In this episode of The Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity, Justin Schmidt is joined by Lee Cockerell, Chief Learning Officer at the Cockerell Academy and Founder of Lee Cockerell Creating Leadership Magic. They discuss the role of leadership in creating world-class customer service.
Justin Schmidt: Welcome to the Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity. Join us for conversations with leaders and customer or employee support who are using technology to answer questions, automate processes, and build innovative solutions to any business challenge. I’m your host, Justin Schmidt. Lee Cockerell, good afternoon. Welcome to the Support Automation Show.
Lee Cockerell: Hey there. Good to see you. Thanks for having me on.
Justin: Absolutely. Where’s this podcast find you?
Lee: I am in–
Justin: Orlando, Florida, home of a certain theme park that, and I’m sure you’re very familiar with.
Lee: That’s what I tell them. This is where magic lives, Orlando Florida.
Justin: Lee, to get us started, why don’t you give us a little bit of your background and how you got to where you are today and just the cliff notes version of the story?
Lee: Sort of by accident I think. I grew up on a little farm in Oklahoma. Actually, we didn’t even have indoor plumbing. I tell my grandkids that they don’t even believe me, but it’s true. Although we were chill, we didn’t know we had a problem. We thought it was fine. It’s all we knew about
Man, I had a dysfunctional family. My mother was married five times. She was busy and I got adopted twice. I got my name Cockerell when I was 16 by husband number four. I don’t know why, but my mother had this idea. He was a doctor. I think she wanted to give me some presence in the world that we were somebody [laughs] not from the farm. He had money.
I got to go to college. I went to Oklahoma State University for two years and promptly flunked out because I didn’t go to class. Then I went into the army and that was the best thing for me. I was 20 and went into the army. When I got out of the army, I met a guy there and he said, “You want to go to DC with me?” I said, “Sure,” I’d never been out of Oklahoma.
We went, I got a job as a waiter at the Washington Hilton, a banquet waiter. It was good because I’d never been in a hotel. Somebody taught me the business there and I made a lot of money. Banquet waiters really crank it up. I did that for a couple years. Then I got into the management training program at Hilton and became a manager in the accounting group. Then I stayed with Hilton for eight years.
From there to Chicago, to the Waldorf Store in New York to Los Angeles. Then I joined Marriott for 17 years and became the vice president of food and beverage operations for them worldwide because I’d focused on food and beverage. I’ve been a cook, I’ve been a waiter, I’d been in accounting. I always tell people to become an expert in something you can always get a job.
Then I got recruited by Disney in 1990 to go to France and open Disneyland in Paris, all the food and beverage operations. We spent three years there. Then I was brought back to Orlando to be in charge of all the operations at Walt Disney World. From dropping out to running Disney World, I tell people the lesson there is don’t underestimate what you can achieve because when you’re 20, I knew nothing, [laughs] but the experience really pays off.
Justin: It does. Keeping your head up, your shoulder square feet, moving and taking advantage of what life puts in front of you. I’m particularly interested in having this conversation with you because you have seen the evolution of customer facing customer experience at some of the largest scale with literally one of the most famous brands on the planet.
Through the time of your career, you’ve seen the advent of a lot of the technology that’s taken for granted today. I think your experience is going to be a great jumping off point for this conversation. That is, when you think of automation in the customer experience and specifically when you think of the automation that is required to manage at some of the scale that you have, what do you think is the most influential bit of technology that was added to that discipline in your time at Disney?
Lee: I think the thing you got to really think about in all technology is making sure who you use it on and who you don’t use it on because we have a lot of customers that are older and they’re still not comfortable with technology, and then have all the young care who they can do anything you want. We’re going down that highway of 50/50 and it’s getting more because people are getting more qualified to use technology.
Technology has made it possible for people to be involved in the attraction. We can make it so real you’ll think the characters are right with you, and kids today, they don’t just want to ride, they want to do something, but everything from how we keep in touch with our guests, how on every reservations, how we gotten so big, we had 52 million visitors last year.
