Dealing with Employees Who Don’t Buy into the Company’s Core Values (with Former EVP of Disney, Lee Cockerell)

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Audio Transcription

It is your job as a boss to find good people and then to help raise them up to the next level, however some people will refuse to do what they are supposed to do. During today’s podcast, Lee Cockerell, the former Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World explains how he personally dealt with employees who refused to live up the company’s expectations.

Setting high expectations for your customer service experience

  1. Setting the expectations for new hires during their first day of work.
  2. How to deal with people that don’t share the vision for the company.
  3. Without a strong culture you cannot be excellent

Yes, before we get into our business conferences, it is that we bring the vice president of walt, disney world resorts I get a chance to ask him about the importance of setting high expectations, demonstrate what I’m talking about so for everybody, myself included to put your hand up as high as you possibly can just reach up as high as you possibly can. Okay, there we go out now. I want you to just a little bit higher, just a little bit higher just a little bit and here’s the thing I want you to reach up as high as possible, so your very life depended upon it and then I want to ask you a question. Why, when asked, to put your hand up as high as possible, why does nobody put it up as high as possible on the first time, I’ll tell you why it’s because of expectations, what happens is very few people are used to giving their full effort all the time, and your job as a boss is to find really good. People who have a baseline level, where the valois still perform is good. You want to push them to be great. Now, here’s the thing:if you hire a low, a low character person, you might be able to push them up to be a be minus. That’s all you got so I like to hire people there to be level and pushed into becoming a and I’ve seen these people become it changes their life and then they can teach other people to become a s. But if you hire a c minus and you’re focused on how to get to work on time and how not to smoke in the office, if that’s the kind of crap you’re spending your day with his hey gary, make sure to show up on time and make sure not to smoke in the office as much okay, if, if that is the kind of motivational conversations you’re having if there’s a hey, denise, make sure try not try not to steal or to have as many affairs in the office. If that’s the kind of crap you’re dealing with that you’re not going to go to push that person to be coming in a you’ve got to make sure you hire pillar at least a baseline level of a b or what lee cockerell is teaching. You will not help it’s an exclusive interview with lee cockerell factory direct to you, because we eliminated the middleman he’s gone expectations setting those expectations. You know you guys at disney, had uncompromisingly high expectations and I would argue that in business people vote with her daughters, and so if they don’t like the business, they just cast the boat and go somewhere else. How did you set those high expectations? I mean?

How did you find people that are willing to I guess two questions is one is hard to find people willing to go for those high expectations and into I mean how did you hold them accountable if those expectations I think the pride issues, one creating pride that I work for disney people love to say they were they like to go home and their neighborhoods I heard you weren’t disney, oh man, everybody so we’re lucky. We got a brand where people are very proud and we also we’re very clear with our expectations. Clarity is a big business conferences sign. You know if somebody said give me one word that explains communication, that where does clarity you’re going to find out what your kids clarity be home at 11, clarity and there you understand what I was told you 11 clarity. So when you’re clear, with your expectations up front-and you said it up right-people know what they’re getting into actually were so clear and they’re interviewing process at 25% of the people leave after they hear what we want and don’t fill out. The application locations around personal parents, professionalism being on time to work on and on and on and 25% decide not to fill out an application and I asked you. If you know, are you clear with your kids about your expectations for them as part of your family? Are you clear behavior? Are you going to be clear with him as I get older about your name is the same as their name and your expectations for their education and their expectations for their behavior and their expectation. You will because parents that’s how I spect expectation most people have is for their children. High expectations in the higher your expectations are higher the performance. You know my parents didn’t have high expectations for me, so I didn’t perform my grandson and I thought we had high expectations for our son he’s very successful. He has huge expectations for his children. You know this deed does mobile dj service on my goal is to get as many tattoos as I could and I want. I want the two at the hoop earrings and my wife’s like he got to take the earrings out and you can’t get a tattoo honey. You got it and I thought. Will you know just let me be me. Let me don’t judge me, but it seems like it did. Do that somebody, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to come to work on time or go to all the business conferences. You do not have to look that right. You do not have to have your name tag,, but if you don’t you’re fired you don’t have to do anything in life. Do you write a consequence as a consequence, your kids, when you said, they don’t have to important it was it for you guys to I mean as far as there’s expectations in isms did you guys have in place to make sure that people were hitting those expectations, expectations now and you’re saying it? Disney were going to smile and then, when you get a hop on the train and ride you or in the monorail, it drives you into the park or wherever you’re going.

