S4e11 The Everything Matters Edition with Lee Cockerell
James chats with Lee Cockerell, retired Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort. Growing up in Oklahoma, Lee attended Oklahoma State University for two years before joining in the United States Army.
His career includes eight years with Hilton Hotels, seventeen years with Marriott International and sixteen years with The Walt Disney Company. Lee Joined Disney in 1990 as Director of Food and Beverage, Quality Assurance and Vice President of the hotel division for Disneyland Paris.
In 1993 Lee became the Senior Vice President of the hotel division at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and in 1997 was promoted to Executive Vice President of Operations for all of Walt Disney World Operations, serving in that position for ten years before retiring to start his own business, Lee Cockerell, LLC., a training and development company and authoring 6 books on leadership, management and world class customer service.
They discuss learning from hospitality, a culture where everyone matters, hire ’em right, train ’em right, and treat ’em right, doing the best with unhappy people, great leadership, listening to customers and employees, creating magic, consistency, meeting expectations, not being a big deal and showtime.
James Nathan 00:00
Hello, and welcome to The Only One Business Show with me your host James Nathan and I’ve got a really exciting guest for you today a guy who worked with some of the most fabulous businesses that we talk about on this show all the time. He retired as Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort, grew up in Oklahoma, attended State University for two years and then joined the United States Army. His career includes eight years with the Hilton Hotels group, 17 years with Marriott International and 16 years with the Walt Disney Company. He joined Disney in 1990 as Director of Food and Beverage, Quality Assurance and Vice President of the hotel division for Disneyland Paris. In 1991, he became senior vice president of the hotels Division at the Walt Disney Resort World resort in Florida. And if you’ve been there, you’ll know what a wonderful place that is. And then in 1997, he was promoted to executive vice president of operations for all of Walt Disney World operations, serving in that position for 10 years before retiring and starting his own business, a training and development company. He’s the author of six books on leadership, management and a world class and world class customer service. Please welcome Lee Cockerel. Lee hi, how are you?
Lee Cockerell 02:06
Well, thanks, James. Good to hear your voice. I just got back from London. And so I’m used to that accent.
James Nathan 02:12
Well, I’m not sure Lee if I should take offence or not because I’m Australian. But I’ve lived here such a long time. I guess my my voice has changed a bit over time. But, how was your trip to London? Did you enjoy yourself?
Lee Cockerell 02:24
Great. Yeah, we we love to go there. And it was just enjoyable to get out on the road again.
James Nathan 02:33
It is nice to travel once you once you start again, isn’t it? Yeah. And London is a place where there’s just one of those great cities, isn’t it? There’s nothing you can’t do. And there’s too much to do in the time you’ve always got available.
Lee Cockerell 02:48
It’s exactly I think people are from everywhere in the world in London.
James Nathan 02:51
Wow. Absolutely. In fact, I’m trying to think of there was a quote recently of the number of languages spoken every day in London. That was phenomenal number.
Lee Cockerell 03:00
No, I can see that easily. Yeah, it’s great.
James Nathan 03:04
So how did you end up? Where you did you still, you know, leaving union and joining the army? How did you then develop your career the way you did?
Lee Cockerell 03:14
Well, I grew up in Oklahoma. I’d never been anywhere. And I was 20 years old. And I’ve gone to college for two years. I’m not a very good student. So I didn’t do well. I left college and in those days Vietnam was in progress. So you either went in the Army or you got drafted. Or if you weren’t in college. So I signed up and went out and I’m actually I met a guy, Terrence Biggs, he’s from the UK. And Graham Cromack. They were two UK guys, because back then if you had an green card you had to serve in the US military. So I met them and they became my roommates, even after we got out and we moved to Washington DC. And the Washington Hilton Hotel was going to open on May 15. And we got there two weeks before or March 15… we got there weeks before one hour and I got a job as a banquet waiter serving banquets. I just about a year and a half later, I got promoted to into a management training programme. And I did that and just kept progressing. And I just, I tell people that my success was not because I’m very smart because college didn’t work for me, but I have a good attitude. And I’m very organised. And that worked well.