We look for when guests can go online and make their own reservations and we don’t have to, we could slowly reduce our 2000 people in the call center. All those things are making it more efficient, but our business can only get so efficient because it’s people. At the end of the day, you want to see Mickey, you don’t want to see some technology of Mickey and you want to meet Cinderella.
It’s a fine balance. As people say, technology’s getting so good at Mickey will probably talk to you before too long and understand what you said and be able to talk back and the security of how you get your tickets and open your room with a wristband. Those are all things that just, everybody’s doing a little bit of those hotels and trying to figure out how to do it better and quicker.
I think everything has gotten more efficient, but that’s not always good. We’re getting a lot of complaints to about that. What happened to the people? People still want to talk to the front desk person because they have a million questions. A lot of companies are saying, “Go watch your TV. It’ll answer it.” No, they want to talk to you.
That’s a big vacation to go to Disney. They’re there for a week. They spend thousands and they want the people to help them enjoy the visit. Technology is not enough. They want to talk to that interaction–
Justin: Yes. It’s the most magical place on earth. You want to experience that magic. One thing that I noticed on [unintelligible 00:06:22] website and I’d love this phrase, I just absolutely love this phrase and I would love for you to unpack it. The perfect day for your customers. What is the perfect day for your customers and what are some ways that we as leaders can make that happen?
It’s easy to think about a perfect day at Disney World. Like your daughter gets to meet Elsa and your son gets to meet Luke Skywalker or whatever and you have this just this amazing day, but not everyone has the luxury of Disney World as the milieu in which those interactions take place. I’d love to understand what a perfect day for your customers is and maybe a little bit about how you can imbue that outside of.
Lee: I think somebody asked me what magic is? I said magic to me is when it’s still good you [inaudible 00:07:08]. That’s how you have to think about your business today. If I go to my coffee place in the morning and it’s quite magical, it’s called Coffee for the Stole. It’s a Columbian coffee house. They have amazing food. The coffee is great. Everybody, when I walk in the door, they welcome Lee with, “Hey, you were early this morning.”
I have meetings there. I do work there. Somebody asked me why I went there. I said, because it’s better than where I was going [laughter]. It’s great and I have a relationship with them. That’s what it’s about is being so good you can’t believe it. You pull up in the driveway, the bell man opens the door and welcomes you and treats your kids and asks them about their baseball hats.
They look at the license plate, where you’re from and mention that. When you go to the front desk, we have a little TV, cartoons in the lobby so mom and dad can register while the kids go over and get out their hair. When you answer the phone the way we have, I was telling somebody the other day, we answer the phone, we use the phone and we make sure we understand that is a primary way today. Tone of voice, that when you call us we sound like we’re happy you called us. Like your grandmother called, you don’t act like why, what are you bothering me with?
From the time you make a reservation to your arrival at a restaurant to how you’re greeted and we don’t have the hostesses talking to each other like you do in most restaurants and not paying attention to you. We say at Disney, fantasy is real and reality is fantastic. Reality is that people are paying attention to the customer, to you. We hammer that over and over and over again because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
If you don’t, [laughs] the customer can easily go somewhere else. They can go to Hawaii, Vegas, they can go to New York, they can spend their vacation money and we’d consider our competition. Anywhere you would spend your vacation money in the world, that’s competition. Not universal, not SeaWorld, just if you get to Orlando, we’ll get our share. Every week we really think about every interaction we’re going to have with you.
When you get on the bus driver has people singing on the bus at night, coming back, security kneels down and talks to your kids, they give them a little security badge and everything you do is to be great. I took it. The difference between average and grade is everything matters, everything matters.
Justin: Yes. It’s the sum of all those details. It’s interesting when you said like the security guide kneels down and talks to the kids, that is when you’re the family pulling into the resort, that may feel like a one off thing, but that is part of the details that you guys are looking at and instilling in the culture so that that happens more often than it does not. It’s part of just this overwhelming attention to detail to create that perfect day.
