Disney Magic | How Lee Cockerell Managed 40,000 Employees, 1 Million Customers and Himself

Show Notes

On today’s Thrivetime Show, Clay Clark is interviewing one of the best managers and time management experts in America. His name is Lee Cockerell and he is known for managing Walt Disney World Resorts and more than 40,000 employees and 1,000,000 guests per week.

Do you struggle to manage people?
Do you struggle to manage yourself?

Do you struggle with feeling bad about management?

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my good friend, Lee Cockerell. Lee, how are you, sir?

Well, Thrivers, today we are interviewing Lee about a subject and topic that absolutely has the power to change your life if you master the concepts that Lee will teach on today’s podcast. Folks we are talking about time management and the high art of getting things done along with how to manage people. Lee when you were managing 40,000 cast members and nearly 1 million guests at Walt Disney World how did you organize your day?

  1. I’m an early riser. I get up at 5:00. I would get to my office at about 6:15 am.
  2. I never had a meeting before 8:00 or 8:15 am.
  3. Then I went through the chaos of the day!
  4. Almost every day I left at 5:00 and went to the Disney gym and had a workout. I spent 2 hours with my wife and went to bed.
  5. I spent the weekends with her so she loved.
  6. I stayed healthy because my wife said to take care of myself so I can take care of others.

Lee and I both are fanatical about both creating one to-do list and one calendar for your life. Can you share with the listeners why you absolutely must have a to-do list and a calendar to be successful in life and the world of business?

  1. I made it during the first 10-15 minutes to make my list around 6:15 at the office.
  2. I was either working on the list or in meetings at all times during every day.
  3. This system gave me credibility and it helped me out a lot because people like to do business with people who do what they say they are going to do.

Lee, in your book Time Management Magic you wrote, “Efficient” is being able to get things done. “Effective” is doing the right things in the right order, and making sure you address everything that is urgent, vital and important, in every part of your life.” Can you break down what URGENT, VITAL AND IMPORTANT items are and the difference between them?

  1. I made the list every day.
  2. First, think about yesterday and what you could have done different or what you need to finish today. “Fix yesterday first and get those things in your planner.” Then get people to think about all of the issues and people in their life every day.
  3. I look for the ones that are Urgent and make sure I get those done today
  4. I put a little * next to them
  5. The next things I do are the Vital things. These are things that time to accomplish but have big returns
  6. Last are the important things. They do not have to be done today but they need to be done before a year from now.
  7. BOOM – Time Management Magic – https://www.amazon.com/Time-Management-Magic-Lee-Cockerell/dp/194312731X

The Biggest Issues in Business:

  1. Clarity of Communication
  2. Are Your Hiring Right, Training Right and Treating Them Right?

We work with a lot of different sized companies.  A lot of them are trying to begin to replace themselves in their companies. What do you look for in when hiring a new manager?

  1. We look to hire from within the company at Disney.
  2. We are looking for passion and attitude. We can train the skill level. But when you have passion and the right attitude you are a high potential person.

Lee, PhyschologyToday.com now shows that the average person is now interrupted over 85 times per day on their smartphone between social media, calls, emails, text messages and voicemail, how did you find the time to step back periodically and evaluate your organizing processes—and not just during your working hours to make sure your whole life was under control?

  1. MYSTIC STATISTIC – “Average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, report shows”
    1. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954
  2. MYSTIC STATISTIC – The typical smartphone user interacts with their phone around 85 times per day.
    1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/startup-your-life/201801/why-your-smartphone-is-destroying-your-life
  3. At Disney, you are not allowed to have your phone with you while you are working and interacting with the guests.
  4. If you own a business you need to schedule checking your phone and voicemails at certain times of the day
    1. “Schedule the priorities in your life. Otherwise you will be running around doing 20 other things that don’t matter.” Lee Cockerell.
  5. I turn my phone off and I do not put it in the bedroom.

It sounds like you have a rock star of a wife at home. I think a lot of entrepreneurs can take the significant other for granted. For the listeners out there to learn from someone who has been there. How important has your wife or a bigger picture a life partner and spouse, how important has she been in your life and the way you conduct your business?

  1. I married a saint. My wife is the number one person to tell me the truth.

Lee, you wrote in Time Management Magic, “You either pay now or pay later with just about every decision you make about where and how you spend your time.” can you break down what you mean by this?

How would you measure 40 people compared to 40,000 people and how many direct reports did you usually get per day?

  1. 40,000 people:
    1. I would have up to 14 direct reports and most time between 6-8 people reporting to me.
    2. You have to hire the right people. They have to be great because you cannot do everything. When they need help you help them. Otherwise, leave them to do their jobs and stay out of those areas.
  2. I think managing 40 people is probably harder.

Do you bite your tongue regarding religious and political beliefs when managing 40,000 people?

  1. I keep them to myself. At the time I worked for Disney. Now I work for myself. Just live your personal values and work hard.

Visit www.leecockerell.com to learn more.

Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

All right. Thrive nation. Welcome back to the thrive time show on your radio and podcast download. My name is Clay Tiberius Clark. I’m the former United States small business entrepreneur of the year. And uh, Eric Chop on today’s show. I’m so excited to be joined by Natalie. Mr. Clay Stares. But we’re joined with Mr Lee Cockerell. It was this guy used to teach people how to manage the mouse house, the house of the mouth. He was the man who managed Walt Disney world resorts and this just in our main man, Lee Cockerell who were going to interview here in just a moment. He wants managed over 40,000 employees play stairs. What? Get your take on this clay stairs. Sounded like altogether a 40,000 employees. Wow. Managing them and he had 1 million customers a week that he also had to manage. Now want to make sure listeners get this idea and I want to throw it over to clay stares for a little tee up endlessly cockerel interview.

I have noticed that people that cannot manage themselves can never manage other people and people that can’t manage themselves require a manager. So again, we had to manage a million customers, 40,000 employees, but he also had to manage himself. And we get into today’s interview. Uh, chuck, he talked about how every single day he got to work at 6:15. Yup. He got his coffee from starbucks previous to that and to that. And he was up and had organized his day previous to that and is meeting started by eight, so almost two hours every single day for over 10 years. He got to work at 6:15. And before he did that, he managed a Walt Disney world, Paris. And before that he managed the Marriott hotels. And the guy started off at the bottom. He did not have a college degree and he moved his way up. So I want to start with this, this first big idea, clay stairs.

Why is it so hard for the clients that you’ve worked with to manage themselves previous to you or some of the coaches helping them. Why is it that it seems like most clients come to us kinda broken. A little bit disorganized will for some of them are profitable, but they flicked. They’re overworked and it seems like they have a lot of them struggled before coaching with really managing their daily routine. What was that all about? Yeah. Oh, I think that a lot of that comes from there. So many people that have great ideas, but as you and I both know, it’s the idea is just a small part of it. What is it like 10 percent of it? The other part is the actual implementation and administration of that idea. If you want to get traction, if you want to get there, you got to manage and I.

I just think that there are not as many people out there that have. There’s got to be a stat someplace, but that have the mindset of a manager. There’s more and more and more people, so much more people that have the idea of like a visionary of a dreamer. So here’s an example. I have heard this said many, many times and we talked about it today and this was an interesting little unprompted. You brought this up. I’ve probably talked to hundreds of people who are not entrepreneurs who have said that they think Jack Welch, they’ve heard he’s a horrible person. Oh yeah, but yet entrepreneurs that implement Jack Welch’s management management system actually create jobs, create financial freedom, create success, but the world labeled Jack Welch is a bad person. Yeah. For all the reasons that he was an effective manager of people claim. Why do, why do so many people think or prejudge?

What do they believe that that Jack Welch is such a bad guy before reading his books are implementing a system well. It’s just easy to go along with the negative narrative that other people have. That’s hard to do in that gray when it comes to holding people accountable. Number one, very few people enjoy being held accountable. They’d rather do what they want to do when they want to do it and not have somebody hold them to task. But secondly, just there’s just a narrative out there with people that, that, uh, that we tend to look at people that are highly successful and think negatively, well, they’re probably bad people. They’re probably mean are, they’re probably this, that or the other because it makes it so much easier to deal with the fact that they’re getting. I’m not doing it at four everyday, getting their coffee, getting to work@sixfifteenelitetalkedaboutthisonsomeofourvideosonthrivetimeshow.com.

He says, clay, the parking lot is surprisingly empty at 6:15. So I want to ask you one more question here at clay stairs before we get into today’s interview with Lee Cockerel. Uh, when I first started working with you and coaching with you, you had a, you know, you transitioned already from teaching school to then working in a nonprofit. Yeah. And one of the things you’ve probably said to me dozens of times, and you said clay, the pace of an entrepreneur is so different from the pace of being a bureaucrat or in your case being a public school teacher or being a head of a nonprofit, how has the pace different of being an entrepreneur than that? Of working for a school or a nonprofit? Yeah. And the idea of just the pace of being a salaried worker when I know I’m getting paid the same amount, whether I, I make it happen or whether I don’t there, there’s just no incentive.