James Nathan 04:28
Well, people are smart in different ways aren’t they?
Lee Cockerell 04:30
Yeah, there sure are. And it was great.
James Nathan 04:33
And you know, I mentioned to you before we went live I worked for Hilton group for a good few years and, and was involved in a lot of the training courses and programmes that they put together. It’s a fabulous start in life that one
Lee Cockerell 04:46
Yeah, I learned a lot things I didn’t know because I’d grown up in Oklahoma. You don’t know much about the hotel business. Then I worked. I worked at the Chicago Hilton I worked at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Los Angeles. I mean, all those wonderful places, and I was learning something every day because it’s just a worldwide company with all those people working from everywhere and the guests and customers from everywhere.
James Nathan 05:12
Absolutely. And, you know, Hilton and Marriott and Disney. Disney is such a, you know, if people… if we start talking about service, inexperienced people always mentioned Disney. How are they developing because they’ve changed out a site since you joined them.
Lee Cockerell 05:29
They’ve gotten gigantic. I think Disney is pretty consistent. And really, the focus when, internally in the company has really been really careful who we hire. I mean, we’re extremely careful, making sure we bring the right kind of person into the company that does have an attitude that wants to serve and has the right doesn’t get upset easily. And so we hire better than most people. And I’d say the second thing was we trained better, we train people upside down, you know, and make sure they, we don’t practice on our customers, we know what they’re doing. And then last week, we work hard at creating a culture where people wake up in the morning want to come to work, where they’re treated right and respected and included and involved and listened to. And we’re just trying to create a culture where everybody matters, and they know it. Now, that’s one the problems in the world. People want to know, they matter that there’s somebody, they’re important. And those three things seem to work well, I always say as hire right, train ’em right and treat ’em right. Yeah, that was apretty good organisation.
James Nathan 06:34
Well, that’s, that’s…. we can end our conversation there couldn’t we on those three points.
Lee Cockerell 06:40
Life’s pretty simple.
James Nathan 06:41
Yep. It… well life is very simple when you break it down that much. But it’s not really is it? How do you make sure you’re hiring the right people?
Lee Cockerell 06:49
Well, we have a profiling system, we work with a company to develop the Gallup organisation. And even today, to work there, you have to go on the internet, if you want to work and answer 136 questions about yourself, and a lot of them are duplicates, and 90 of them are graded. And that’s to learn a lot about you. You know, are you disciplined? Are you going to get to work on time? Do you have that attitude to be able to stay out there in the hot sun and stay friendly and nice? And, those… these, these questions are they’re very predictive. And we’re very successful with having really good batting average of hiring the right people with that. We just want to know more deeply about you. Because, you know, at Disney, the expectations are so high that we have to have people that really want to take care of the guests when it’s raining and when it’s hot, when they’ve spent too much money and they’re not happy. And we really work hard to meet those expectations for the guests that… and we charge a lot. So it’s got to be good. I mean…
James Nathan 07:53
well, that’s That’s true. It’s I wouldn’t remember seeing a t shirt, you know, you see families and matching T shirts and want to come up with they all said “I had the best day of my life”. And then there was one guy that said I paid for it all – “the most expensive day in my life”.
Lee Cockerell 08:08
That’s true. I mean, it is pricey vacation, but the numbers keep going up. And I tell you one of the biggest markets is UK. I came back on the Virgin flight and it was full of people from the UK going to Disney.
James Nathan 08:27
I know a lot of people who do an annual pilgrimage…. this year’s…. obviously the last couple of years not been able to go and, and keen to get out and see the new Star Wars stuff and all the rest of that. But it’s, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all. But then when you’re at Disney World, you could be you don’t you could be forgiven for thinking there was no one other than Americans. It’s such a busy busy place.
Lee Cockerell 08:52
You could but we have friends from Manchester that come three or four times a year.
