Creating Disney Magic

Creating Disney Magic

Lee Cockerell
Aug 04, 2020 24 min

The Mistakes You Make on Your Website

Most organizations make two big mistakes with their website. First, we are confusing people about what we sell. People should be able to look at your website for five seconds and be able to know what you sell, how it will make their life better, and what do you need to do to buy it. When you tell people what you are selling, they tend to buy it. Some of the confusion we create comes from the curse of knowledge. We know so much about our product, we project our knowledge onto the customer. The second mistake we make with our website, is we talk too much about ourselves. Instead, you want to talk about the customer and the customer's problem. People don't read your website to find out about you, they are reading to find out how you can solve their problem. "Don't be the hero, be the guide." - Donald Miller. You can talk about yourself as long as you are talking about empathy, "I feel your pain", and authority, "I have the expertise to get your out of your problem." When we express empathy and authority, people will end up wanting to hear your story. But you have to earn the right by showing people you care about their problems. If you enjoyed hearing Donald Miller on this episode, you will also enjoy the Building a StoryBrand podcast. To get more marketing tips from Don, you will want to check out the daily Business Made Simple videos. Finally, don't miss Don's new book, Marketing Made Simple.
Jul 28, 2020 20 min

Marketing Made Simple

When it comes to marketing, most businesses guess. Donald Miller wrote Marketing Made Simple to help businesses create marketing that actually works. The book will give you a step by step guide on what to do to connect with customers. Story is the hidden language we all speak. If you don't use stories in your marketing, you will not connect with people. You are in business to solved a problem. If you don't solve a problem and transform people, you've got no story and no business. Marketing Made Simple breaks down marketing into this simple plan: Creating a landing page in a specific way with specific language. Have a lead generator that makes people want to give up their email address. Send some emails to build trust and offer free value. Close the deal with a sales campaign after you have built trust. Between Donald's last two books, Building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple, you can implement a simple, clear marketing plan to get more leads and earn more customers. To learn more, visit
Jul 21, 2020 19 min

The Power of Your Voice

The 300th episode of Creating Disney Magic. After recording 300 episodes over 6 years, here are the biggest things I have learned: The power of hearing your voice. Nothing else can compare to people hearing your voice. Keeping episodes short have allowed us to deliver content quickly. Listener questions have allowed me to know what people are thinking and what topics are important. A Podcast can help you learn more about yourself and polish the way you talk about what you believe. This episode includes a few special messages from people with congratulations on reaching 300 episodes. One thing I want you to remember is don't underestimate the power of your voice. We all need to stand up and speak out loud about what we believe in.
Jul 14, 2020 14 min

How to Make Hard Decisions

People who make good choices get ahead in life. To make good choices, you need to understand your values. Take time to figure out what you stand for and what you stand against. It is easy to make the wrong decision. It is tough to be brave and step in and help someone who doesn't have the same influence you don't have. In the long term, it will pay off to stand up for what you believe in and do what is right. Making an easy decision may benefit you in the moment, but there is no benefit later. In fact, it will hurt you down the road. If not with other people, you will erode your confidence in yourself. We all have influence. If you speak up you never know who is listening. If you take the right action you never know the impact it will have on the people watching.
Jul 07, 2020 18 min

Applying What You Learn to Improve Your Organization

When you learn something new, it is only entertainment if you don't use it. On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, Chris Jaskiewicz joins us to explain how he used what he learned to improve his organization. Chris is the President and CEO of Icon Park in Orlando. Icon Park was the first attraction in Orlando to open as the city began open again after the Covid-19 lockdown. Chris explains how they used story, not facts, to present the case why Icon was ready to open again. Chris also explains how he used what he learned from me to improve his organization. With the improvements to Icon Park, they have been acknowledged by Forbes and USA Today. Whether you learn from me or someone else, you need to find a way to use the new information to improve. Don't go through the motions and then claim you are better. Apply what you learn and actually get better.
Jun 30, 2020 14 min