And so we’re always working on it, you know, and never really getting it done. But just always working on it. And I remember that was one of the, the most difficult things for me to get used to and for me to actually embrace in my life is just the pace. I mean, you talk about Lee Cockerell getting up early, you know, 4:00, there’s a pace there. You know, I mentioned two people that I get up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and they’d look at you. Yeah. Like you have three heads and it’s like, well, it’s, it’s just the pace and when you’re surrounded by other people that are pacing with you, it just changes the whole dynamic of your day. It comes down to normal, right? Yeah. Just yeah, because. Oh yeah, you got to three. I got a three to everyone’s doing it. Do you feel like your people are in charge of you? Do do struggle to manage people. Do you struggle to manage yourself? Do you struggle with feeling bad about management? Do you manage more than two people? Do you manage three people? 50 people, 60 people? Unless you manage more than 40,000 employees at the world or the world’s biggest companies, you definitely want to take notes. Get a pen and a pad as we enter into the management lab with Lee, right?

Thrive nation. On today’s show, we’re interviewing a man who was the former executive vice president of operations for the Walt Disney world resorts as the senior operating executive for 10 years, Lee Cockerel at a team of 40,000 cast members their code word for employees and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels for theme parks to Waterparks, a shopping and entertainment village, and the Espn sports and recreation complex in addition to the operations for a variety of other things that were happening there. Lee Cockerell, welcome to the thrive time show. How are you, sir? Brother? I, I, uh, uh, considered to be a friend and I appreciate you for taking the time to be on this podcast. And, and, uh, if it’s okay on today’s podcast, I’d like to ask you today I really want to focus on how to manage 40,000 employees,

1 million customers and yourself. So I want to start kind of backwards if that’s okay. I want to talk about how to manage yourself. So if it’s okay, I’d like for you to share and talk to us about your routine on a daily basis for managing yourself. When you were Managing Walt Disney world resorts because you’re a great husband and you’re a great father and as you know, all those things fall apart if you can’t manage yourself. So can you talk about what does your day look like when you were in the thick of things? Managing 40,000 employees?

I would get to my office, I’d go to starbucks and get them off. So about six, 15,

six, 15, nobody else. Nobody else there. So you get a good parking spot and you can get all your work done before. I’d never had a meeting scheduled before eight or 30. So I had plenty of time to organize myself, answer my emails, kind of get ready for the day to understand what I was getting into and review and what I might need to know for our meeting was coming up and a man. I went through the chaos of the day or going to meetings and answering emails and walking the parks and visiting hotels and seeing how they were doing. Talking to cast members and guests. And, uh, almost every day I left at 5:00 and went to the gym on Disney property and had a workout for about an hour and 10 minutes. And I usually get home around 6:30, quarter to seven, my wife and I would spend two hours together, we’d go to bed and I do it again the next day.

So how’d your wife deal with that? And I said, well, I spent the whole weekend with her, so she was fine with it and I didn’t play golf. A lot of golfers are divorced and uh, so, uh, that’s how it worked. And it worked fine. And, uh, I was healthy because I took the time to get rid of that stress before I got home treadmill or the stairmaster or whatever it was. And I really learned a long time ago, the value of staying for is, my wife said, if you don’t take care of yourself to take care of other people. And that was a good advice from her. And she even gave me three things since I retired. She said, you have a new list of things to take care of yourself. So you can take care of us then take care of us and then take care of your business and if you have any time left over you can help Kim Kardashian with our problem. So, uh, we’ve learned not to get involved in things that we can’t really, you know, just nonsensical times if I could be. You just think about all the time you waste every day and I think about that a lot and try to not do it.

That’s kind of how my routine. When you arrived at work at starbucks, I’m trying six slash 15 I think.

Yeah, actually I got to the class, so I was probably starbucks.

So what time did you wake up? Every day. My friend.

I then, and still do get up at five. I get up 5:00. I said I was going to sleep late after I retired. So now sometimes I saved 5:15.

What time do you go to bed?

I go to bed, but tween probably average 9:30 10.

So when you were running Disney world with 40,000 employees, you’re going to bed at 10 and waking up at five, is that correct?

Yeah, that’s pretty much right now. I, I know this about you because I’ve spent a lot of time with you, but you have a to do list and you had a to do list and you have this to do list and on the to do list you would write down the thing. So I want to ask you, when you’re waking up at five, when do you make that to do list and talk to me about the importance of that daily to do list what I take the first 10 or 15 minutes to go down and make sure I had the claims in the right order and what I need to go to kind of confirm where the meetings were and just get a list of, to do’s for today. And um, so I kind of worked to that either was dealing with that list or I was in something in my appointment calendar. So it was either in a meeting or I was when I got through of didn’t have anything to do, work that list and try to get as many things off of it as I could for the day. It’s a good system and it really probably saved me because I didn’t really forget very much because I wrote it all down in the and which gave me a lot of credibility. And, and um, you know, people like to work with people, keep their promises and say they’re going to do. And I think that’s half the battle in life when people trusting you.

So how did you, uh, you’ve talked about this on a lot of the videos. We have a thrive time show.com for our premium subscribers. You’ve also talked about on a lot of different interviews you’ve done, but I don’t think a lot of people have, have, have heard it, a lot of our listeners have heard it. So for the hundreds of thousands of folks who download this podcast, you’ve, you’ve talked at length about how you prioritize that to do list. You know there’s certain things on the list that are more important or urgent. Let’s say some that are vital. Can you talk to me how you organize the action items on your to do list?

Yeah. Well, I have made the list everyday as I first think about yesterday. Anything you didn’t do well, that client you need to call back that something you thought about on the way home that you should have put in the contract and always reflect on your day yesterday because we all get so busy we were running around and on the way home we think of something and we’re in 15 minute meetings and we don’t do things as well as we should, so I tell them everybody fixed yesterday first and put those signs in your planner and take so can get a bed because if you do that, you’ll probably get it six before your client knows about it early enough in the morning. You can call him and tell him, Hey, I made a mistake. I’m going to send you another contract later on and not have them reminding you. You’re reminding them, thrive nation. Stay tuned more with our exclusive interview with Lee Cockrell.


You are now entering the Dojo of Mojo and the thrive time show. All right. Thrive nation. Welcome back into the daily.

Our session today we’re interviewing Lee Cockerell. Amanda wants manage 40,000 employees and he managed a million customers a week and he managed himself. And you might say to yourself, well, that’s a hard thing. That’s like 1 million, 40,001 people. Can I brag on a client who’s probably the biggest transformation in his life since I’ve worked with him this year? Yes, I want to hear it. Steve Currington. Yeah. Steve Currington is a mortgage banker, mortgage broker. He sells mortgages. I’m very successful at it and I’ve had to work with him a lot on how to manage people and one of the things that I’ve worked with him on the most, and he wouldn’t mind me saying this and we have a very candid relationship, I, he talks about this at our conferences to from time to time, is that he is a alpha hard driver performer. So he gets it done and when he hires somebody who doesn’t drive 90 miles an hour, naturally it makes them crazy, right?

And he bought into that cultural lie that you should manage people the way that you need to be managed. And so I want to get your take on this chap as a business coach and then I want to get your take on this to Mr Clay stairs before we get back into this exclusive interview with Lee Cockerel. Chuck, when you manage a team of people, which you have, you run your own business, now you coach clients, why can you absolutely not manage your employees the way you would manage the way that you would want to be managed if you are in fact a self starting entrepreneur? Yeah. Well Dr towner talks about this a lot when he’s on this show, he talks about people’s different love languages and if you need to tell people what they need to hear in order to get done what you need to done, you have to about taking. I don’t even know what this show’s about, but I’ll tell you what I’m about. I’m looking you in those steely youth youth tech hat that tonight, if you would, if you just, I don’t know how you need to feel right now, but you just keep on feeling the way you need to do without a great on that tape.

That take is basically, that’s what it is. You’ve got to know what motivates people. Clay, one thing I learned from over you, it’s a, it’s a overtly potentially trending homosexual. Flattery. That’s what you speak my love language and I get things done. No, but you, you, I learned from you very early on. Three years ago or so when I started working with you. Uh, you had an awesome guy, an awesome sales guy running sales for epic photography. Right? And He, one of the first lessons you taught me was that like you had to learn his love language or whatever you called it, but he had a, you had to yell at him. Every particular guy. Great Dude. What? He had to be yelled at. Erica, we had our, our sales goal for the week was like I want to say $30,000 a year and every Wednesday I’d walk up to him and say to her heart the sales and he’d say we got 10,000 on the board.