Everyone smile, the tour guide, smiley i, had you hold the guy accountable to be nice, little town right people to were already off to a good start and we’re clear with him about. We expect this and third, the managers rapping about supervisor watching and correcting correcting behavior. How mean are managers are not bashful. Listen! So if I buy hello, go walk up to me and say:hey, listen, absolutely I mean I’m telling you 72,000 cast members over there today or not providing excellent business conferences service by accident. I always tell people disney world the happiest place on earth, or else we’re very clear with him. Just like your mother tells you, when you were growing up or else and clarity clarity around and I will tell you the average person will perform if you’ll set the expectation. Most of us are not have a business right now. Answer the phone and they’re supposed to read a certain script on such and such office, home of the ya-ya I guarantee and that front desk man or woman. Just doesn’t read it. How would you handle that? So, let’s do you understand? I told you when I hired, you I think you should make sure you’re telling me about all the things I got to do before, so maybe some of them don’t want to do that and I said:listen! Is there something like it did I not communicate clearly to you that we always say have a magical day at disney when we hang up the phone, we never notes. I have a magical, and if you want to stay here, you’re going to have to do that. If that’s a problem for you just put you back in the store room, this is like a script you’re in this role. This is what you say:if you want to be in the play, you got to kick him dance, that you got to sing better and if you can’t sing you’re out of the show and if you can’t answer the phone with high-energy and act like we’re glad to hear from you, you feel bad about this. You would go home feeling bad after having those heart to heart dogs, but now I think it’s. Some of the conversations are pretty tough when you get up too high senior executives, they’re, pretty emotional and tough, but i. Think if you do it right, you tell the person, you know I’m, not! This is not about you. I just want you to be a better performer. Cuz got her. You are and I’m looking out for you and I’m going to help you be better, so you can go ahead and you need to do these things cuz! That’s what we do here.

This is the disney way, not your way when we return from the break more of my exclusive interview with lee cockerell, the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts get ready to enter the thrive time show. Yes, it is all about you that we bring the business conferences boys of walt disney world resorts I have an opportunity to ask my friend:how did he set expectations for new hires during their first day of work at walt, disney, world resorts know you deal with people that don’t share the vision of your company might do he manage 40,000 employees while serving 1 million customers all week as the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts with the man the myth, the legend lee cockerell right here on the front time show on your radio. What steps did disney take to impress the top 10 a check but a little bit watching some disney movies and you have kind of a the fluff I guess. But what is there just endless things you did to try to pull the first day is just like you go away. We inject the pixie dust into you. You are like hooked, you leave the first day you’re going to this is the best thing I’m, the luckiest person in the world to get hired here, and they take you on a tour and you could see the characters and you watch the parade and you’re going to be a part of the sin and by then in the people already put it hooked on disney and and then reality sets in I mean it’s. The work shows up in a day or two and it’s hard and you’re tired you’re on your feet for 8 hours and they are exhausted and your manager is not as nice as the lady was the first day and so there’s downfalls to that’s. Why we really work so hard to have great leaders, so they can keep that going. I, remember asking him will if someone, if they’re hard time, recruiting somebody nice if I come to work for you, what do I do now? I call you just make calls do I check in with what we’re going to be mowing. She’s going to be out of the trade shows and you’ll be calling my pool, but then what is there? Any interaction. Is there any? No. No. We want to keep her business. Small, manageable and I was trying to explain to the guys it’s a guy’s, just being real. There’s no vision here and I I wouldn’t work here. I was no way. I would stay with your company with the vision that includes your wife, be in trejo’s, you mowing and me answering phones, well, i, just wear those for you is division of disney to keeping and attracting top top. Well there’s a huge vision that there’s opportunity there. So if you don’t speak english, we have 1200 people in english classes, all the time and after you taking or should we give you two hours a week off to go to english class. It’s five years later, you might be the manager, and so everybody knows this.