Share Your Opinion With Your Boss

When I was the Executive Vice President at Walt Disney World, I treasured my team coming to me with their opinion. They did not think of me as the big bad boss. They knew I was open to hearing their opinions. I told them to keep me out of trouble and not let me make stupid decisions. This attitude flowed up, too. Often, I would tell Al Weiss, my boss, what I needed to get work done. Part of your responsibility as a leader is to do the right thing. Telling your boss what you know is the right thing. If you know something and don't share it with your boss, that is on you. You are not in your job to get along and get to retirement alive. Too often, people are scared to speak up and let their boss know what they thing. If this is you, you are likely overrating the chance of getting in trouble with your boss. If you don't have an environment where you can share your opinion with your boss, consider if it is the right place for you. When you hold back, it begins to have an impact on you when you don't get to tell the truth. It gets to you. Maybe it is time to move on.
Jun 23, 2020 17 min

Your Organization Cannot Operate in Silos

When I was Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World, Operations and entertainment sometimes had a conflict. The live shows were tremendous, but at times the cost was concerning. There was an entire operation to run, but live entertainment was a big piece of what people enjoy at the parks. There are times when two department's priorities conflict with each other. The key is you both have to have a mindset that you are going to work it out. Get a team together to find a way to make it work. When the right experts are in the room, you can work out the details and come out feeling both sides get what they need. If you go in with the attitude you are going to win, everyone will lose. You won't look for a solution, you will just try to win. There is no upside to winning when both sides are reaching for the same goal of serving the customer. When you have a good attitude, you can avoid most of the problems. Once you get people in the defensive mode, it can be difficult to get them out of being defensive. Don't fall in love with your idea. There could be a better solution. Give your point of view, but you have to be willing to listen, too. The leader of an organization needs to be clear that you will not operate in silos. If one department doesn't work, none of the departments will work. No department is more important than any other department. To keep an organization from operating in silos, the leader must set high expectations, clarity of expectations, quality of hiring, and a high-level of training. Basically, it is your culture.
Jun 16, 2020 18 min

How to Recover From a Bad Decision

When you make a bad decision, the first thing you can do is apologize. Don't hope people forget about it. They won't. If you have done something inappropriate, it can be difficult to get over. But if you take action on a decision and it doesn't go well, face it head-on and admit what happened. When you get feedback from someone about a bad decision or how you are perceived, the first step is to believe it. You can't change until you accept the feedback you get. To avoid making mistakes, seek counsel as you work through and towards big decisions. Have relationships with people who work with you so you can ask questions and get their advice. Seeking help, and taking your time, will lead to making fewer bad decisions. Often, bad decisions come from making the decision in isolation. In difficult situations, our desire to make people happy can also lead us to make the wrong decision. It is better to hurt someone's feelings now rather than hurt their career later because you didn't give them candid feedback.
Jun 09, 2020 14 min

How to Get Accurate Employee Surveys

When I was at Disney, cast member surveys brought to my attention some perceived me as playing favorites. It was like a gut punch to get the information. But you know what? They were right. When I reflected on the feedback, I realized I did Immediately, I change my behavior. I sat next to different people. I sought out different opinions. Over the next couple of years, my scores improved. The key to employee surveys is to change your behavior to change the ratings. Don't get defensive. If you do, employees will never tell you anything again. The purpose of feedback is for you to get better. Employees and customers know everything you need to know to get better. As a leader, your job is to give your team the resources and support to take care of the customer. It is not about you. It is about your team. If you want more accurate employee surveys, follow these guidelines. Don't ask for feedback unless you want the truth. If you just want employees to tell you that you are doing a great job, you are doing it for the wrong reason. Keep it anonymous. Employees are more willing to tell the truth if their name is not attached to what they say. Otherwise, they fear retaliation. Do not try to figure out who said what. Resist the temptation to get to the bottom of it when someone says something negative about you. Take it as an opportunity to get better. Take action on the feedback you get. The most effective way to get accurate survey results is to actually take action on the feedback you get from employees. Once they trust you, they will open up more.
Jun 02, 2020 17 min

Working with Disappointed Customers

At every business, you are going to disappoint some customers. On this episode of Creating Disney Magic, we answer a listener question about customers getting upset or disappointed. The question is about how the narrative told at a historical president's home causes disappointment and tension with visitors. Sometimes they don't treat staff well when they get upset. From this situation, there are some things you can learn to use in situations with difficult subject matter. Be committed to telling the truth. Stick with the facts, whether people like them or not. Although the subject matter may be unique to the location, all organizations deal with disappointed and upset customers. If a customer gets so negative it impacts the experience of other customers, you have to step in. Start with empathy, and see what you can do to help the situation. If needed, escalate your response to remove the customer. Always remain professional. Keep cool. The upset customer does not know you. It is not personal.
Creating Disney Magic
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