And I knew his love language. Yeah. And so I said, you know, 10,000. It was interesting. I knew this little, this little baby and there’s a little baby. I’m sought the airport when I was out and that baby did $10,000 of sales and it couldn’t even talk yet. It was by Tuesday, by Tuesday. So I’ll, I’ll write your mother a letter and tell her how bad you’re doing at work because that go are going to write it to your wife or both. I can do two envelopes. Handwriting. What do you want? He’s like, shut up dude. I’ll get it. It was more of an antenna. Antagonize. It was always. Or we do wagers with him, right? So he really loved. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Here’s the deal. You’re going to make a 10 percent commission this week, but I’ll throw on an extra percent if you hit 30 because I know you’re not going to hit 30 now if you don’t hit 30, I want a steak. You buy me a steak and when you buy me a steak you have to watch me eat it.

See stuff like that. Right? And it motivated him and he was saying people don’t make them cry. Exactly. So you have to know how others need to be managed because if you just run everybody off, you’re going. Well, especially like in Steve’s case, he would just have a bunch of pirates running around clay stairs. Why can you not manage people the way that you would manage yourself? Well, what can you not manage your team the way that you need to be managed if you are in fact a self starting high driving entrepreneur because we play, we’ve got to be what like point three percent of the population, one percent of the population and there’s just the idea that there are other people. I mean, this is one of the thing with with clients that I’m talking with that they are wanting to hire somebody that is a self starter that’s always thinking about the company that is always doing the right things like, dude, you’re looking for another entrepreneur. They’re going to leave and start their own business. You’re looking for the wrong person.

So there’s. There’s just a small percentage of the population that’s actually willing to do it. And in my case, clay, thank you for awakening me. We’d been running together for six years now, six years, and I was the person that did not have good self management skills. I didn’t know how to time manage these things in place. This is where you. This is what it. What you I think initially struggled with is you have a vision, but the vision, each part of the vision didn’t have a place in the calendar and we had to take your big vision, break it into small parts and put Ms Dot. Make your break your vision into small blocks and we had to take those building blocks and put it into your schedule. And then when we got it done, Bam, there was your vision. Yeah, but we had to break it down. Now some people are so into breaking it down into small steps. They don’t have a big vision, so everyone’s got their own thing that they need their own management style that they need to learn, but nobody is more qualified to teach management than the man who used to manage 40,000 people as the former executive vice president of Walt Disney world resorts, more with our exclusive interview with Lee Cockerel.

Do they have in their life from their spouse to their children, to their aging parents and grandparents, a retirement to their health, to their own career development. What seminars do they need to go through this year? Does it? No need to go back, get your bachelor degree or Mba or learn something new. We have so many responsibilities and what we ended up doing is we forget about them and then the next thing you know, you’re 65 years old and you wonder what happened. But I think what happens is people have all these. They kind of think about them sometimes, but they don’t apply enough time against them to make sure that they’re going well. And then we ended up with a lot of regrets, the end of our lives. So I put those in there and uh, and I go through and I first I do look for the ones that are urgent.

I’ve got to get them done today. My Day my boss made it urgent. Maybe my life made a virginal. Maybe it’s gonna expire if I don’t get it done today, a prize or something like that. So I put urgent on those. I put a little asterisk next to them and I had dreamt one, two, and three are ever how many there are. Then x planes I do are vital planes and we always talk about model things being those signs. It could take you a year to get it done, to take you two years, but when you get finished, um, the key is first get started. And then when you get finished you get a big payoff. And that could be anything from a new project, a new business, you want to start to get into your health and shape, you think you can’t get your health and shape, and one day you got to work on it everyday.

Over the year, a year from now you weigh eight pounds less than me feel better. And then last is the important is kind of, you know, you’ve got to get scheduled and you gotta go see a client, you got to those things that don’t have to be done today and they won’t take a year to do that. You’ve got to get them done today or tomorrow and the next couple of days or a phone call, you need to return the next day or two. So you got urgent things and important things. That’s how I classify them and work them in that order. Urgent things have to be done because they’re urgent.

I’m going to put this on the to do list. We’re gonna. Put this on the show notes here. For all the listeners, we have a lot of our listeners that just pretty much by any of the books we recommend and so I’m going to put a link to your book, Time Management Magic where you really get into the depths of the deep details of how to manage your schedule and your calendar and your life. Um, but I want to go back to before you became successful. When we returned, Lee Cockerel explains how he started from the bottom before we made it to the top. And if you’re out there and you say, I want to take my expenses from very high and I want to make them very low, check out our good friends at onyx imaging. That’s onyx imaging.com. They’re going to save you both time and money on your office and printer supply deliveries. And for a limited time, they’re throwing in a free copier or printer. Find out [email protected]. That’s unexcused Jing dot.

We’re now entering the Dojo of Mojo and the thrive time show anytime time we interview somebody who was the greatest of all time in the respective career. It’s always kind of a little bit, a little bit nerve wracking because I’m a voracious reader and I remember when I finished reading Michael Levine’s book about public relations. You know Michael Levine is the world’s number one PR consultant. He’s been the PR consultant for Nike, for, for prints, for Michael Jackson, for Pizza Hut, for Nancy Kerrigan for Charles Charlton Heston. I thought to myself at some day some point, I’m going to meet this man and I’m going to interview him, but then when you finally book the Guy and you get them on the show, it’s a little overwhelming, but then when you find out that Michael Levine has severe dyslexia for all intensive purposes, can’t read even though he’s a New York Times bestselling author and he started somewhere. He started in kind of an alcoholic abusive family and he started from the bottom and whenever you hear how he started, it always becomes more approachable to become the next.

Michael Levine, whenever I interviewed, you know, David Robinson, I mean, it seems unapproachable to meet a two time gold medal winning a player and in, in a National Basketball Association Mvp, it just seems like nerve wracking, like, oh my Gosh, David Robinson. But when you get closer to greatness, you realize their greatness is nothing. They’re not great, uh, by just any, they’re not great by default. There are great because they make great small decisions every day and they have an awesome routine. And so I love when we get a guest on like Lee Cockerel here, the guy who used to manage Walt Disney world resorts as the former executive vice president who managed 40,000 employees and a million guests a week. Think about that for a second, a million guests a week. It’s nice to have a guy on the show who’s willing to come on the show a and then be willing to tell you where he came from.

Yeah, I mean, think about this. I worked with a lot of pastors. I worked with a lot of, uh, uh, dentists, doctors. A lot of the pastors I work with, they might run a thousand people at a church service, a thousand. I think about that. That thrive nation was the last church service you went to. How many people were there? If you go to like a mega church, like a td jakes or something or or Joel Olsteen, you might run 23,000 people or $15,000 and the biggest churches in the world, Lee Cockerell wasn’t seeing five times the amount of people that Joel osteen now, Joel Olsteen, then worlds one of the world’s top pastors, sees about 20,000 people in a service at the Compact Center in Houston.

He sees did not five times that much. No, no, no, no, but 50 times that many customers a week. A million customers. If the entire population of Tulsa and surrounding area and moved to Orlando, it would still only be two thirds of as many. If all of Tulsa Caravan and left and went on vacation together, it would still be only two thirds. Thinking about the traffic, think about the employees. Think about the bickering. Think about the gossip, think about the signage. The bathrooms, the number of restrooms to clean. Think about just the painting, the parking lot, keeping it clean. Think about the supplies, the Napkins, the, the, the, the, the trash. Think about all. I mean there’s so many chuck managing 40 people. It can be overwhelming, but 45,000 you can’t. I mean that’s so many systems, so many processes. You just have to be on and it’s it, it shows. That’s why he got in early. He talks about all the time and I bring it up with my clients all the time. The date is burning fires, so you have to get your, a strategic thinking done before it hits you and I think if you’re not careful, you could go, well gosh this is of manage 40,000 people, so I’m okay

idiot. I think you might think that you might think I’m an idiot. I don’t have what it takes, but no, no. Lee Cockerell during this segment of our interview, he’s going to share where he started from and maybe some of the things he had to learn reflecting back as early career to get to where he ultimately rose to. So any further ado, back to the back story about Lee Conklin, I read and tell me if I’m wrong. I remember reading, I’ve slept since then, but that you were working at the Marriott hotel. I’m not sure what capacity at this point. I believe you were a chef or you’re a manager of some kind and Mr. Bill Marriott himself showed up at one of the hotels you were working at and t did he not pull hair out of your head?

He did and it wasn’t Mr Marriott Jr. They center around the company. IT was my senior year.