James Nathan 08:58
Lee Cockerell 08:58
I mean, it’s unbelievable. Yeah. Just I keep running into people like that from different countries that come so often. I’m just amazed that but yeah, it’s it’s it’s different. I guess it’s so different than the warm weather, maybe too warm sometimes. And the tropical… and then people like go on down to Miami. They like to go to the beach. They like to go on a cruise while they’re here. So…..
James Nathan 09:29
We could you read about the experience of just enjoying that place. So I went there a few years ago, I’ve talked about on this show before to do some work. And I was, you know, at the Marina Resort and doing…. working with a big company there and had a day free to go and have a look around. And as soon as I got home, I said to my wife and the kids, right ee are going to Disney next year as we get, you know, and just would like to go there as often as possible because I just think it’s the most wonderful, wonderful place. But it’s a wonderful, wonderful place because of the people that run it and the staff and the training and the rest of it. It’s not just a nice load of buildings.
Lee Cockerell 10:07
That is the key the people, no question. I mean we hear that from all our guests that they they know the rides are going to be good and hotels and stuff, but they’re just amazed and how nice…. They’re how well they’re treated and how nice the cast is. Yeah, it’s true.
James Nathan 10:22
Time of your life is what it’s all about, isn’t it? If you’re paying that much that you really do want it and people are demanding? How do you cope with people who don’t feel they’ve had the kind of experience are expecting?
Lee Cockerell 10:34
Well, we tell our people, we never tried to argue with a customer. And we listen, and we tried to get, ask them a few questions to understand what it was. And then we see if we can do anything to fix it. But you know, there’s always going to be people not happy. And I tell… I’ve always told our team, we’re not necessarily upset with the experiences. So much as they got five or six other problems in their life they’re going through and something triggers them, they just, and that’s happening right now around the world, people are just getting triggered very easily because of anxiety and worrying about the economy and worrying about inflation. And so one little thing’ll set them off. And we just tell people are our cast members, they’re not mad at you just your job is to turn them around, be nice and do the best we can to get them back on track. And that’s all we can do. And that’s what we try to do. But we don’t ever try to win an argument with any customer. Sometimes we gave ’em…. some people say, well, they’ll take advantage of you and some people will but we still don’t want, we still want to just do the right thing. And then that works out we make enough money anyway.
James Nathan 11:39
Well, I was gonna say when you said you know, some people, it’s, it’s all about that person, turning that around for them so that they at least feel that you’ve tried to help. But there will always be those who who are going to be difficult. You know, I don’t understand how you can be difficult when you’re on holiday.
Lee Cockerell 11:39
Well, you know people got so many problems in their lives, sometimes you just don’t know what’s going on if they have an illness in the family or their mother’s sick. Little things can trigger you, I mean, I think everybody in the world was in a bad mood the last two years?
James Nathan 12:14
Well, that is very true Lee. Very true indeed. And when you look at these, but you know, you talk about the people and the training and stuff, but it all comes down to leadership, doesn’t it?
Lee Cockerell 12:22
Oh, it does. I mean, we know that’s the key Are you the leaders have to create an environment where the cast members feel good about taking care of the customer? And that’s what they do. Just like parents at home. Parents have the right environment and culture in their house, the kids will turn out fine. Yeah, it all starts with leadership.
James Nathan 12:44
So what are what are the what are the things if I was gonna say to you Lee, what are the things I need to think about in terms of being a great leader? What do I need to start? Where do I start that thought process?
Lee Cockerell 12:55
Well, I think one, the most important thing is not to think you’re a big deal, because you’re the boss. As to involve other people listen to them. I tell people, I tell everyone, your customers and your employees know everything you need to know. So get a relationship with them, where they’ll tell you. They’re the they’re the best consultants you have. And so I would start there and then be available. Let them see you be be walk your business every day. So you have comfortable relationships with people, they’re not like, oh, the boss is coming. No, they see you every day. And, and you show a lot of respect and encouragement to them. And you know, when you take somebody and you train them, and you develop them, and you make their life better, they give it back to you. And so it’s a total, you know, it is really respect and treating everybody well and giving everybody the opportunity to move up and being available when they have a problem. Help them work through their issues, if you can. I mean, it’s basic stuff that our mothers taught us a long time ago. Just be nice. Treat people well, and use empathy and discipline to run your business. You know, mothers are good at that. They use empathy and discipline. They use both on you within five minutes.
