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Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
     

Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney

4.0 36
by Lee Cockerell
 

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“It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.”

The secret for creating “magic” in our careers, our organizations, and our lives is simple: outstanding leadership—the kind that inspires employees, delights customers, and achieves extraordinary business results.

No one knows more

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Creating Magic 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
BelindaEllsworth More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Lee Cockerell, as Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, doesn't claim that he always knew how to be an effective leader. In fact, he details some early experiences that led him to commit to studying leadership. His focus on essential leadership skills fed an admirable and successful career and was the source of a business philosophy that was the foundation of the Disney Great Leaders strategies. This book was simply outstanding. I really appreciated his focus on the importance of being an encourager. The stories and strategies were relayed from a corporate standpoint, but you can easily see where you could use them in other business areas, as well as with consultants. It was well-written - interesting and entertaining - and outlines the inspiration and thought-process that fed Disney's corporate culture. His motto is "great leadership leads to employee excellence, which leads to customer satisfaction and strong business results." When we talk about going "above and beyond" it can sometimes seem so vague, but Cockerell described how creating an exciting atmosphere and providing recognition and MORE recognition is so important. The goal is for both customers and employees to have the most amazing experience ever. This makes it a nice place to be and to work. Employees begin to adopt that attitude as a personal commitment and to include it in their decision making. They push themselves to be even better and this helps them to feel that they really count, that they're valued. Another very powerful element on which Cockerell places a lot of emphasis is an atmosphere of trust. It seems like a no-brainer, but, unfortunately, a focus on a culture built on integrity and complete trustworthiness and dependability is rare. And that's part of the appeal of this book and the author's approach. These 10 "common sense" leadership strategies are the principles Disney uses to build their world and the book lets us peek behind the curtain and see how they play out. Cockerell worked at Marriott for awhile and used the same principles. This book made me want to go to him and ask how I could help and how I could be a part of it. In particular, his commitment to creating magic through TRAINING spoke to me. Training is the heartbeat of everything in the Disney Great Leaders strategies. He believes - and so do I - that you cannot "overtrain" your team; they constantly need to be learning and growing. Creating a culture of training is just a really great philosophy. At Disney, they make sure their people are well trained and they provide constant opportunities for learning and otherwise invest in their people. This creates unparalleled loyalty, because each team member feels appreciated. They also try to promote from within and foster an atmosphere in which managers are looking to catch people doing something right and striving to identify the next leaders in their groups. I can't recommend this book enough. It even left me thinking about my team at Step Into Success. The great and timeless messages regarding the importance of how you treat your employees are key. It's the little things, along with the bigger concepts, that make people feel comfortable and loyal and improves all aspects of your business. These are lessons we all can learn.
kbshea More than 1 year ago
Offers insightful, common sense which many fail to remember as business leaders while also showing many examples of success with using these strategies. Excellent book for any current or future leader or anyone looking to improve professionally.
As someone who looks upto Walt Disney as a visionary beyond his time this book helped me further understand the magnitude of his vision which still shows in how WDEnterprises is operated today.
no_nonsense91 More than 1 year ago
I am a college student at Baylor University and was required to read a book about leadership for my leadership class. I chose this book because of my fascination of how the Disney organization was run. While reading this book, I found that the strategies that Lee Cockerell listed were very applicable to the things I was learning in class. This book is very useful, easy to read and comprehend. Lee Cockerell does a great job of explaining why these strategies would be beneficial to your organization, by telling stories of how he did something that applied these strategies or how he learned how to use these strategies.
MEF47 More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading this book, I was concerned that its ideas were too specific to the Food and Beverage Service industry. Since Lee is from that area, I grew concerned. Having completed the book, and as Production/Operations Manager for a manufacturing firm in Quebec, Canada, I highly recommend it for any reader.

At first you may not see where the usefulness lies. But Lee's opening remarks are only to set the scene and to give you an idea where he's coming from. Once you get past the introduction, you are greeted with a series of ideas, philosophies and strategies that can easily be converted to any industry.

His '10 Common Sense Strategies' are peppered with actual situations and anecdotes from his real life experiences. Using these methods makes absorbing the information and application of its ideas that much easier. While I've been Operations Manager from small corporations to Fortune 500 companies, I found the information included in this book useful and a great reminder/refresher for daily use.

Broken down to 13 chapters (not including appendix) the book covers such useful topics as "Remember Everyone Is Important" and to expect resistance to change. Expect him to hound on the subject of cleanliness and organization (something I am always working on). But both of these ideas, while found in other books and other venues, cannot ever be emphasised enough.

A useful tool for me was that the book has large enough margins to add your own personal notes for later use (if you write small like I do).

After reading this book, you might not find everything useful, but you will certainly be motivated to effect changes in your organization, no matter what size or area of industry it is.

I easily give this book a 9 out of 10 for its clear, comprehensive and useful information.


M E Fabian
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
As a corporate human resources director, I really enjoyed reading this book. "In Creating Magic, is a common sense approach to leadership that will help those in need to improve on the job, indeed in their personal lives too. The strategies and great WDW stories make this a very "usable" book that also happens to be a fun and insightful read.

Creating magic is the bounding of various stories that teach us a lesson about leadership and management. The stories drive home the point that leadership is not about the leader but rather the people that are being lead, molded and guided in their respective careers.

While I recommend this book in that it pursues leadership excellence. However, I cannot rate it 5 stars as Creating Magic does not contain any novel or new techniques. That is, the lessons of the book have already been digested by most of those in the managerial profession. If you are seeking an excellent reminder of these values then the book will meet your goal. If you are looking for the novel and new approaches to leadership, you will not find it here.

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR - Author of Wingtips with Spurs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because my healthcare facility is having the Disney Institute help redefine what we do, how we treat our patients, and coworkers. I was not required to read this but management is taking classes & reading this book. I was curious to see what suggestions Lee would be giving to our facility. Lee gives a lot of insight into "behind the scenes" strategies. I know I currently use some of these in my position. I hope management takes these to heart & puts them into daily use. I especially liked the examples he gave. For someone in his position, through the years, he seemed to always make time for his employees and tried to make decisions that would benefit them and the customers. The strategies he gives will work for any type of buisness..it has to do with customer service...outside customers, vendors, & employees. We need to "Appreciate, Recognize, & Encourage"(ARE)everyone we come in contact with. Isn't that what we all want in our jobs and life?
T-Hanson More than 1 year ago
Lee shares both successes and struggles as he leads at multiple levels within different organizations. Everyone will find something within this book that will improve both your personal and professional career. Very humbling and easy to apply high impact actions you will learn. You can’t place a value on what you will take away.
LarryStarstruck More than 1 year ago
Lee Cockrell captures the common sense leadership skills that sometimes seem to allude business in the modern day world. I can agree with the idea that if you have good associates, then keep them happy and all goals you want take care of themselves.
KimberlyNC More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because as my husband says Im am a Disney freak. (Im ok with that!) I love to read anything about Disney. However, this is much more than a Disney book! This is one of the best business books I have read. It is truthful and uses stories in a way that allow you to relate this to any business industry, not just Disney or hospitality. I will be buying a few paper version of this book and giving it to some of my senior leadership. If little O' me, "just the Admin" can learn from this book than everyone can learn something from this book. Mr. Cockerell is now on my list of people I would want to spend the day with!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great easy to read book with loads ot thought provoking suggestions on improving your customer's experience.
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