What happened? Yeah, while I was running the restaurant and philadelphia and uh, the marriott and he walked in and I’d never met him. He walked up to me and he said, my name tag said cut leacock restaurant manager. and he looked at it, they looked at me and he said, are you the manager here? And I said, yes sir. Well, this was the seventies. Everybody had really long hair over their heirs and he reached out and took my hair and kind of pull it a little bit and said, why don’t you get a haircut and look like you’re the manager?

I’ll never forget that day.

I still can see it very clearly. I have short hair sense,

so what I want you to do, if you can’t, I want you to do this. I’m eric chop. you can ask any question you want to cohost the show with us and now that we’re in the top 10 on itunes, we have just hundreds of thousands of people to download this podcast and so I’m going to let eric ask you the question. a tough question too, but this is what I want to ask you. For anybody out there who’s looking for the bill marriott moment right now, they’re looking for someone to pull their hair and say, I need that kick in the crotch. I need someone to pull my hair. I need someone just to give me the harsh reality. Lee, you’ve been on the planet for a long time. At last count ho hoW? how old are you? Lee?

I’m 74.

Okay. You’re 74, which means you’re halfway there. You’re halfway there, you’re 74. Give us maybe your top five, top three. There’s not a specific number, but give us your things that you see people do that are just perpetually dysfunctional. And somebody’s saying to you, lee, please give me the hard truth. What? What does the average person doing that is causing them to be dYsfunctional? What are just a couple things that I’m doing because bill marriott pulled your hair and you’ll never forget that. Can you give us just some harsh, real advice? You’re just wise enough now, did you can say it and not really care? If we get offended, can you go ahead and tell us? Uh, just that tough feedback. We all need

thing hurts everybody personally and in their business wise is they’re not. They are just afraid to be candid and tell the truth and tell people so that they can get better clarity of communication. I think this is the biggest problem. People beat around the bush. they don’t get to the point just but mother’s day. Mother is always get to the point with their kids because they love them and they don’t mind. As somebody said, mothers don’t care if you’re happy. They care if you’re successful and so you have some bad days when you’re a job because your mom loves you. Why you shouldn’t have some bad days at work to somebody who should have the guts to tell you the truth because it’s really irresponsible to be in charge of somebody or to have children. If you can’t make hard decisions and you can have hard discussions and I think this is one of the things People need to step up to them and understand are you really?

Everybody’s got one, two or three hard things in their life that they’ve been putting off and don’t deal with and the years keep going by and they still don’t deal with them and they start to interfere with your life, your health, your attitude to the way you feel about things. So I think that’s one. Just help be irresponsible. Dell people be clarity of coMmunication. Be clear with people so they understand this. My mother used to say that, you understand what I just told you. Well, that’s what we ought to be saying at work. More of them do you understand? And I tell people my mother was a terrorist before they had them. She didn’t mess around with us. She made sure we knew what we were supposed to do. And I think that’s one. I think when you get in the business world, I think people are too casually hire people that need to take more time.

They need to have a better system. They need to understand how to interview better. Most people don’t know what they’re doing and they hire the wrong people. So I say hire him. Right? And then train them. Right? It’s just like a mom’s mom’s train yet. I mean that’s what their job is. I got 18 years to get you to move on and they love you and they train you and they teach you and they are good role models, perfect role models, in fact, in front of their children, in front of other people. So I was telling somebody the other day, the best formula is higher morale training. RigHt, and treat them right. And uh, let’s, uh, do people have to analyze what the hell they’re running their lives. Are you hiring the right people? Are you training the right people and are you doing it well and are you treating them


The world’s best business workshop led by america’s number one business coach for free by subscribing on itunes and leaving us an objective review. Claim your tickets by emailing us group that you did in your contact information to [email protected]. Welcome back to the conversation. My name is clark.

I am the former us sba entrepreneur of the year. We have a special guest on today’s show, lee cockerell, who wants managed 40,000 employees. As the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts, he also managed over a million guests per week. He managed for theme parks, 20 resort hotels to water parks, the espn sports and recreation complex, the entertainment. It’s crazy. Lee cockerell was very successful. Look him up, lee cockerel, but I want to, I want to ask a clay stares, a business coach and eric chubb a business coach. A couple of questions before we get back into this interview because if we, if you get a chance to listen to the entirety of the lee cockerel experience, have you spend as much time with him as I have them as friends and spent a lot of time with lee. Lee will explain to you that you must hold employees accountable to certain standards and if you don’t, if they failed to live up to those standards, you must candidly let them know where they stand and give.

Ask him, did you not know what to do or did you choose not to do it? So if someone doesn’t do it, you make sure you’re clear. Even if it seems super obvious to you that they know you call them on it, you’re very candid. Then you’ll ask him, did you not know what to do or did you choose not what to do? And if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do intentionally, he’s going to fire you. And lee is probably fired more people than all our listeners combined. There’s no telling, but yet he hAd to fire less people as a percentage than most people because he was a master at making people feel appreciated and feeling like they were a part of the team. He now he didn’t ask his staff and, and this is where I want to get your feedback on this chap, he didn’t go into the meetings at disney world where there’s 40,000 employees.

Imagine him hopping on the mic at a stadium so they can all fit in the room there at wrigley field together. There’s 40,000 employees there. And he says, all right guys, what do you guys want to do in terms of you overhead music? Does anybody have any thoughts you’d like to suggest? Or he had to hop on the mic and say, ladies and gentlemen, if you’re not happy with your current work schedule and you prefer not to work at night, just email me because there’s 40,000 people. So I see a lot of small business owners trying to get their team to like them by asking their employees for feedback on key strategic aspects of the company. But really what you want to do is make sure your team feels appreciated in other ways. So we get back into this interview. I don’t want someone just to listen to part of this radio show and say, oh, see lisa says you got to make everybody feel loved and then never fire anybody. That’s not what he’s saying. So you need to listen to the entire show to get the whole context. But we’ll start with you chuck. Where do you see business owners getting that wrong as relates to trying to make all the employees feel great all the time and so they start involving them in key strategic decision.

It’s easy for people to fall into that trap. You’re thinking, oh, 40,000 employees. You have to be detached. Do you have to be in when I only have a four member team, I’ve got to get to know them and yeah, you do, but you cannot leave anything up to a committee. You have to have a benevolent dictatorship, whatever you say goes, and then you make your team feel appreciated and your candid with them and a big thing that you need to do is do what you say you’re going to do. You need to set the example and lead by example, so when you say you’re going to get something done, you need to get it done and when you don’t, you need to own up to it and you need to make sure and communicate when it’ll get done and that way you can hold your team to those same standards.

Wow. Okay.

Bingo. Okay. A lot of knowledge. A lot of knowledge. One of our client you work with clients to ask you the same question. Where do you see clients initially before coaching, get it wrong as it relates to involving their team in key? StrAtegic. It’s like an employee, like I see it all the time where I see business owner will tell their employees, guys, we need to gather google revIews or we need to clean the bathrooms. We need to use the checklist. I need you to follow the call script and the employee fails to do it and then they start to involve their employee in this. They start to involve the employee in the changing of the script because the employee says, I don’t like it, and so all of a sudden you’re involving every employee in the strategic decisions of the company. Talk to me about where you see business owners get that wrong before coaching.

Well, clay, I’ve said this before on the show that that most of us live lives that are really navigated by emotion and the reason why we do this is because we want to do it because we feel like doing it. Some something we want to do and again, there’s so many statistics of how much tv people watch and how much time we’re on facebook and all of this so so much is driven by emotion and now all of a sudden here I am as a leader over people and I try to lead them emotionally. That’s my movE emotionally. This just in shovel put on the show notes. The average american is watching over five hours of tv per day. The average american is spending over two hours a day on social media. The average american is getting 85 interruptions a day on their smartphone. Meanwhile, you’re a business owner trying to run a company and when your employee chooses not to follow your call script, the absolute worst thing that you could do is to say, well, how would you want to change it?

Yeah, want? Oh yeah, well, this is what I wanted is what I want to do. And again, it’s just driven by emotion and as, as we’re talking about a moment, oh clay, I was just like this when I first started my company, that’s where I was. I was in this world of being driven by emotion. I didn’t have management in my life. I came from a mom and dad that I love very much. they were visionaries, visionary. They had the big vision and my brother, visionary fish, and this is the family that I came out of, but I never did learn how to manage, manage the accountability. The structure, the rules, everything in its place. Oh, I hated that stuff. oh, here we go. You can spend your whole day in the and you have a great vision, simon sinek, and he gives you all these tips for writing great business. You read John Maxwell books simultaneously. You watch ted talk, you watch ted talk, watch it over and over and you say to employ you, say in an office, I need to get me to an employee. To you. That sounds more like a and a flight tonight, to not have time to get it, but I’ll try it tomorrow.