James Nathan 14:14
Yep, they are very good at that. Very good indeed. You use the word magic a lot. What is so special about that word, and why does it translate into everything you do?
Lee Cockerell 14:24
Well, somebody asked me one day said what would you say magic is and I said that, to me it’s when somebody or an organisation does something so well, you can’t figure out how they do it.And that’s when people just go How do they do that? How do they have people be so nice? How do they how’s the place is so clean? How’s the place so friendly? That’s magic. And so I say any organisation if you can be so great, your customers can’t figure out how you do it. Then you’re gonna just… they’re gonna walk around and they’re gonna come back and do business with you because we all compare. Every day we compare our experiences. You If I’m on an airline, I’m comparing my experience to go into Disney, or…. mean, I must say, I flew Virgin Air back and forth, and it was fabulous. Everybody was so nice, the flight attendants, everybody. And I know that started at the top when the company was originally formed. And it was just great. I didn’t have one single problem. And so I would say, boy, if I if somebody’s asking me what airline to fly, it’s a fly Virgin. You know, and stay at a Marriott or stay at a Hilton. Those hotels do a great job, they’re consistent, you can rely on ’em. That’s pretty much,
James Nathan 15:40
That’s the thing we want, isn’t it? Ee want to know that when we go somewhere, we’re going to get the experience that we had last time or we’re being told we’re going to get. You know, and when you when you stay at those places, or you fly that way. I mean, I remember flying American a few years ago and thinking my God, those people didn’t want me on that plane. And it’s a shame because you know, you’re going on, you’re going somewhere, if you’re flying anywhere you’re going, and it’s not business, you’re flying somewhere nice, and you’re going there for a great time. And, you know, you need to feel that when, when you, you know, you feel like people don’t want you in the shop, or they don’t want you on the plane or they can’t be bothered with you. You do wonder how they keep their job.
Lee Cockerell 16:22
We’ve got enough problems. We don’t need more when we go out to travel. I mean, you know, and we like consistency. People don’t like surprises, you know?
James Nathan 16:31
No, that’s very, very true. This is gonna sound quite mean. But I tell people, that’s why people drink Starbucks, because that stuff tasted nothing, but they know what they’re getting. And they know where to go and how to order and what cup size to use. And you know, they just keep going back and back. It’s a shame. But then I start getting on a high horse again about the quality of coffee, because it’s a…. we all have to have something to direct about at times. How do you though? How do you create that magic? When you…. when you’re looking at your business? I mean, it’s easy when we look at something like Disney, which is so established, been doing so well, for such a long time. It’s been totally ingrained in the system and the process and the people. But I’ve got my business today, I’m looking at it and thinking, well, I want to I want to step up, you know, I want to be better. I want to, I want…. where do I start thinking about magic? And how do I create it?
