figure it out. Your behaviors define who you are and getting your priorities right is the first step. Shockingly, my number 1 priority is myself...

Duration:00:17:09

Creating Magic Moments for Employees

10/11/2018
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Disney goes out of their way to create magical moments for guests but what about for the employees? If you’re going to do something for your guests you need to give a taste of that to your employees. Sometimes when you’re heads down in your work you can forget to think about the moments that need recognition so it's a great idea to have someone around who will remind you of this or put things on your calendar as a check-in to see if you’ve done anything for the organization lately to...

Duration:00:19:50

Creating Disney Magic

10/4/2018
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A special guest this week is my father, Lee Cockerell, who is the retired Executive VP of Disney World. We pulled some questions to ask him. A leadership lesson Lee learned from being a parent is being clear and setting expectations. He says you need to be willing to have the hard discussions. Lee continues to have the drive to develop himself he says mostly out of fear of failure. He loves helping people in their situations and says that if you know something you should go out an teach...

Duration:00:20:24

The Power of Feedback

10/4/2018
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I’ve been preparing for a trip to Zurich where I’ll meet with a consulting company for pharmaceutical companies. When it comes to leadership concepts, nothing lives in a vacuum but everything overlaps. This particular company wants to focus on getting feedback because it’s so important and I’m going to be walking them through that process. “Clarity is power.” I believe the more clear you are, the more your brain knows how to get there. Creating a relationship is important too. With my...

Duration:00:19:22

Introduction to Come Rain or Shine

9/30/2018
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The name of the podcast came from the idea that “Come Rain or Shine”, a leader has to show up every day to be there for their people, bring energy, and an optimistic attitude. I retired from Disney in May 2018 and am on a new career path of speaking and consulting. I’d like to take what I’ve learned from working at Disney for 27 years to help people with their companies. Help them realize that if you hire the right talent, set expectations for your people, then motivate and reward them...

Duration:00:17:21