Repeating Excellence Day After Day (with Former EVP of Disney, Lee Cockerell)

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Audio Transcription

During this training, Clay Clark and his friend, the former Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Resorts, Lee Cockerell explains how checklists have the power to improve both your life and your business.

 90% of the Agenda is the Same Every Week | Great Management 101

  1. People will not work for you if they do not respect you
  2. You lead and manage people as individuals
  3. 90% of the agenda was the same every week
  4. If you are the boss, give your opinion last
  5. Mission statements don’t work unless managers passionately talk about them all the time
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Your mission is to be so nice to the guests they can’t believe it.” – Lee Cockerell


Consistency Creates Excellence | How to Train New Employees

  1. How long should it take to train a new employee
  2. Shadowing 101
  3. Follow me and do as I do
  4. Teaching by having employees training
  5. The pursuit of excellence means that we are never done training
  6. You must create routines for success
  7. Excellence is exciting
  8. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Mickey Mouse can’t smoke, Cinderella can’t have a tattoo on her neck.” – Lee Cockerell


Daily Turning Your Big Vision Into Reality

  1. Walt lost everything twice
  2. How to install a culture of excellence
  3. Focus on inspiring your employees
  4. Your company will die if you do not inspire your people

How to Set and Instill Expectations

  1. Safety first
  2. Courtesy
  3. Putting on a great show every day
  4. Efficiency
  5. Implementing success after your motivation wears off
  6. The best way to create checklists
  7. Write your great ideas down as you see them
  8. Writing things down makes it permanent
  9. Scheduling on-going maintenance and inspection

All right, thrive nation. We have exclusive business coach interview with lee cockerell, the former executive vice president of walt disney world resorts, where he explains to me how he managed 40,000 employees, 1 million customers a week. What success looks like on a daily agenda, the consistency that excellent requires and daily turning your big vision into reality. It’s a mind-blowing interview with lee cockrell on the drive time show jordan wasn’t for your team to buy into you, lee cockerell, the person, the man, the father, the business coach and a friend before they bought into the company the big day I took time to because I was coming from the outside marriott I’ve been in disney world, but I could go here. I never worked in the same park and it took a while before and but I remember, one lady who got promoted to she told me one day. She sadly I want to tell you something. I appreciate you because you, let me be me, you didn’t try to take over and tell me everything you. Let me be me and you lead and manage people into as individuals, not as a set concept. I knew what she had a situation of your situation with her mother at work with her on that make it so she could get off. So the guy had a different issue. One lady said:if I could just leave on wednesday at 3 one time a week, I’d be happy to go pick my daughter up early and spend the day with her. We work it out and this one needed something else in the sneeze, all the sudden, you get people where they said, wow he’s looking after me and I did that, because why not I mean you know steve jobs and said that 90% of the agenda at apple was basically the same stuff every weekend on the same kinds of things of. Did we get this done? Did we get that done? Are we getting this done and then there was an extra 10%. Does the proactiv the really big business coach stuff? Did you keep a printed out agenda for these monthly meetings with your team or how did you make sure there was some sense of order to those meetings, I quit running them and let them run them because every month we had I had like six direct reports in each month. One of them would take the meeting. Put the agenda together and run the fan. I’d sit on the side, not at the potatoes table so and I want the boss talks.

First, you get don’t get much involvement in the meeting when the boss, that’s on the side and let’s maiden run, and you know I always tell people if you’re the boss give your opinion last, not first cuz your shot, everybody down just keep your mouth shut. Your time will come later and see in the meeting at first you let them and then you seem smarter at the end. You believe in mission statement. So I companies have mission statements. No one knows what they are. You know a lot of employees, don’t know what the mission statement is. Do you believe in mission statement? So, let’s just talk a little bit about mission statement and how do people get to know that I didn’t go for a long time? Cuz I use a hug and the corporate business coach office and talk about shareholder value in the employees could care less. That is trying to feed their family, and then I was at the marriott running a hotel and I had a new hotel going up across the street and I was worried about it. All brand new mine was i, hadn’t been renovated and I said how do i? How do I beat that hotel and I know it be through service? I went around that with every employee and I had created the mission statement. I didn’t hire could solve them, and it was this simple. I said your mission. Is he so nice to the guess? They can’t believe it I told the housekeeper’s little ladies cleaning around you be so nice to the gas. They can’t believe it, and that means do your job. When the guest ask you for something, stop doing your job and go do what they want you to do. Then I went to the waiters, be so nice to guess. I can’t believe it. If they tell you to pour ketchup on their head poured on their head, do whatever they want, make him happy. So then I saw it happened when I left, they wrote on my little going-away saintly. Remember make to go so, have they won’t believe it and let housekeepers wrote, remember:lee no hair in the sink so now I got to disney and we didn’t have that statement and I made it out. I said you know:if you’re cooking, french fries, that’s not a purpose in life, the purpose is making sure every guest has the most wonderful time and when they come to disney, and so your french fries are going to be crisp and hot and salted and brown, and beautiful and you’re going to take pride in him cuz. You know in a few minutes you may never see the business coach guys, but your french fries are going to see the guests at one of the time and people get it letting purchase and tell me she said:maybe I’m the most important person I order, the french fries. So putting that in that we are all connected. If you got people in your business, so don’t take care of the customer, you don’t need her accounts payable, how they treat the customers, the vendors of receivable, when people pay late still be nice to them.