I must be failing as a manager to motivate my people. It’s a failure on me with my people sell to perform according to simon sinek. I must not be a good motivator. I’ve lost. So now you go to church and pastor convinces you that the people at your office or your congregation and you must love on them and then you go meet the cockroach and he says to you,

you got to pull your head out of your button. Fire somebody. Yes. So this is the nice part of the week. Cockerell interview where he’s going to explain, um, how to make your team feel appreciated, how to involve everybody, but there is another part of this interview where he explains when it’s time to fire people. So now that any further end do back to our interview with the man who managed the house of mouse, Mr. Lee cockerell from walt disney world resort

building a culture where we’re your people wake up in the morning, excited to come to work or are you building a culture where they just come in for the paycheck and there’s a big difference. And we all know that in both places and um, there’s a lot more fun to wake up in the morning where you feel appreciated, recognized, included, listen to involved your opinion counts. and that’s what I think a lot of people could go have a good discussion with themselves about their business and how their handling and their family, frankly,

that does make it a lot more fun. And I want to kind of piggyback on that. And you know, we work with a lot of different size companies in, a lot of them are trying to kind of replace themselves in their business right now. And so I wanted to ask him, you know, maybe maybe those moms have pushed their. They’re young kids out of the nest and they’re flying now a little bit and now they’re at that manager level. What, what are you looking for whenever you’re hiring your first manager or a new manager?

Obviously we. Most of them we would find inside to come. and so we’ve seen them work. We’ve seen their work ethic, we’ve seen how they behave, how they conduct themselves. They pretty much know the company by them, but we’re looking for two things. Passion and attitude, additive and passion with skill level. We can train you on that. We can educate you and send you back to school. But somebody told me one, when you get passion and you’ve got the right attitude, you’re a high potential person because you’re high potential people. They’ll get it done and they get better. They keep moving ahead and you cannot teach passion. You cannot put it in somebody and you cannot teach attitude. Then you can teach a skill and that’s what we think about every day. We want employees facing our guests that have great attitudes and that passion to serve and I think great leaders do certainly serve. It’s difficult to be in a great leadership drug because it’s hard. It’s hard to be a parent you to serve. You got your jobs to train and educate and teach and

management is sip, right?

Yeah. Well, yeah, sure how many others, but I think individuals need to understand that not lot the time they’re in ninth or 10th grade. Somebody I’d be talking to them about these things

you don’t leave saying. I wanted to ask you that because again, I’m not. I’m trying to paint you into a corner by asking another statistics on this, but psychology today, I love. I love reading psychology today because I feel like that they stay really in tune with current statistics and what’s going on and they showed that since the introduction of the smartphone, the number has been steadily in a bit increasing, but now the average american as of as at the time of the recording of this podcast in 2018 is being interrupted 85 times per day while at work and home.

I think they’re letting themselves be interrupted.

Social media calls

smart phones in the office. How do you deal with it? Stay too.

Three, two, one. You are now entering the dojo of mojo and the thrive time show, thrive time. Show on the microphone. What is this? Top of the charts in the category of business written down on business topics like are a dentist provided. You will need to shift over the past that you might get motion sick rather. That’s the best by three, two, one here come the business ninjas.

Shoppers in a ride. If I talked to you about a subject that I will get into, kind of a metaphysical parallel, parallel universe, kind of a deeper like the in the innards of an electron, like how to enrich uranium, that kind of a deep subject. I brought my scuba gear today so I’m ready to go deeply. I don’t know how to react to that, but because I stairs. Is it all right if I get too deep? It’s all right. If I go into the innards of the intergalactic space system, if I could get it, I get it to the. Is there a black hole is or not? If I make, if I mark stephen hawking by just dropping so many knowledge bombs per capital that you can’t possibly grasped the profundity and the sincerity and the clarity. What I’m saying is that okay? Yes. Let’s do it. Alright. Here’s the topic I want to bring up. Should you allow your employees job tobacco here? Should I allow my employees to bring the best smartphone to work? Now, the data shows the data shows from psychology today. Put it on the show notes, the 85 times a day. The average american employee gets interrupted from this other smartphone per 85

times a day at work. The average american is spending two hours per day on social media. The data seems to be conclusive to me that I don’t know

sharp. I mean, should we allow time? I think a lot of people don’t make a bIg deal about this. They’re all over like, well, what if someone needs to call for an emergency? So let’s go through all of the potential emergencies, whether I think you should have a smartphone or not at work because you should have a way for your employees to be able to reach a manager and the manager staff a smartphone. Blue chip. Let’s go over all the potential scenarios. So let’s say that you’re a wife or husband is in the hospital. Um, I think they should still have to call a manager who has a smart phone. They can grab you immediately. What if your kids are at school and they’re sick? I still think they should call their manager. What if they work at walt disney world resorts? They don’t get a smartphone at all. What if you’re in the airplane flying for jetblue or southwest? You can’t bring a smartphone into the airplane. What if you’re the pilot for southwest airlines? Sorry,

dItch and passengers will be flying into a 10,000 mile to. Oh, sorry. I got to get this phone call real quick. What was that? A no really lame that pokes and I take my little distracted. You can’t text and drive, but I can take a cell phone calls while I’m playing. sorry, I just got a facebook message and will quick alert there. Looks lIke I’m accEpted to do a higher level of linkedin right now. I’ve got a couple new friend request and it’s impressive. I’ve got some more like a gentlemen. I got some new lines, new tweet. I just retweet it, so please you. I’m sorry about that. I just struggled to turn my phone off here.

I mean if you were golfing, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a par par for tiger woods. Gets up here so far. Three Cores here, he looks to tiger. Appears that he puts interrupted. He’s taken the phone call. Go for tiger. I mean, can You imagine these scenarios? no baby, you got to turn your smartphone off you, you’ve there. All the data shows the cognitive processing of the average person who is interrupted by their smartphone 85 times per day. The cognitive processing level of the average adult plummets to the same level of that, of the average third grader. When you have your smartphone on, in a conversation, in a room, clay stairs, how many times have you seen a small business owner just absolutely paralyzed and plagued by their own smartphone? Yeah. This is something early on that we have set boundaries on in our meetings. Uh, again, because people will bring their phones into their meetings and you’re trying to carry on a conversation and trying to walk down the path and there is just constant, constant distraction. And of course they, it’s very easy them to say, well, I’ve

got employees. I’ve got to stay in touch. You know, this is a client I got to talk to you. Just. Yeah, it’s, it’s one of my pet

eric chap. I’d like to read an excerpt from psychology today. I’d like to read it, so I’ll read it. And because the [inaudible] always a little smaller, we smoke more and we don’t produce a lot of things, but we’re. We are more gluten free. I will read this. So the european accent, so the teams that little little smarter from time to time I might become australian or something. Here we go. It says, imagine that after a medical routine medical exam, you’ll talk to, to live as some devastating news central. That’s checkup. Your cognitive performance has plummeted. Yo, your ability to connect with others has eroded and your your memory for everyday events is no longer operating as it once did. As it turns out, there’s a key and it won’t cost you a penny. The treatment is bloody simple. All that’s required is that you put away your smart phone.

Few of us will have this conversation with our doctors, but perhaps we should. Over the last few years, scientists have begun studying the way cellphones effect human experience, and the early results are alarming. This consider the findings of a study in this month’s issue of psychology today examining how the mere presence of a smartphone, even when it is not being used, influences people’s performances on complex mental tasks. Within the study, participants were asked to quickly scan a row of digits and cross out consecutive numbers that add to a prespecified, but the data shows people can’t think when the smart phones off people’s cold 20 percent west, when the smartphones will own, they go on trip to explain that people just cannot remember events. They don’t remember conversations.

No, and if this has ever happened to you, you know, like it makes sense because you’ll be talking to somebody and then all of a sudden they’re not. There isn’t. Sometimes you don’t even get the monkey, the monkey, the monkey doesn’t even. Sometimes it’s just like there’s a body in front of you. All of a sudden it’s like, what the what? Who just said, do you want italian food or did you want to go for mexican tonight? What movie did you want to see is a person who was on their smartphone goes, ooh, ooh, ooh. Won’t get rocky. Brain is a huge problem. Yes, and it happens. It’s awful when you’re try to get stuff done. When we say this monkey brains a huge problem and baboons but is a huge problem, but looks like a baboon’s. Have you guys looked into baboons? But lately It’s seared into my memory to an that.