Lee: We train everybody to do it and then we let them do it. We don’t train them on everything they know. Just be nice. Pay attention. Because when you make kids happy, you make parents extremely happy, and then the kids make you come back every year and over and over again. I don’t know why every company doesn’t understand, there is no upside to not taking care of your guests and making them feel welcome. Quit everything you’re doing when they walk in the door and focus on them. Let’s just be crazy about the customer. I always tell people I laugh and I say, “First of all, they have a credit card and we want it.” That’s one good reason. I tell everybody, when you can’t remember in your business what you do for a living, which is make money, just scotch-tape a credit card on your computer and look at it all day long.
You have to remember, you don’t make money, you won’t be open. Put up a picture of your grandmother on your phone so you can look at it and answer the phone like you care about. It could be your grandmother. It could be your sister. Answer it like you want to talk to them. You’re glad it’s not an intrusion.
Justin: You bring up a really interesting point because a lot of the people I talk to on this show are in some sort of either it’s another SAS company or it’s a very modernized business where they have automated a bunch of stuff. Hearing you talk and thinking about my childhood memories of going to Disney World, which I’m 41, I still remember being eight years old and going down there.
The attention to detail and just that obsessive focus on making sure that families that are going there are having just the most amazing day, really it brushes aside all the debris and all the blockers from them or using their credit card today, using the bracelet or whatever to just drive revenue for the organization. Again, whether you’re Walt Disney world or your Auto Zone, you can still take that same approach. It might look slightly different, but the ideas and the impetus behind it are the same.
Lee: I would say one way you have to think about it there’s no different, because think about when you go to New York and you go to a Broadway hit show, one that’s really good. Everything is in its place. Everybody knows what to say and do. The props are where they’re supposed to be. The curtain opens at 8 o’clock. Everything matters. When you’re putting on a show, everything matters. We all have to think.
When I answer my phone, I remember that people are going to either have a good impression on me when I answer that phone or they’re not. First impressions. You run into some guys sweeping the grounds at Disney, these custodial people, and they’re nice and they give your kids some stickers and they walk you down to the bathroom to show you where it is, and people go, “What, I can’t believe it.” It happens for three reasons. I say we hire, right, we train, and we treat our people right.
They’re proud of what they do. When you got custodial people out there and they’re proud of what they do and they’re paying attention to the kids and they know they’re part of the show and I always tell them, “Listen, everybody goes to the bathroom, so we’re glad where you’ve got people taking care of it, because that’s one place every customer will see your business.” We just got to remember everything that matters. That’s all. If you want to be great, everything matters. If you want to be average, you’re going to let things go.
Justin: Being great, this gets to this concept of world-class customer service. I know you’ve got a book, The Customer Rules, and it’s 39 essential rules. In fact, I can see it there in the teal behind you. There are 39 of them. In your experience with working with organizations and some of the training and other work you’ve done, which of those 39 do you think is violated the most?
Lee: I think the first one is the most important. Remember, everyone is important. I asked my granddaughter when I wrote that book, she was 12, she’s 23 now. I said, “Margo, what do you think is the most important rule in customer service? I need some help.” She said, Pappy, the first rule is be nice.” Come on, goodness takes nothing. You’re not going to get nice unless you hire the right people, you train them, you’re clear with them, total clarity about behavior and how you clarity. Just like your mother was clear when you were growing up.
She loved you, but she would kick your butt and you learned from that. I’m sure your mother said to you many times when people come over, shake hands, don’t hang on to my leg and don’t look down. We’d take people, we make them better than they were when they came in. It really helps them their whole life. A lot of people are very introverted today, but after they work at Disney, they become extroverts because you can’t get away from it. I had a college professor say, “We sent you a student. He was an introvert. When he came back, he was an extrovert.”
Justin: I assume part of the challenge there is, especially if you’re advising a larger organization, you’re not going to be able to hand-train all, however how many hundred employees they may have in customer facing roles. You need to train the leadership, you need to train the trainers, so to speak. In your experience, the general attitude of the customer towards maybe some of the instant gratification you can get with maybe you’ve got like a chat bot that gives you an instant answer or you’ve got a big old knowledge base on a website or something like that.