How many hours did you spend a training, a new employee before they actually saw customers in a written about you? Don’t practice on the customers right minimum number days? So, if you’re going to be cooking french fries, you might have 3 days training for we turn you loose, maybe had small business, it’s just their wife, the husband, maybe two other employees for 5 employees. You approach training there. If you were sincere hardware store owner and you got probably have them, follow me for a week. You shall you let me show up, so they can learn the technical part of everything else. Let me follow me when I’m dealing with customers and then maybe after at the end of the day, I’d say you have any questions. What did you see? Did you understand how I took care of a customer when acid, how I went to the computer and looked it up for them? I told him I would deliver to their house cuz. We didn’t have it tralee, not thinking small business, you just trail, you pick it up and you learn and then yeah training systems talks a lot about this ongoing. Almost like we’re never done. This is pursuit of business coach excellence we’re never done training the importance of ongoing training, but I think it’s depends what job you know if it had anything to do with safety. We have required retraining every 6 months. If it’s about a ride, safe ride food handling, we recertify people, disney certification, that if you’ve gone on vacation, if you’ve been gone more than 3 weeks, you have to go through retraining, for you go back on your job because we got to make sure that you can operate it safely and I’m. So on-going training and I told you probably the most effective training we have is the training where we meet with 5 to 10 minutes every morning and every staff member for every restaurant opens. We have a conversation tonight, folks, we got mattress also coming in every day, every single shift. What I’ve done for your little crazy in your you know, you’re willing to say, i, believe my idea enough to just start of its lot of times there are there inpatient action orientated people mastering the mundane process is the daily diligence of doing the same process is over and over I see lot of business owners that might be with her staff for one day and then they don’t for a week and I do it for a day they don’t for a week. What kind of message does that send to your staff when you don’t have daily meetings and daily diligence? You just set it up because you’re not the end of the day. Management is not supposed to be exciting. It’s supposed to be routine when things are under control, their routine. There is somebody said:if you want excitement will be a racecar driver. Not a manager supposed to be excited, i, don’t want i, don’t want things getting out of control, so have routine.

That’s why I had a routine in my life and I have every day 6:15 and do this to do here on wednesday I go to the magic routine I go to the gym and try routine routine important, a business. Why cuz you want consistency, we open the door at 9. Every morning we put the flag up at 8:55 before we open the door. I would turn the lights on in 97. Advocate can be boring, but it’s excellence is the exciting part when you’re making money and you’re having customers in your busy and you’re paying the party it’s exciting as the excellent, so you’re doing the monday and see how you guys are incredible. All that 12 things you did this morning for you open. That’s why it’s excellent. It’s, not actually by accident I guarantee! You said:mickey mouse can’t smoke a tattoo on her neck that we live in a culture where a lot of people smoke lot of people have the tattoos could be a fence of the people. I want to know what you mean by that we have a policy at disney, no visible tattoos by anybody. We have rules around behavior and roll of the show. Mickey doesn’t smoke., we have to smoke and smoke when he’s off today or when he goes home too many at 3. But if you can’t do it and I and we have no visible piercings, you can have them. You can have tattoos. If you can put makeup on him to come up, you can put a long, sleeve shirt on if you made the enforcer mistake of putting it on your neck. There is makeup that blends and you can use that how you can take the piercing out of your tongue, because it’s not what that’s not our brand. It is, and you have to have a name tag on and you have to have your shoe shine and you have to have a haircut and if you don’t like that, go work somewhere else. Riddle out of walt disney’s about walt disney himself and seems like he had this big business coach vision and it’s some point. People thought it was kind of crazy and then that vision turned into disneyland it worked into this. Is the guy I had lost it? All twice is my understanding. 1923 laugh a gram, went out of business and took even bigger and then to carry out that vision to where it’s still an inspiring. Today, how does disney? How did disney share that vision on a continual daily basis to keep that spirit of walt disney in the imagination and that I was at vision carried from walt disney? To talk to you too today to have had that vision house that vision carried you know, I think what happens is a lot of these companies like marietta and disney, and ryder truck and conrad hilton, starting help mode all those early founders they put and say such a strong value system and structure for excellence and for hospitality and for taking care of the customer that even after they’re gone, they trying a lot of managers lot of people drawing disney still I mean disney.