So have you guys seen this? Have you guys ever seen that? No. Baboons. Oh yeah. It looks awful on tv. He stairs when we pull it up because it doesn’t look good and I want you to know, we’ll put on the show notes if you’re bud is looking like this. Yeah. You got some problems going on that know that little red and swollen. If you’re starting to have. Look at that. Oh no. Oh wow. Oh my god. Wait. Okay. Move on. We’re starting to have. We’re not putting that on the show notes. We’re starting to have a baboon’s

butt or a monkey’s brain. You gotta. Listen to this next segment from Mr. Lee cockerell. Mandy wants to manage 40,000 employees as the executive vice president, the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts. The number has been steadily been increasing, but now the average american as well as at the time of the recording of this podcast in 2018 is being interrupted 85 times per day while at work and home

think they’re letting themselves be interrupted.

Social media calls, emails, text messages, voicemails. But you were at disney at a time and at the time that the smart phone was beginning to cell phone was beginning to become a thing. Um, and so many small business owners say, should I let my employees bring my smart phone to the disney store? You know, can I, should I let them have their phone? And, and so many business owners struggle with that. What’s your rule on employees bringing their smartphone, their cell phone to disney,

right? One is you don’t bring your phone on stage when you’re in front of the gas. You don’t have a phone in. Your pocket is turned off and you’re not to use it until you go on break. And if somebody needs to get ahold of you, and then he’d call the store and get the manager and have him call it home because you’ve got an emergency. But we do not want anybody texting, talking to their boyfriend, making a doctor’s appointment when they’re in front of our guests. There’s only one thing we’re doing for other guests and I take care of the gas, you know, when they walk in the door, we’re focused on them, not on them over there in the corner doing whatever people do on their front limbs or watching a football game on it. So yeah, I mean that’s just a policy. You can’t do it

now. It’s so obvious to you. It’s so candid to you. It’s so. This is so normal to you, but I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they own their own business and they personally will not turn their smart phone off. So they’re being interrupted 85 times a day. And psychology today, eric, we’ll put it on the show notes, but it says that the average american. Now leah, I’m sure you’re not shocked by this, but it says the average american is now processing cognitively life at the level of the average third grader during the work day, 85 times per day. They did it or not paying attention. They don’t know what’s going on. Can you talk to me about why business owners out there just simply cannot have their smart phone on 24 slash seven?

Well, I think, you know, I like the planner. We talk about planning your day. I think if they’re really interested in that, meeting new customers and being out in their operation and talking to their customers and talking to their employees, they can turn that phone off and they can pencil into their day planner to check their email at 10:00 and 3:00, you know, and the rest of the day and they can even have a voice. Bob says, I checked my voicemails that him and I check them again at 3:00. Please leave a message. I’ll get back to you. If it’s an emergency, you can call this number and somebody will get in touch with me. But there’s a lot of aina meeting when I got in my head, um, luckily I had a secretary, so I just told people, you know, we can’t get paid and call her and she’ll take care of it.

Some people don’t have that though, so I mean, you’re scheduled the priorities in your lIfe and if you don’t, you will be running around doing 20 unimportant things and the important things will get missed when you’re in talking to a customer in thEse. You pick up your phone, that’s, that sends the wrong message, that’s rude and it’s not an, it’s not very professional. If somebody said, always stay engaged in the relationship you’re in and then go to the next relationship. So get that meeting over, get that color and then go to the next. Don’t be picking up the phone and texting people while you’re in a session with the customer. And so it’s just a matter of people deciding that, you know, I turned my phone off at 8:00 at night. That’s it. An error by bedroom. It’s in another room or even sometimes earlier.

uh, I’ve told a lot of big, I don’t answer the phone and after 8:00 my wife priscilla will not let me take it in a restaurant when we go to dinner. So she’s training me on that one. There we go. She said, she said, focus on may, leave with phone in the car. Message message will be there when we get out there. And uh, so yeah, you just got to decide what’s important. Is that the relationship you’re in or is it this a need to get satisfaction from somebody calling you and you said maybe somebody said to, you know, a nice note to telling me, tell you you’re a good guy or something, but it’s unnecessary. It’s just habit. Like everything else we do, we get good habits and bad habits. And if you think it’s a bad habit, there’s, it’s called self disciplines. You decide I want to share with your family. You probably are gone to restrict your kids’ phones using television and watching television. Why? Why don’t you just let them do whatever they want? Because they will.

What’s interesting with our kids is that we don’t let them take their computers or smartphones into the room. That’s kind of our our policy because we’ve got kids. It’s unfortunate, but my son played hockey and playing hockey’s done unfortunate, but there’s a guy, I’m at hockey who gave his son an ipad and I saw this kid is trying to get my son’s attention and I’m watching this kid. He’s probably the timely eight years old at the hockey players and you know, he pulls up on the ipad, whatever was last on the ipad before he plays a video game and there’s like an adult movie playing on the ipad like an eight year old and I’m just telling you I’m very, very. It’s hard to unsee that, especially as an eight year old. Right. So I’m very much like aware

of, of monitoring things. Yeah. When we return more with our exclusive interview with lee cockerell during the break, check out hood cpas.com for america’s most prolific

accountants, cpas.com. The world’s best business workshop led by america’s number one business coach for free by subscribing on itunes and leaving us an objective review. Claim your tickets by emailing us proof that you did it, and your contact information to [email protected]. Ladies and gentlemen, please

my friend, his name’s lee cockerel. He wants to manage 40,000 employees as the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts and 1 million customers a week. The numbers are staggering. A million customers a week, 40,000 employees he’s managing. And uh, now that any further ado, we’re getting back into our interview with lee cockerell where he explains the meaning behind some of his more notable quotables found within his books.

Well, you have a lot of notable quotables and so I wanted to do is I wanted to read you one of your own notable quotables and I would like for you to tell us maybe the context of the dental quotable, what it means or how it can apply it to our lives. So this is the first notAble quotable I want to read. If it seems familiar, it’s because you wrote it, so here we go. You either pay now or pay later with just about every decision you make about where and how you spend your time. Lee cockerell.

Well, I mean what that meant to me is you can say, well, I’m busy working and I can’t get home for dinner and I’m so tired after working all week. I just can’t go to that soccer game and I’m in the morning. It’s so early and I can’t do this. I can’t do that. And I say, well, when you don’t spend that time with your children growing up and build their self esteem and self confidence and make sure that by you being around and being there at three important things that they feel that love you have for them. You will visit them later in rehab and then the psychiatrist and maybe in jail and getting them a lawyer. Because when your self esteem and self confidence is bruised and you don’t believe in yourselves, you take other things. And so we see it everyday in life.

Kids committed suicide. Kovitz getting them drugs, drinking alcohol at 12, 13, 14 years old, smoking pot at very young ages, smoking cigarettes at very young ages to show up and it would ever everybody compensated. So I say, now you either spend time with them, now we’re going to spend a lot of time with them later when they’re in all kinds of problems and troubles and you’re going to feel the worst you’ve ever felt because that’s the most important leadership job in the world is being a parent. You screw that one up, you know, that’s pretty tragic. And that’s how I think about it. I haven’t needed to. It’s like exercise, neely exercise now, or you go through your bypass surgery or the betas and uh, you do. Now what will pay off later? You exercise that pays off later. You spend time with your kids.

It pays off later. You listened to your podcast and study and read. It pays off later. You go back and get a degree. It pays off later. Um, you tell your wife you love her. It pays off right away. So you gotta make sure you’re doing the things now that you get the advantage of them down the road, you know, if you get your retirement together and you’re paying attention to your savings, it pays off later. Ninety percent of americans get to retirement with a negative net worth because they didn’t get started. Now it’s too late and uh, it’s, it’s sad and it’s pretty much 80, 90 percent of the people they’ll have their act together on their life. They keep putting it off and they keep do it later, you know, later, later, later,

someday, someday.

Somebody said some days, not a day of the week.

No. That was real right there. Lee, that was real. And you kind of were hitting on my next question here, and it sounds like you have a rockstar wife at home and I think a lot of entrepreneurs can take their significant other for granted. And so for the listeners out there to kind of learn who someone from someone who’s been there and been through it, how important has your wife, or even on the bigger picture, you know, your life partner or spouse, how important has that been in your life and the way you were able to conduct your business as you were working through your career?