Have you seen a shift in the maybe desire for instant answers on some part, being the counterbalancing to this idea of making these magical moments and paying more attention to these details when the slice of time you have to make that impression maybe goes much smaller just due to the nature of the fast response for everything today.
Lee: Oh, I think it, again, depends. The young people, fine, they’ll use the chat box, blah, blah, blah, go back and forth. As long as we got our act together on our end, that it actually works, and the website works, and it doesn’t get so fancy that you click on it and you get all the music and all, but you can’t make your reservation. Then the older people, they still want to talk to somebody.
Even today, if people send me a note and say, “Lee, could I schedule some time to talk to you? Or can I send you an email about something I want?” I tell everybody, make sure you have your phone on your email signature, because I just pick up the phone, call them and I’m done in two or three minutes versus all this nonsense going back and forth. Then they love me because they can’t believe I called them, and there’s no misunderstandings, and I can understand their problem versus trying to, a lot of people don’t write very well that you don’t know. You got to hear the voice, you got to know anxiety. [unintelligible 00:17:05]
Frankly, whenever anybody calls me, I answer my phone. My phone is in my book. It’s on my site, my everything. People say, “Why do you answer your phone? Nobody answers their phone.” I say, “Because I do more business. I don’t want you to call on somebody else. You call me, you book it with me. You don’t call somebody else because I didn’t answer the phone.”
People are impatient today. They don’t want it now. I know that I booked more business than most because I’m available. People say, “How can you do that?” I say, “Oh, why not. Just answer it.” In my book, it says, call me, I answer my phone when people call me. I get calls every week and I say, “What can I do for you?” They say, “Nothing. I just wanted to check if you answered.
I want to check and see if you answered the phone.” I say, “Okay, thank you.” It gives me a lot of credibility, whether it’s a customer who wants to book me. They’re under stress. They have other customers. They had a lot going on in their life. They don’t need me to make it worse. The people I deal with, if you don’t answer your phone I call for service, I’ll give you one hour when they say we’ll call you back.
One hour, then I go to another plumber, or I go to another electrician, or I go to another roofer and I’ll say, “You better not mess around today. You got one shot and everything there’s other people can do the work you do.”
Justin: Exactly. Pivoting a little bit to leadership. I want to touch on this with you because a lot of the people listening to this show are small to midsize technology companies that are growing and are hiring people. You have people who are earlier in their leadership career and then further down the road and there’re new leaders. One of the things you mentioned on your website is you need to understand where to spend your time and expertise and surround yourself with people who fill in the gaps. What are some exercises or maybe the first step towards realizing what some of those gaps may be?
Lee: I would say most people don’t have self-awareness unless you have a particularly good attitude and people trust you and they’re not afraid to come to you. That’s half the battle is trust. One of my books I said, “When you become a big deal, don’t become a big deal. Don’t think you’re hot stuff, because nobody will tell you the truth anymore. They’re not intimidated by Lee Cockrell, they’re intimidated by the office, the title, [unintelligible 00:19:34]“
When I had a reputation, anybody could approach me. Sometimes people wouldn’t and I’d ask them if they had talked to their manager and they said, “Yes.” Then a manager would call me and say, “Lee, why do they call you?” I said, “Well, maybe you want to ask yourself that. Why don’t they call you? Because you’re not available. You don’t get back to them.” You’ve just got to build up this– where you know what’s going on. People come to you and they tell you and you listen and you don’t bite the messenger.
Get over yourself. That’s the problem with most places. What mood is the boss in today? They ask each other one. You’re only in one mood when you’re, and you should only be in one mood for your children too. They shouldn’t be scared of dad and a lot of kids are scared of their parents and it’s got to be a decent environment and culture where people trust you and they feel like they’re part of it.
I tell nobody I never want to be the boss. I always told people I’m not the boss. I’m a teacher, we sat at a table with seven people that reported to me. I’m here to make sure we make the right decision. Right, and I don’t want people not telling me, could I get fired? People say, “What’d you do at Disney, Lee?” I said, nothing. I had great people who advised me and I listened to them cause they were better at what they did than I was.