Has people been with coming 50 years, 30 years to 40 years, 50 years, the president of disney world? Right now it’s been there 42 years, and so it stays on it’s like a family. It takes on a life of its own. Why do some families have a strong culture and I assume? Your kids will have a strong culture and their kids, because it becomes a pride thing and it becomes up and we’re clear, everybody’s, clear, clarity and it’s hard to say:could you do it again? Things just happen to know things happening and people stay on, rent and i. Think the main reason is disney and many companies is every decision. Disney makes they keep the guest central to that decision. That’s the first thing:they bounce off how’s this going to affect the guest, making sure that the customers, the boss, absolutely and i-think the other companies starbucks. Think about that. How’s. This going to affect the gas I was at starbucks on morning. I didn’t I got out of turn. Somehow my coffee never came up. Finally got it, I want so down, but the manager noticed she came over to hear free coffee tomorrow and I’m. Sorry, I didn’t even know she made a ride. She was on top of it. I mean all over this morning. To the other. Few days ago, I was there and I had to have the coffee brewed. Yet she said no problem they so i. Can you say that, if a business today, if I’m a business owner or a business coach and I have company and I’m not focused on inspiring my company or inspire, my employees is my company-do is probably going to be mediocre, an average in the major events we go on your cousin, I mean literally, and we said today and everyday doing great just in the last few years, but it’s a culture. It’s an environment I go in there every morning for 20 years, so inspiration is there a. We all want to be inspired when we come back. Lee cockrell, the former executive vice president of walt disney, world resorts, teaches teaches us how to set and instill high expectations within your organization station is a drivetime show on your radio, resetting the world’s only business school without the bs and I’ll. Be the sea footsie. Welcome back to this wonderful, wonderful occasion where we have a business coach conversation with lee cockrell, the former executive vice president of walt disney, world, resorts people can say:they’ve managed, 40,000 employees, but lee cockrell has few people can say they moved up from a very entry-level opposition working at the marriott hotel me start off at the very bottom, after getting out of the military start off at the very bottom. As a as a biscuit, a does an assistant, chef and a kitchen, and he worked his way up and throughout his career he end up becoming the head of walt disney world resorts, managing the actual disney world resorts, and so he managed disney paris disney world is responsible for 40,000 employees and over 1 million customers all week. That’s some responsibility because, if you’ve ever been to disney world, the level of customer service is over the top.

It’s just awesome. It’s the day, if you haven’t seen it it’s hard to describe, but it’s like I would say the customer service experience at chick-fil-a or the customer service that you experience at starbucks, but over a massive campus on a grand scale on a grand scale. Why do most business owners from from your perspective? Why do they struggle with setting and instilling expectations, suffer from the curse of knowledge? So you already know instinctively know what the expectations for your company are, and you don’t communicate those with your team members and when you don’t communicate and follow up regularly they’re not going to do what you want to do and I have a defensive thought on that. Some people were raised in homes where you couldn’t put your elbows on the table that summer rates at home, for you cut somewhere raising families. We have to hold the fork in certain way and somewhere, some kids didn’t have a mom or a dad at all but home, and so they kind of raise themselves. Some people grew up in a home. Where are you know you can just curse as much as you want and some family? If you can, and so there’s different expectations everywhere, all across our country and when you have to come together and work together for a common cause, which is too well the customer, everybody goes about it the wrong way and I’ve even seen really well-intentioned members of business coach teams I’ve had in the past. That did crazy. Stop that offended a customer, because I thought it would help yeah they’re trying to help, and we just want to make sure that we you you leave this interview this. This show today feeling a hundred percent equipped to set high expectations within your business coach organization, and so it’s it’s it’s exciting that we have an opportunity to sit down with lee cockrell to have him teach these principles, it’s more important that you take notes and you implement these systems in your own businesses. Don’t just listen and let these ideas flow right through years, take notes and implement these things they actually work. If this can work for 40,000 employees, imagine what they can do for your for I mean we have basic principles of disney, which safety is always the first thing you do, no matter what even safety comes before a safety first. Second thing we do is is being cordial being that’s the second I mean always disney. People are nice after safety. Third thing is what we call show that the place looks great and we’re even ice before we worry about those piece of paper and last efficiency productivity. Whenever say, productivity comes first, because safety comes here.