Well, I married to saInt I think because my wife is the number one person who tells me the truth about me. It’s not always positive and I trust her because she, she does it for me. She’s now working with me on learning how to apologize sincerely. She said, lee, you know, I said, I apologize. She said, yeah, I know, but you’re not sincere. And I in these little things over the heirs oF a, she’s been great. You know, last friday we were married, 50 years. So that’s pretty good rub. And she’s great and she is a totally honest and candid with me and she loves me and that’s why she’s hard on me sometimes. And, and uh, I think most men, they need that. There’s a lot of ego, you know, you can get out of control with your ego if you start to think you’re a big shot. I wrote my book, career magic when you become a big shot though, you know, when you become a big deal, don’t because nobody cares for them. And so, um, when we got a lot of problems with that everywhere in the country, from churches to government to corporations at egos that are probably insecure people that are mistreating people and not being, I haven’t enough empathy. I’m treating people properly and building a culture where people are matter and they know they matter

in recent years, in the past 12 years, 10 years, um, it’s weird, but I had a lot of pastors that have reached out to me and said, could you help me organize my life? And I’m not exaggerating. These are pastors to have more than a thousand people in our church. Many of these people were talking about almost a dozen over a thousand attendees. And what happens is they use to manage their church or certainly, you know, they had like 100 people at their church and man, they’d grind it. They were out there passing out tracks, networking, inviting people. They had 50 people, 40 people. All of a sudden now there’s a thousand people and you can’t manage your schedule or your church the way you used to have 40 people. When you have a thousand people, you had 40,000 employees, 40,000 employees. So I want, I really want to try to tap into your wisdom on this. How do you manage 40,000 people differently than you had manage 40 people? I mean, talk to me about the org chart. How many, what is the number of the maximum number of direct reports that you’re okay with? When you have 40,000 employees, what’s the most number of people that you’re okay with reaching out to you directly?

It changed depending on. As we got bigger we changed the organizational structure, but I had at one tiMe 14 direct reports and then I ended up with about six or eight years away. And I would tell you the key to as it grows is you have got to clearly understand you cannot be involved in everything and you’ve got to hire great people around you. my top guys, I mean I had an ladies, I mean you cannot make a mistake and those people because you got to let them do their job, that you hire experts in engineering, you hire experts in retail, you hire experts in food and marketing and security and you’ve got to make sure their eight grade not average, not good, great, because you got to let them loose and you gotta let them do their job and because you can’t do everything and then at the end of the day you got to be available for them if they need help with budgeting or if they need help with staffing or if they need help with the bureaucracy and a corporation. But otherwise I do not have a need to know everything.

Managing people can be very hard. And I would argue that managing a construction project could even be more hard, more difficult. And that’s why if you have a massive construction project in the, in the near future, in the midterm, and maybe you want to build onto your building, expand your offices, build a shopping center, we recommend that you check out who chip

williams contracting and you can check them out at will dash [inaudible] dot com. That’s w I l l dash [inaudible] dot com.

If you are building a commercial property, you’ve got to get ahold of these guys. Let me try it. Chip will dash con. Why are you saying that was will dashcam quilt as conduct mcwilliams

entering the dojo of mojo and the thrive time show


of questions for you. I’m going to ask you a bag of tobacco that you are totally not prepared to answer, but I want to get your take on this rapid. Let’s say that you went to work with lee cockerell, the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts who was managing 40,000 employees and a million guests and you went to work with him at the same time. Every day you’re. You’re his shadow. Yes. You go to work at the same time everyday and you get to work at 6:15 every day. You’re waking up at 4:30 day everyday. You’re making your to do list every day. You go to starbucks everyday, you do the same workouts he did every day and you go to work at the same time, so you have the same schedule every day. then one day, let’s say you’ve been with them for like 30 or 40 days, he says, hey, tomorrow I won’t be at work.

Will you fill in for me? and if you did exactly what he did, do you think it’s possible that you would get a similar result? Maybe not the same but similar. If you go out to work at the exact same time, woke up at the same tIme, went to the same starbucks, did the same followup procedures, the same checklist, would you not get a similar result? Absolutely. Especially if you are familiar with what’s going on because you’ve been shadowing clay stares already set the scenario. You’re shadowing lee cockerel here for 45 days. Day 46. He says, hey, you’re going to go to work at the same time as me. Uh, go to starbucks the same time, leave the same time, drive the same car, and get to work at 6:15. Follow the same checklist, follow up with the same people. Do you thInk that you would have similar results if you had chatted them?

You knew the content for 45 days? Yes sir. So this interview with lee cockerell is probably one that people need to listen to 45 times because lee cockerel managed the world’s most successful theme park, arguably one of the world’s most successful companies, walt disney world resorts with a million guests in 40,000 employees. And he’s explaIning to you the process of managing people. He begins to get into checklists and systems. And my favorite followup. Oh yeah. Follow. That’s right. Why is followups so important, eric? After you delegate an action item, that’s kind of what makes it delegation and not abdication. The fact that you’re going to come back, trust but verify only the paranoid survive. So you as the manager, that is the management portion of it. That’s part of it is you’ve got to follow up and this is where a lot of people fall short. They think, okay, cool, it’s off my plate, but at the end of the day you’re the manager of the owner and it comes back to you. Oh, thrive nation. Without any further ado, grab a note pad, gramps, some get over pan, maybe grabbing etch-a-sketch, get ready to take some notes as lee cockerel breaks down how to become the world’s most effective manager. Possible

budgeting or if they need help with staffing or if they need help was the bureaucracy in a corporation, but otherwise I do not have a need to know everything. I need to have a need to hire great people and let them do their job. I and I can’t run engineering. I don’t know anything about engineering. I am not an expert in security, so I try to stay out of those areas and just kinda make sure they’re doing it and we’re getting the results and we’re measuring it and we’re keeping up good guest satisfaction score so we know when we’re dipping down and they need to get back on it and that’s it, right. People surround yourself with great people and train them, as I said, hire and train them right and treat them right. You can go take a nap and I think with 40 people it’s probably harder frankly, you know, in a small company because you got to do

the pastors I work with, I wanted to tap the pastors. It’s like they feel like they need to listen to the opinion of every single member of their church and every single member of their team and so they’re being overwhelmed with data points. you’ll have a thousand members of their church and 45 people are just constantly texting them and emailing each. They’re saying, I don’t Like to kind of praise and worship we have. I don’t appreciate our new website. I think we should do it differently. I don’t w when do you, because I, I know you’ve talked at length about making sure your team feels appreciated. How do you make your team feel appreciated, but also draw clear boundaries where you say only these people can reach me.

I didn’t get too much of that trying to reach me directly, but I think it is true that person who answered the phone in my office, I told my pupil, you all, you all know what kind of decision I would make is this kind of call came in. You know what to do. You’ve seen me do it every day. You take care of it, you handle it. Uh, and it, it, it is a matter of working out and making sure the people who are going to come into contact. And I think the thing that disney, the people who come into contact in our parks have authority to make the decision. The frontline cast member can take care of that. You don’t Have to push it up. And uh, you know, Willie George, you know, I did some work for Willie George.

Yeah. In tulsa for a church on the move.

And lilly told me that everybody can’t be in that church. He said everybody can’t be a customer, everybody, because they got to buy in to what the church is and where it’s going. And we certainly listen to opinions, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to implement them. Uh, the leadership has got to have a group of people that thinks about that moves forward and that, you know, disruptors a can cause a lot of problems for the whole congregation. Uh, people that are always disrupting and never happy. I’m always wanting to be in charge. And I would say you just have. And I think I learned from willy, you know, he said you’ve got to have conduct candid conversation with people. Sometimes you just gotta sit down, down, went out is, you know. And I think he does that and he has a great following. And um, when you change something, I’m sure, and this, I hear this from every church that I do do business with that when they change one little thing and oh man, everybody wants to get in and work too.

When we changed the policy at disney, oh my god, we hear from guests and not happy and we can’t do that, can’t do this. And, and uh, we just tell them the say that that attraction wasn’t doing well. We weren’t getting the attendance. It had too much maintenance cost and sorry, but we have to change it. You can’t take it personally. That’s all I can say. You can’t take it personally. We can listen, we can take notes, we can tell them, send me an email, happy to gather the information. And I happened to know. So if I see 20 people saying the same thing, then maybe I’ll change my mind. But just a independent opinions, uh, somebody’s got to be in charge, but this guy run the business. It’s kinda like everybody telling you how to raise your kids. No, no. We know how to raise our kids. We don’t make it. My mother tried to help me raise my son until he was 18 and I said, okay, I’ve done it as long as you did. So now I’m an expert so don’t meet anymore feedback here. Sorry,

I, I don’t want to get on your bad side. I never want to get inside the bad side of the man who managed to matt’s house. So I’m going to ask you a question. I tread lightly. Here we go. You are a person who has certain political opinions, but you managed an organization that had a million guests every week and 40,000 employees. This is my take and if you disagree that’s totally fine, but when you’re managing a walt disney world resorts, I don’t think that you, when you’re managing the company, I don’t think that you personally probably shared your political or religious beliefs a lot with the teammates, but I think you are. I’m retired and frankly there’s many people that reach out to you to hire you, to speak all the time and you say no to quite a few events. I mean, you kind of are selective about the ones you want to do and I feel like you’ve earned the right to share how you feel about the world. Um, can you talk to me about managing your religious beliefs or political beliefs? WHen you have a team, do you bite your tongue? when you’re managing 40,000 people, do you openly come out there and endorsed president obama or trump? When you’re managing walt disney world, I mean, do you tell the team, hey guys, here’s the deal. You really, really need to vote for obama or trump. I mean, do you, do you kind of keep that behind or what do do with religious and political beliefs when you’re managing that many people

nation? If you have a reLigious belief that you should drive a ford that ford has a in need of some repairs and you live in tulsa, go to rcc

auto specIalist.com rc specialist.com. Today I attend the world’s best business workshop, led by america’s number one business coach for free by subscribing on itunes and leaving us an objective review. Claim your tickets by emailing us proof that you did it, and your contact information to [email protected]. All right, thrive nation. Welcome back to the thrive time show on your radio and podcast download. NOw I want to share an idea with the listeners out there before we get back to this interview that, uh,

