We sit down with leaders in customer & employee experience to tease out new mindsets, core principles and best practices. Built specifically for leaders in sports & entertainment.

Our guest today is with Disney Parks & Resorts legend, Lee Cockerell. In this episode, we focus on leadership, customer service, and time management,

Lee Cockerell retired as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a position he held for ten years. His responsibilities encompassed a diverse mix of operations, which included 20 resort hotels with over 24,000 Guest rooms, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 5 golf courses, a shopping village & nighttime entertainment complex (Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs), the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the ancillary operations support functions. 

Leadership Lessons from Disney Legend Lee Cockerell

1:02 The legendary Main Street windows and the story behind Lee’s window 

5:35 The Main Street Diary – Lee’s consistent communication strategy with all Walt Disney World® cast members

9:13 The 8-minute podcast 

12:15 Disney’s Chain of Excellence & how you get results

17:39 Talent is the name of the game 

22:39 The behaviors and characteristics of successful leaders at Disney

24:05 The leadership test and building complementary teams

28:14 Lee’s Legacy – Disney Great Leader Strategies & Creating Magic 

30:50 From what to how – implementing Disney Great Leader Strategies

35:39 Leading through external pressures on the organization

40:33 Lee’s top three leadership strategies 

43:00 Balancing and managing your time

45:50 Deciding what to delegate

48:29 Rapid fire round



Lee’s Book Recommendations

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Having Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

Learn from Lee


Morning Time Magic time management planner

Cockerell Academy

Creating Disney Magic podcast

Lee’s Books – Creating Magic, The Customer Rules, Time Management Magic and Career Magic

Connect with Lee




Other References



corporate culture, customer experience, employee experience, hospitality, leadership, leadership development, sports business

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