Everybody knows that we promote 85% inside we promote from down in the ranks. You can start late. We got many many stories about people who started this level in the plumbing leak. Even when you talk about lee cockerell, you know he was a waiter back when he start his career and eyes. If you like, if I was president twice, was working cash registers now he’s the president that pay this pretty cool I can have a career, not just a job. So how is division shared on a weekly basis? Did you have? Did you have constant announcements? Make sure that all 40,000 cast members knew about the vision on going to go, see newsletter went out every friday at 5, I wrote it it’s 15 to 20 pages, and they had a lot of letters in there from gas about how great jon jones was and how great mary was and a story about them and had safety tips at had tips on how to get ahead in your career. What courses you can take at the disney institute if it was every week over and some people got their managers, use it and premium meetings before we start our chef’s. They read one of those stories and then we just aren’t country ink magazine he was 13% of all. Americans are self-employed. Now most of them have 10 employees or less a lot of people, because I’m so busy I don’t have time to share the vision, cuz I’m, just too busy seeing patients around of time to share the vision, because I would argue that you can become a big business unless you cast the vision, so I they’re, trying too hard, not understanding if you just met with your staff for five or six or seven minutes every morning before you unlock the door and tell them guys you all doing great job today, I really want your focus on the children that are coming in the mother’s, probably not feeling well get a good channel on the tv. Let’s make sure we get good children’s story books over there for them and by the way I want you to do when they leave. When you see the walk outside with him, help him to the car with the kids and every day you have a conversation like then today, I want you to focus on the older people coming in today, and you know they’re having a hard time and mr. Jones will be here at 10 and he’s in a wheelchair. I want to really be all over him when he walks into the business conferences and he looked he’s grumpy and we can make him happy and every day so five, six seven minutes, that’s like 40 hours a year.

It’s raining and people try to think about it as a big clump of time. Don’t think about life is a big clump. It affects all day long. If I only tell you you if you work for me and i, just occasionally once or twice a week, tell you how great you are you’ll. Remember, there’s some people that don’t share the vision or cynical okay, so they maybe they did somehow tricked you in the interview about making the magic happen. They’re, like yeah yeah yeah, make the magic happen. You’re talking about we’re going to put on a show and their kind of cynical about it. How did you make sure everyone share the same vision in culture when we first we had the I think it was a management training to add the disney greater strategies, her by understood what their behavior was expected to be a leader and a manager. We do a lot of communication, we have. Everybody has a lot of meetings with each other and we have a lot of recognition advance and we have a lot of informal recognition from the manager now I ain’t that he can give one of his employees. Just a little pain. Send you did a great job and, and we weren’t in any, does it in front of everybody before you open the door this morning and those people are glow and their performance skyrockets are, you know, show me the best thing you can do to keep people to make them feel like they matter. I mean who doesn’t want another matter and when I tell you you matter and I want you here and I’m going to help you get ahead and I’m going to make sure you get training I’ll, make sure you get development and I’m going to be there for you. If you have those kind of leaders that outcome happen, how do you share your values in disney, a certain values? Now? How do you share that? In fact they were in the newsletter every week, every week every week to keep the first page first page telling the truth and cleanliness being available for your team members over and over the same thing for 20 years and one day, you’re going to somebody’s going to say you have such wonderful children you’re going to say you don’t know what I went through because you got it over and over and over. You got to tell people to it locks and it takes time for things to know when i, when I were making a list of people we’d like to have on the thrive team as mentors and I think you look for most people that embrace business conferences excellence and they want to help other people and serve other people. That’s why your name came on the list. That’s why david robinson’s name is on the list. That’s why a lot of people are on that list, but I came to your house met you and your wife, and you guys have that culture and it’s it’s one of service and you want to treat people the way you want to be treated and it’s it’s apparent.

Some businesses, you walk in and there’s that culture, icab rooting, culture, a culture of despair, a culture we’re here at work today, a culture of our company. If we can just speak out another week, did you cultivate the culture at disney and how important is a culture to getting top people to work there? I would say the most important thing is. You know you’ve heard the old saying cultures, not part of the game. It is the game, it is in your family, it’s the environment and culture. That’s what your children are going to feel safe, appreciate it important educated and culture and i. Think of too many companies don’t understand that they have to decide what they want their culture to look like and work toward it, and not just let it become whatever it becomes on its own. If the culture at disney is involves everyone that makes everybody feel like they matter, it educates everyone everyone’s important everybody has an equal chance at jobs, everybody can get tuition reimbursement, everybody can get an award, so cultures, everything I mean really. If you have strong culture without a strong culture, you can’t be excellent. I, don’t think because your people won’t be excellent. Alright, thrive nation, we come back for the brake leak, cockerell’s going to explain to us what to do when you have somebody in your office that just openly refuses to do what they’re supposed to do, whether it be aggressive or passive, aggressive. We’ve all dealt with people that refuse to do what they’re supposed to do. I forgot, what they just tell you I’m not going to do it. How do you deal with boneheaded people that refuse to do their jobs stay doing more with lee cockerell? We return from the jump like a horse with blinders on the show me the help you score at the business conferences.


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