I might offer a little different take than what lee offers during this interview. I’m asking lee lee, when you manage 40,000 employees, what do you do with your religious beliefs and your political beliefs? And lee would tell you that he checked him at the door. He did not ever share his religious or political beliefs when he managed walt disneY world resorts. Now that is his worldview, and that is a world view that I have to respect because I asked him the question. That’s his worldview for me. If you have a problem with my worldview that you openly speak about, I don’t want you around me because he wouldn’t like it. So I’m very outspoken. I have an israeli flag in my office. I have an american flag in my office. I’m very much pro constitution. I’m a as, as libertarian as you could possibly be.

Um, and I don’t apologize for it. I’m, I’m the kind of guy that if I had a professional sports team and you were kneeling, I’d kick you off my team. Now, if we had 53 players on my team and all 53, neil, I’d go, well, it’s fan appreciation day or we’re going to do is all the fans if you’ve ever played high school football, but he lined up. I’m not kidding. I wouldn’t do that. You’ve ever played high school football? We’ll do open tryouts tomorrow and uh, will forfeit this game. And here we go. I’m just very much that way. Um, and I have a different worldview and I can. And you have to respect that I have my own worldview and lee has a zone and you would have to choose what kind of company you work for. And I would give you another example.

I’m howard schultz with starbucks is very outspoken about his political views and they happen to be left of center. Um, if you listen to the founder of hobby lobby, uh, David Greene, he’s very outspoken about his religious views and he’s right of center a clay stairs. I want to get your take on this. Um, obviously you ran a christian camp so you’re probably not saying, all right guys, I’m going to lead you guys in prayer if you want to. And if You guys were going to quote from the bible or the koran or, or any other book you might find interesting and a god or some dod or, or maybe not a detail, maybe the big bang frick. I mean, you’re not going to do that. You’re gonna. You’re obviously have a religious view there, but now that you’re in the private sector, I’m running your own business.

Do you ever share your religious beliefs? Do you not? what’s your rule of thumb or your rule of a certain fingers as it relates to sharing your religious views? It is, yeah. I want to be surrounded with likeminded people and so I am a very much a part. I mean who I am outside the office is who I am inside the office. I bring my views in. Now I do not demand. I don’t force people to think the way that I think. But, uh, I definitely have a certain world view that I bring to the office everyday. Chuck, what’s your take on this? Because there’s no right or wrong is when did you take, if you were managing walt disney world resorts, you can’t argue with the fact you just could not bring up religion or politics because it’s too diverse of a workforce. Yup. But if you own your own small business or you’re mr. Hobby lobby, let’s say it’s a huge company, um, would you bring up your, your political or religious views if you are managing hobby lobby or disney be your take on it?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bringing up or maybe teaching from your personal beliefs and your religious views. Um, but like clay said, clay stares center here is that when you’re tryinG to push them on people or you’re trying to tear down other people’s views, that’s where I think it gets weird. So I don’t think there’s any problem with kind of discussing and open dialogue, but you’ve got to kind of let people have their own lane when it comes to that friedman

choice. I want to share this audio clip, a shuffle. Hopefully you’re not too offended by this, but you actually were having a team meeting with members of our staff. This is as it was actually three hours ago, and your a meeting with the team. You’re having your secret meeting that you guys have had, you know then you were with. I mean it was not that secret. I mean to what you’re wearing. He’s like, guys, everybody come out of your mind, the dumpster. He’s wearing a brown robe. He’s abusing his authority and this is. This is the audio of what chuck was saying to his team. I’m going to play the audio. You cannot respond. You need to take it, listen to it, embrace this, and then tell us what you were doing. You’re pushing your religious views on your team,

which a lot of pressure. You’ve got to rise above it. harnessing the good energy harness energy, block back. Feel The flow happy, feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel. You pay the quarter, you get on the horse, it goes up and down, and the round circular circled with the music, the flow. All good things.

First off, what were you talking about?

Well, it’s part of my core philosophy as a carousel. Ian.

I have to let her know, frosted, the ties, and I have to spread the message. My bad. I hit the sound clip from happy gilmore. Sorry. I guess I thought that was you. And it turns out it wasn’t. You look at the camera footage. That wasn’t you. I apologize that we missed this. No, but seriously chubb, I do have a little little audio clip from you actually four hours earlier today to with siebel. You were sharing with employees in the office the importance of it using the force. And this is what you had to say about it. Alright, so actually met with luke today. That’s more chips meeting right there. The point is don’t force your religion on people unless you worship thing.

So now

let’s get back to our interview with lee cockerel. What do you do with your religious and political beliefs when you’re managing that? Many people

keep them to myself was I worked for disney now I worked for myself. So when I was with disney, I laid the right thing to do in any big company or in a small company. You’re in a community where if you gave your political or religious beliefs, you can lose customers. There is no question. I think you just got to always remember what your personal values are and live those lives them at home and live them. And um, if somebody. Now that I happened to be in my own business, I am pretty vocal about my political beliefs religion to do that though I think you’ve earned, you’ve earned, you likely cockerel or you don’t. But when these is a powerful teaching moment for somebody, because if you think about like steve jobs as an example, when steve jobs worked at atari with wazniak, rumor has it. That guy really didn’t share a whole lot of his worldviews. He just made a really great game called punk. And then when the game took off, he earned enough swag, enough momentum, enough credibility to get somebody to invest in his company. He started apple and he didn’t really know when to speak when did not get himself fired, but when he came back the second time and apple was like the number one company in the world. It was almost like he had started his own religion and whatever steve jobs said he was like america’s yoda, and he was pretty opinionated.

He came out and said, java is a terrible language of coding. Let’s get rid of job. And by the way, I don’t like microsoft either, but he probably did say that when microsoft was writing his code. So I think there’s a little bit of of gamesmanship out there, and leah I want to ask you is. This is Another thing I’ve extrapolated from your books that you’ve written over the years. It seems like you’re passionate about the idea that all of our listeners should surround themselves with great and consistent people if they want to improve their life. Can you talk to the listeners out there about the importance of surrounding themselves with consistent and high quality people?

Number one thing, I don’t think there’s anything more important than the people you bring onto your team because at the end of the day, your people are your brand. A european brand is how they answer the phone, how they take care of people, how graciously are, how they get back to people, how organized they are, how knowledgeable they are that your people. I mean, when we think about, you know, there’s some brands out there that we, when I Look at a marriott hotel, I know it’s going to be pretty good. I don’t think it’s coming. It’s not going to make me not through, it’s called him, but it’s going to be a good brand and I’m going to walk in there and people are going to be nice and, and it’s that consistency and people want you to deliver. And today we live in a society that wants it and they want it right now and they want it right and they’re willing to pay for it.

And uh, so that, that is an area that if you don’t hire, if you hire a good average people, your company’s going to be average. You know, if you hire good people, you’re going to have a good company. If you hire great people, you’re going to be better than everybody else, and also that’s a part of that is moving people out of your company that don’t belong there. There are people in companies, and this is Where I get into that, people do not make the hard decisions. It will have not have the heart to heart discussions. They let the company suffer and it goes down slowly and next thing you know..Can I bring this up real quick? I think, yeah, people that have certain political Worldviews, and I want to go back into politics one more time because no one ever talks about this stuff. This is big. I think certain people that believe, hey listen, because I am a little bit right of center or left of center, therefore I can’t fire people. I’ve heard people on the right side of the aisle say, as a conservative christian, I cannot fire people because everyone deserves grace. I’ve heard people on left of center. They say, as somebody who believes in handouts or hand ups, I can’t possibly fire something thrive nation. To hear the rest of this exclusive interview with lee cockerell, go to thrive time show.com. Click on the podcast button and there you can hear the podcast and then the rest of the interview with Mr. Lee cockerel. If you subscribe to our podcast on itunes and leave us an objective review and emails to [email protected]. We’d also like to send you two free tickets to our next in person. Thrive time show workshop as always. Three, two, one.


Let us know what's going on.

Have a Business Question?

Ask our mentors anything.