Lee Cockerell 17:26
You know, I think Disney… has the same issue. We’re always continually having to update and do things differently because the world is changing and adding technology and people demand. So one thing for me is to really again, go back and talk to your customers and talk to your employees and ask them what do you… you know, you might ask them what’s what’s the one thing we don’t do well that you wish we would do better? Ask an employee when’s the last time you thought about quitting? Ask them what they think about on the way to work, are they happy? And then really understand your competitors? What are they doing, get on their websites find out what they’re offering? What can you offer that somebody else is not offering. And, you know, this is just those basics that people want to be taken care of in a way that their meets their expectations. And you know, we have a lot of commercials today everybody’s giving promises, it’s gonna be great. And that’s going to be great. And you get there and it doesn’t happen. And one thing you got to think about don’t promise something you can’t deliver, because then you’re even bigger problem. But there’s a lot of opportunity out there to just tweak your business be a little bit better than everybody else. And friendly or a nicer more reliable, a special services you might offer. And I would say again for the customer today, empathy, you know, people are stressed. They, I mean, people call me they want to book me for a speech. They say when can I get the contract? And first I answer my phone. So they don’t get a hassle. And then I get I get a contract and 15, 20 minutes, and they love that because most people are so disorganised. So you’ve got to have, I gotta… when I think about going to a restaurant, I think about the last time I was there, the people I dealt with how they treated us. And if I’m taking a client, I really want to have a place that’s predictable. I don’t want to go there and have a disaster. And so people just want you to not… people want you… any business take care of their problem. Don’t give me more problems because I’m doing business with you. It’s your business. Make me feel specialty, stay in touch with me. Tell me the truth. Tell me what’s going right, what’s going wrong and but having a good solid relationships. And it’s the same old story if you know people and they know you and they trust you. They will tell you the truth. And we said that all the time. We say what should we continue doing in our business? What should we stop doing and those kinds…. And those are the kinds of questions that we don’t often ask our employees, and they have the answers. They know they deal with the customers every day, they can tell you what we’re not doing well, actually the people doing the work know more than you’ll ever know. And we just don’t take the chance to dig deep, and find out the truth. You can’t make good decisions without the truth.
James Nathan 20:29
Well, I mean, everything you’ve said so far is just, you know, you look at it. Well, we just, of course, but businesses don’t do it. You know, and that’s… I always find that amazing. The more gentlemen, like you, I speak to Lee, you know, who’ve had these amazing careers and work for wonderful businesses. And I asked similar questions, and I get very similar answers. There’s no kind of, there’s no magic bullet to this stuff. It’s all very good, common sense. But then, you know, common sense, isn’t that common? What things… you mentioned there? What should we keep doing? And what should we stop? And it’s an interesting process to go through for businesses or individuals. To say what should I what am I good at? What do I need to start? What do I need to continue? What do I need to stop doing? But the stop part I always find is quite hard. What things as Disney stopped, that we wouldn’t necessarily know about, and think, actually, you know, they made the decision that that wasn’t the direction or that wasn’t the thing for them. What would what have they stopped that we don’t know?
Lee Cockerell 21:25
I think a lot of the way they sold tickets, we had to stop doing things a lot of different ways. As technology came in, and things we added, you know, we added a meal plan, we added the other services, we got deep into recycling, because that’s become a thing, when we first started and everybody didn’t even know what it was. But you got to be out there seeing where the world’s going and being on top of it. And anticipating what could be happening in the future. Right now if you’re not doing that, you get in trouble pretty quick, because things are changing so fast. The offers that people will make you today and how you can buy the product and how you have so many competitors, that people have a lot of, you know, for Disney, we think people got a lot of places in the world, they can go on vacation. And our goal is to make sure they have such a good time. And they’re treated so well. That next time they go they think they’re gonna go to Disney. And if they decide not to go to Disney, and they go somewhere else are gonna say, Well, that didn’t work out. Let’s go back to Disney. And that’s I think what that’s what we see is just everything matters. I guess that’s a quote, I use a lot. Everything matters. And you got to look at your business. Are you answering the phone properly? Are your people well trained? Do they have product knowledge? Do you keep your promises? If you say you got to be there at eight o’clock, are you there? Do you open on time? Is the place clean is the bathroom clean? Knowledgeable people working for you. Everything matters. And the customer sees that. Because today you can go out and do business. I guarantee you right now across the world. Most people are brand new in their jobs. They don’t know what they’re doing. They haven’t had training and they’re frustrated. And it’s sad. There’s a lot of nice people that haven’t, don’t know what they’re doing. And that’s because of this turnover and pandemic and, and we’ve got to make sure that we hire great people, but we also got to make them knowledgeable so they can be great. Because that’s your business and you’re the person who comes in contact with the customer. That’s your business. That’s how you get rated. That’s your company, your people are your brand. I mean, literally.