Cuz you could I could save money by not lock on the gate or not cleaning up the floor right, not having enough people on duty to clean the bathrooms. So we always tell people when you make a decision thanks safety courtesy show how the place looks and then efficiencies last safety, courtesy, show and efficiencies. Last, okay, something you go to conference I know I’ve done it before you go to the conference and you are pumped. You come back to your office and you’re going. Yes, we are going to have checklist and systems and accountability, and then, when you get to the office in the brass tacks of implementing these things, I know don’t have a checklist in place. Only pictures. You said you were starting a business today. So even like you’re speaking, how do you start making a checklist? You got them down and it didn’t turn the hours of simple what it’s like when I came to disney world from paris I had a lot of people tell me what I should look into when I got there. I had a yellow pad with 5 6 7 pages full of things. It probably took me 5 years to get to all of them, but I have them on my desk and things I got them done. Transportation I got involved, that’s cost to me, but there is business coach opportunity to improve efficiency there and whatever and I was so i. Think it’s every time you get to keep something on your business coach desk. So you looking at every that you may not get to it for a month since you out, but don’t ever forget that you thought it was a good idea at one time and then you’ll get to it when you get to it it’ll. Never you don’t want it to fade from your memory. They said what do they say that there’s an old saying about writing things down that it’s better! That thing when you’re in the same writing things down, makes it permanent, but I still owe yeah. I was supposed to get involved, find out about the laundry yeah man. I went ahead and time now I got to that point. Start getting involved in laundry.

Took that one. What time was spent inspecting yeah I would say:i had a very clear schedule like i:do everything cuz, I’m, so compulsive so i, scheduled in a month in advance, I’d schedule for hours at the magic kingdom for hours of the animal kingdom so many times to visit a hotel for an hour to walk the rooms walkthrough sanitation check the kitchens and they knew I mean it was programmed the for me to go. Then I had times when I went out, just as a gas put on shorts and a half went out and experience the parks to see you today, I did that rocks and it took my grandkids. So nobody can see me anymore, i, don’t know and I think cuz. You don’t learn the truth when you’re being handled alright, thrive nation when we come back from the break, lee cockrell is going to break down for us with even more clarity how to hold people accountable and how to inspire people every week, I mean how do you? How do you hold people accountable, and how do you inspire people? These are. These are questions that people struggle with it. You do it by building brand compliant values. Brand compliant value. I, rarely see business owners that have this aspect of their business together and we come back leacock I’m going to talk to him about how to create a culture of excellence by creating values. Putting your values. Just mission statements that no one reads and not just boring a handbooks filled with text about values. No one reads, but how do you actually instill those values within your organization? I’m excited about it, because I know that it has the capacity in the power to absolutely change your life also I know the workshop or doing this. Friday and saturday has the password at the capacity to change your life and the only way that we can help. You is if you buy a ticket, unfortunately we’re all sold out for this workshop, this friday and saturday from 7 a.M. To 3 p.M. However. If you want to attend the workshop in april, you can go to thrive time. Show.Com I can drive time should I come today. You can click on the conference’s button and there you can actually purchase those tickets and get yourself reserved for the april conference were all sold out for this weekend workshop. But we want to also say thank you to each and everyone of you who supported this program and so to do that. We’re going to give you free family photos, photos for everybody, listening if you’re a business owner to learn more about that. Just email us today at info at thrive time, show.Com and you and your family will receive free game. Changing family photos for the first hundred people to participate. Email [email protected]


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