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125: Bringing Greater Hospitality to the Ballpark w/ Eric Weisberg

The baseball business is a relationship business and has the same core values as any other hospitality industry.  It’s a practice that Eric Weisberg preaches as the Vice President of Fan Experience.  In this episode, Eric discusses the influences roles with Disney and the Kansas City Zoo has on his career in baseball, his “Fan Host for a Day” program and how to show up for a job in the sports industry.  

3:43     Eric’s Career Journey to Tampa

11:09   Hiring for Skill Sets over Industry Experience

13:44   Fan Host for a Day

21:02   From Negative Experience to Brand Ambassador

26:45   Reviewing the Savannah Bananas

32:12   The Tech Driving the Future MLB Fan Experience

34:27   The Effect of Promotions and Theme Days

43:07   Influencing the Fan Experience Vision Across Departments

45:45   The Best Fan Experience: Naturalization Ceremony

48:46   Breaking Into the Industry

55:46   Parting Advice: Place Emphasis on the Staff


Connect with Eric via email
Join Sports Learning Online –  a cross-functional community of sports business professionals coming together to share best practices and foster professional development.

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116: The 5 Key Elements Impacting Powerful Customer Experiences w/ Elizabeth Dixon

To design a first-class customer experience, it starts with the mindset, the stories we’re telling ourselves internally and the framework for how we’re viewing the world and aligning it with what we want to create for people around us.

In this episode, David sits down with Elizabeth Dixon, entrepreneur and business leader at Elizabeth Dixon Speaks.  Elizabeth has worked for or alongside several customer-centric organizations, including her current role of Principal Lead of Strategy, Hospitality and Service Design at Chick-fil-A corporate.  Combining best practices and insights from her career, Elizabeth shares the 5 key elements of a great customer experience. 

From mindset, we discuss the differences between service and hospitality, customer clarity, defining what makes your organization unique and innovating to meet customer needs.


Show Notes

3:27    Applying Strategy and Design to CX

5:03    5 Key Elements of Great Customer Experience

6:52    Elizabeth’s Career Path through Chick-fil-A

7:53    The Difference Between Service and Hospitality

15:09  Choosing Your Mindset

22:15  Recovery Situations and Broken Processes

26:15  Disney and Ritz-Carlton’s Service Recovery systems

29:55  Create Your Culture

35:19  Know Your Customer

40:24  Define Your Differentiator

43:20  Pursue Innovation


For more info on the topics covered in this episode, check out:


Connect with Elizabeth on Instagram or LinkedIn

The Power of Customer Experience: 5 Elements to Make an Impact

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

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Leadership Lessons from a Disney Legend

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


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