James Nathan 23:43
Absolutely. And it’s, that, that training piece. You mentioned that a couple of times. And it’s, you know, there’s a there’s a great quote, I use that a few times in this series from Frank Dick was a very famous sports coach here and he said something like, “if you don’t get the basics, right, you will take a lifetime putting them right”. The training in the right time for the right people and they do want to learn don’t know.
Lee Cockerell 24:08
Well, you know, one of the biggest problems we have as people when I, when people hire people, they’re not clear about their expectations for working here. You know, tell them what it’s like what they have to do what, what what’s good, bad and ugly about it so that they know what they’re getting into: clarity. You know, mothers are very clear. That’s why they love you. They they’re clear, they’re very clear, and they’re firm. And I say, again, fairness and firmness and telling people what your job is and you might have to work on weekends and this and that and that be clear. And then you have less problems with a lot of people don’t have those conversations. And they don’t want to have hard conversations with their employees when they’re not doing their job. And if you don’t do that you’re gonna have more and more problems down the road.
James Nathan 24:53
It’s very interesting you mentioning mothers. I remember being a, being a new manager and finding the whole a little bit confusing and trying basically copying what my manager has done to me and previously, and that didn’t work. And then suddenly, you know, having a great new leader who helped me and taught me and showed me what I did and how I needed to think. And things change really, very quickly when you get into that sort of situation. But I remember when we had, we had our first born, when Ben was born, thinking, every manager, every leader should have children, before they’re a manager, they need to understand how that works first, because it’s not that different.
Lee Cockerell 25:34
I hear you, and it’s actually not different at all, it’s exactly the same. And that’s, you know, it’s a kind of progressor, you, you have your child, you make them feel safe, and hold them and hug them and let alone and help them learn to count and talk to them and get build their vocabulary. And then you have to have some discipline as they get older, and then education. And you know, it’s progressive, and it’s the same at work.
James Nathan 25:59
How’s it second time round? I mean, I’ve made that in the very nicest way. So you’ve got three grandchildren, haven’t you?
Lee Cockerell 26:04
Yes, I do. They’re great. Yeah.
James Nathan 26:07
And how was it different with that sort of difference in generation?
Lee Cockerell 26:11
Well, I think, certainly, I know more, and I can give them better advice. And they will listen to me, you know, people don’t listen to their parents. They listen to their grandfather. And they, I had a very close relationship with them, they grew up a mile from my house, and we spent all the time I drove them to school every day and pick them up. And we had good conversations. And, you know, you become like, the culture you live in. And our family is very close. And we’re very candid, and very straightforward. And we talk about all the hard things with the kids, we didn’t help them, you know, there’s nothing they didn’t know, by the time they were growing up about sex, and all the kinds of things going on and possibilities and how to make good decisions if you get to a party, and there’s drugs there. And, and they’ve all done well. And it’s the same thing. If you create safety and education, you will have people who will not only do well, but they’ll have a lot of regard for you. Because I tell everybody quit being a boss, and let’s all start being teachers. That’s our job is to teach not to order people around and be the big bad boss. That’s what I said, when you become a big deal. Don’t. Don’t do it. That’s the beginning of the end, if you think you’re hot stuff. So it’s those kind of thinking of you create the environment that you want, and you live in the environment you want. So if you’re having… and I tell people today, let me tell you what, I asked people today, if you’re having problems in your life, a lot of problems, ask yourself, is it your fault?
James Nathan 27:53
Yeah, you always think that people who have constant problems, there must be some good reason for that.
Lee Cockerell 27:58
It’s mainly your fault.
James Nathan 28:00
Well, we control the system, don’t we? How much of this comes from Walt Disney himself? There’s so many stories about, you know, Walt walking around and watching how far people would carry a piece of litter until they found a trash can and then putting them that distance. There’s some fantastic stories like that, which I always like to believe are true. How much is what Disney is now the child of Walt?