That’s the biggest problem. Most advisors don’t listen to the people, advise them because especially men, we all think we know more than everybody else and we’re smart. We got ego problems and insecurities and we don’t want people to know. We don’t know what we’re doing and you got to be there for people. By the way, your reputation arises before you do.
Everybody already knows. If you’re a jerker, you’re a good guy. Everybody already knows. They’ve checked up on you before they even come and see you and we think they don’t know. Everybody knows.
Justin: Yes, that’s exactly right. There’s a certain amount of real, really hard unglamorous work. You have to put in on yourself as a leader to always make sure you are open and available that you’re aware of. Maybe the gravity that the title you have has on people and you have to work to overcome that and it’s very easy to take the lower effort approach to not do that.
When I think of some of the best bosses I’ve ever had and something that I try to aspire to do with my team is just be as available as possible and I loved what you said about you sitting around a table with seven other people. You mean, you said we are trying to make the best decision here, right? Not me. Not I am we.
Lee: Yes, and why wouldn’t you want to make the best decision? I’m going to want to make the wrong one. They do it every day in business and government and Congress and yes, it’s just, you gotta put your ego away and I’ll tell you one reason. We have a lot of problems in the world with people, leaders and parents. People don’t feel good emotionally, mentally, and physically and when you don’t feel good, you are not the nicest person in the world and you’re tired and you are not focused and it’s hard to pay attention.
The number one reason, in my opinion , is people are not getting enough sleep. They’re all screwed up. They drink too much. They eat too much. They eat too late. They wake up, they don’t feel good and I’ve been looking at that deeply. How you feel is how you- really make it well known when we feel up, wake up in the morning, feel great, man, we get everything.
Get the garage, cleaned up, take the kids for a ride or blah, blah and then those other days, oh man, then you get in an argument with your wife and you didn’t do this and you’re sitting on the couch and you don’t want to. It’s a real issue. Look at the health of people in this country. People are not, I bet your productivity is 20 or 30% below what it should be because people don’t feel well. A lot of anxiety now, too.
Justin: What’s interesting thinking about this from a customer experience perspective and a support perspective. If you aren’t feeling your best, you’re not going to be able to imbue and train your team to feel their best, who then won’t be at their best when they have that interaction with a customer and in a world where you have an opportunity to be at your best with a customer who like you said, and all of us over the last two years of stress and anxiety, what we’ve been living through, you’ve got a real opportunity to create a nice little magical moment with that person because here they’re calling because they need a return, a product or they can’t log in or what it is and the self-help stuff failed and they have to talk to an agent.
That agent is feeling their best because that agent was empowered to feel their best by their manager. Now you’ve got this opportunity for that agent to create this moment with that person calling in versus the very clinical click login, reset your path, whatever the tactics of the thing that they’re trying to do is
Lee: I had one yesterday where the lady was telling me something, I just spent $7,000 on hot water heaters, and blah, blah, blah. Then I was having a little problem with that night and she was telling me we’re going to come out, being installed for five hours. We’ll cut them out and if it’s not covered down to the warranty, $129 char–, I said, what are you talking about? This just happened. She said, well, we have to read this spiel.
I read the spiel and it was just nonsense and that’s why my wife had a situation with Amazon. That’s why my wife, Amazon, comes to our house every day, by the way, every day.
Justin: Same here.
Lee: She bought a set of China and one of the bowls was broken, a $65 bowl. When it came, she caught a hold of Amazon or sent a note and they called her back in one minute, she explained to the lady what happened? The lady said, I can give you a new bowl or I can give you a credit for $65. Which would you like? My wife said, my husband’s writing a book about customer service. How were you able to make that decision?
She said, we only have one policy with Amazon, make the customer happy and you have the authority to do it. You don’t have to check with anybody and you can’t find the manager anyway so that’s like, he’s in the cafeteria. You got to give people authority; training and then give them authority. That’s it, so most people don’t have any authority. Think of all the places you called, nobody can do anything.
