Creating Disney Magic-logo

Creating Disney Magic


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.

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.


United States


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.




Finding Success by Helping Others

Today we have a special guest Tim Schurrer with us. Tim spent ten years on Donald Miller’s Storybrand team, and now he is publishing an impactful book. The Secret Society of Success. If I had to boil down Tim’s book to one sentence, it is this: don’t become a big deal. When we think of success we picture climbing a ladder or being the boss. But is that success? If fame, money, and power are not the building blocks of success, what are they? According to Tim, it is helping others win. When...


Using Fees to Sustain Visitor Experiences



Current Issues in Business

Now that the world is opening back up, many leaders wonder what they should focus on to contend with the current climate. Many employees are resigning and looking for something else. These are the five things that every company needs to be mindful of. Retention is a big deal; employees know they can find a new job easily. Why should they stay where they are unhappy? Do you want to know how to retain your employees? Find out what makes them unhappy, and fix it. Once you identify what makes...


How to be a Better Thinker

Today, Jody and I are talking about the importance of expanding your mind. It is beneficial to be versed in multiple topics. The good news is it isn’t complicated to grow in the things you know. I have mentioned before that experience, exposure, and education are important building blocks for life. When it comes to expanding your understanding, the three “E”s are just as vital. If you want to grow in what you know, be intentional. Make sure you are getting a little something every day....


Preparing for When Something Goes Wrong

Today, Jody and I are talking about how to prepare for something going wrong in your business and how you communicate it to your customers. It doesn’t matter your industry; you will find yourself in a situation where you have to deliver bad news. How you handle the communication of disappointing information can reinforce or destroy the trust your customers have in you. The best thing you can do is get ahead of the situation. Take some time to think ahead and work through potential...


Serve with No Strings Attached

Today, Jody brought up a practice we had at Disney known as the No Strings Attached voucher. Simply put, a cast member was empowered to provide a guest with this certificate to help rectify a negative experience. If your kid dropped their ice cream or your shirt tore on a ride, the No Strings Attached voucher could fix it…with no strings attached. In business, you need to ensure your employees can correct issues without running them up the chain of command. It makes a huge impression when...


Create a Professional Presence

Today, Jody and I are recording this episode in person, and we are exploring what it means to have a professional presence. You don’t need a corner office to carry yourself professionally. It’s not just something executives have or need. When you put yourself forward professionally, you communicate that you are trustworthy and dependable. Whether it is dressing for an interview or the way you interact with individuals in everyday encounters, how you carry yourself says far more than your...


Letting Employees Put Family First

Today, we have a listener question from Will Walsh. Will has a complex question. In short, he asks, “What do you do when leaders have to tend to legitimate family issues that will keep them out while they prioritize family?” Will specifically asks about those in management who will be missing multiple shifts in a given month. It is not an easy needle to thread. In today’s cultural setting, it is important to allow employees the space to prioritize family. The workforce today isn’t looking...


How to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview

Today, we have a listener question from Rich Urich. Rich asks, “Can you talk about the interview process and how to prepare?” Thankfully, we live in a day and age when preparing for an interview is easy. First and foremost, look presentable when you show up. It is better to be overdressed and need to scale back than to be underdressed and try to recapture the first impression. Dress for the job you want and be in step with the industry. A tech company may have a different atmosphere than a...


Develop a Purpose Statement

Every business, no matter the industry, can benefit from having a purpose statement. People need to know what you want them to do and how their role fits into the overall purpose. Often, it can be complicated. Sometimes, that overarching goal hasn't been clearly defined, in a way that everyone understands. That is where a purpose statement comes in handy. When you are developing a purpose statement, make it simple. So simple, anyone can understand it. When you have a clear statement of what...


Why You Need Pre Shift Meetings

If you have been around for a while, you may be familiar with our Main Street Leader Newsletter. This topic is one I have mentioned in the Main Street Leader before, and it is a simple concept with a great return. The pre-shift meeting is a tool that can be a difference-maker for your company and team. When we get ready to embark on the day, we need to ensure we connect and get on the same page. Once shift starts and customers arrive, it will be too chaotic to ensure everyone has the game...


Experience Takes Time

Today, we have another question from a faithful listener, Tanner Brock. Tanner requested advice on becoming more comfortable and confident in your professional background. Especially in situations where business partners or fellow team members have a longer tenure in the workforce. It is part of the game and part of learning business. We all start out being intimidated by others having experience. It takes time to get smarter; to learn new things. Pushing yourself to expand your...


You Have One Goal in Business

In the book, The Goal by Ellyahu Goldratt, business is boiled down to one goal. If you are in business, the goal is to make money. Business owners use this end to justify the means, especially how you treat people, especially employees and customers. If you treat people right, you will make money. Modern business tells us to look at the bottom line. If you devalue the customer, who is going to contribute to that bottom line? There is no upside or reason to mistreat people if you want them...


Advice on Relocating Overseas

Today we are answering an anonymous listener question. Our listener asks: “What is your take on personal and family considering and advice on making a transition overseas?” Thinking about relocating for work? You live in the right era for it. Approach it like you would if you were moving domestically. The first thing you should do is get on the internet and do your research. Make a list of potential impacts to your family, like schools, cost of living, taxes, housing, spousal employment,...


You Can Standout When Service is Bad

Every industry feels the impact of turnover and instability in staffing due to the current pandemic. Every industry’s customer service is also suffering. Constant staffing changes mean employees often lack training or the development needed to go above and beyond to serve. It also means that anyone can rise to the top right now by offering outstanding service. It is the perfect time for people who want to show up and be great. There is a hole in service that needs to be filled; that means...


Should You Take Care of Your Business or Your People?

Today we are answering a listener question. Our anonymous listener asks: How do you balance the need to take care of employees with the very real challenge a business is facing? First, you as a leader need to define what ‘taking care of’ means for you. I think you can start with caring for your team emotionally. Let them know they matter. When you are faced with the type of decision that puts the team against the company, bring them into the discussion. Ask their opinion on the decisions...


Do You Have a Strategy to Be Different?

Today is one of our rare episodes that Jody and I are in the same room, in person. We just wrapped up the Creating Magic Mastermind. It is amazing what can come out of a concentrated time when people who are passionate and want to grow and learn come together. Two big themes emerged over the mastermind: Strategy and everyone matters, and should know they matter. The strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. When you boil it down, you need to ask yourself how you will be different from your...


Take Responsibility For Your Own Development

Today we are answering our first listener question of 2022 (full disclosure, we recorded it last month). Eric Reys asks: My daughter just became a manager and has not had any leadership training. Should she look into outside courses and bring them to her boss or do it on her own? I have explained previously that there is a difference between management and leadership. Management is about getting things done and is technical. These are the hard skills needed to do a job, and ideally, you...


Hero on a Mission with Donald Miller

If you feel bored with your own story, bored with life, or feel like your life is a story you are not enjoying right now, you need to hear this episode. Donald Miller returns to Creating Disney Magic to talk about his new book, Hero on a Mission. Don shares the three stories he is living with his life. When you are know what story you are living, you know what you won't do. You get more clarity in your life. You have a filter to help you make decisions. Many people struggle when one story...


The Benefit of Deadlines

Wrapping up one year and moving into the next can get people thinking of things they want to change and improve. I have learned over the years that knowing how to set deadlines is a make-or-break strategy when it comes to being organized and getting things in your life done. In life, you get done what you want to do. If you desire to do more, you need to get organized. Often, we know what we need to do; we don’t do it. It is easy, especially in our personal life, to fail to complete those...