Lee Cockerell 28:28
Well, I think the beginning certainly creates everything, you know, the founder, how they set the values and the principles and kind of the rules. And Walt was that way he created that theme park because he wanted his daughters to have a safe place to go that wasn’t some carnival with a bunch of crazy drug addicts around. And so he created that and he was very particular about it because he was very close in attention to detail. So I don’t even know if he knew what he was doing. And the fact that he was creating this special place, he just had a personal, he had a personal way that he wanted everything perfect. And he pushed for that. And he was out in the operation walking it and everywhere and talking to people. One time somebody said he was like a bee. He just He went from place to place collected the pollen and delivered it to another place and gave me ideas and spread them around and that’s really the boss’s job, you know, your job is not to do much work is to get everybody does it work and want to do it. And to be proud of it. And I think some of the concepts he created like we’re putting on a show. We’re all we’re all actors, we’re all cast members, we all… our goal is to put on a good show every day. And that includes sanitation and cleanliness and friendliness and knowing your job and he just took it like he was creating a hit movie and made sure that the it was a movie that was live every day and that’s a good way to think about any business. Are you putting on a hit show every day in your business? And it’s it’s that simple. I think you know, every day in your business, the curtain opens, are you ready? Is everybody know what they’re doing? Do you have the props in the right place? I mean, you really, it’s, I love that concept because it’s, we all are putting on a show every day. And that’s, I don’t care whether you’re going to get gasoline or if you’re, if you’re going to get a meal, or if you’re going to meet with your insurance agent that brings confidence.
James Nathan 30:29
When people talk about Showtime then I think about to business I think about Disney and I think about the Lakers. And the Showtime thing comes through and through and through. And you see in so many leadership and marketing book people saying you know, you’re on show every interaction every everything you do. It’s a show. And then you look at businesses like Disney and people go, you know, Disney, it’s a cliche, but then you hear people like yourself talking about it. And it’s just incredible that the simplicity but also the, the ideal that as I open the curtain, that’s that that’s that person’s experience for the day. And it needs to be amazing. If more businesses did that it woudl be quite wonderful.
Lee Cockerell 31:08
Yeah I mean, really, when you think about it, no matter what your business is, you want to… you want people to come back, you want to you have to open in the morning, you have the show is your product. The actors are your team, your people how you answer the phone, how you greet people, when they walk into your store, how you get back to them, reliability, I mean, everything’s just like a show and, and people who put on a bad show they go bankrupt and the store closes. And because they don’t think about it that way, everything matters, and attitude, and making the guests feel so good. They only want to come back to your place because they trust you. You do what you say you’re going to do. And so it’s kind of basic again. And as I said, when in doubt, call your mother she’ll tell you how to do it.
James Nathan 32:03
Oh, fantastic. Lee, I want to ask you one more question if that’s okay? What is your big number one golden nugget? If I was gonna say to you Lee, what would what should people do in their business? Today to make it better for today and better for the years to come? What would that be?
Lee Cockerell 32:20
Get up every morning and understand it’s never too late to get better. And if you want to get better talk to your cast, talk to your employees, take notice of what your competitors doing? And are you as good as you should be? Are you as good as you could be? And it’s that simple. It’s like people you know, people ask me, well, I was poor. I didn’t have a good education. Okay, fine. But forget that. Get started now. Get back in school, start reading, start learning how to do something become an expert in something. Time has gone by every any that way, time goes by every day. So you might as well get with it. Because your two years you can be a lot better. So this is what I think don’t underestimate what you can do. And never it’s never too late to get started with your health, with your relationships, with your business, with your anything you want to do. And main thing that holds us back is us. No one else knows you can’t do it. Only you’re the one who thinks you can’t do it. It’s your brain. Your brain lies to you.
James Nathan 33:22
Fantastic advice Lee. Thank you so much. Thanks for taking so much time to chat with me today as well. It’s been great.
Lee Cockerell 33:27
Good to hear from James.
James Nathan 33:29