They don’t have a clue and they’ve been there for two days and they don’t even know where the water fountain is. You got to really take the time, this education experience and exposure. We’ve got to get people that really give them this tour. Here’s what you can do here. Just like you do with your kids. You’re clear with your kids, what they can do, what they can’t do and when they get outside of what they can do, you bring them back in line and you, as they get older, expand their authority, their ability to make decisions.
You don’t go on their dates with them. When they’re 15, you have to do the business. Train them, keep training them, be a good role model, because that’s the best training so people know you’re telling the truth that you really won’t give people authority. By the way, good people, well trained, will do a better job than you will. They’ll become experts at what they do in the organization.
Justin: Then you said education, exposure, and what? What was the third one?
Lee: I call them my three Es. If you want excellence to get education, exposure, and experience, we all have more or through experience than we did in school and exposure to you. Appreciate people. I’ve been to 45 countries. Now I have no bigotry in my bones. I have no racism in my bones. Like I did. When I left Oklahoma, I went in the fifties before civil rights was passed.
I went to a segregated school because exposure changes you. It changes you dramatically and that’s why you want your kids to get so much exposure when they’re young so they grow up appreciating and respecting everybody and this is one of the biggest problems we have in America right now. People are not exposed. They don’t know.
Justin: Even if we are myopically focused on work settings, there’s a lack of exposure to the education and building the experience so that someone then ultimately has the authority to make the decision then and there to make that delightful experience. I think I read on the situation, and again, this is just I’m outside looking at, especially some larger organizations. They look at the investment required to hit those three E’s and look at it as a cost center rather than a revenue driver and then they just never invest in it.
Lee: Here’s how you got to think about that. You have children.
Justin: I do.
Lee: Don’t educate them, see what happens. Then you’re going to have to go visit them in the penitentiary going to have to get them a lawyer. You’re going to have to get them out to rehab. You’re going to have to get them– This is the most absurd thing. Don’t train them. God it’s unbelievable. If you train your people, you probably need one person. Instead of two, these companies are out of their mind.
Can you even imagine not educating your children and giving them experience and exposure, you them different places to get them different experiences, you get them exposed. You might take them on a trip to see different places, take them to New York, take them to Louisiana and see the difference. It’s just absurd and that’s why I worry about a lot of leaders and major companies.
What are you thinking about? You cannot execute well, if you don’t have the– hire the right people, train them and treat them right. If you’re not treating me, I’m going to give you just enough to keep my job and not a bit more.
Justin: Right? Especially in a world today where career mobility and the job searching for great resignation, wherever they call it, like all time highs and all these we’ve hit effectively, the lowest unemployment can possibly go. You’re so right this is not something that has been talked about enough if there’s a fourth E that’s a counter that’s like this red herring, if you will and that’s like efficiency. Where people will at the expense of education, exposure and experience will drive towards efficiency, losing those other three and [unintelligible 00:29:22]
Lee: Which is false efficiency at the end of the day. By the way, employers are going to learn the hard way right now, you better treat your people right, you better train them right, because you ain’t going to have anybody. They’re going to learn the hard way. They got away with this for many years and that’s over. We’re never going back to the times when people are going to put up all this nonsense and get treated badly and not get developed and not get trained to have a career in life. It’s not going to ever go back. Never.
Justin: No. It’s not a hundred percent agreement.
Lee: Because young people won’t put up with this nonsense.
Justin: Lee this has been an amazing conversation. I could talk to you all day, but I want to be respectful of your time. I want to–
Lee: I’m retired, by the way. Don’t worry about that.
Justin: I’m a little jealous that one of these days I’ll join the club there.
Lee: You’ll enjoy it. I recommend it, actually.
Justin: My dad, after he retired, I remember calling him. I was like I don’t know, a couple months after he retired, I was like, “Hey dad, what’s going on?” Just talking to him. I got the feeling after or chatting with him that I don’t think he was 100% sure if it was like Saturday or Wednesday. Because he was just.
Lee: You never, I’m never, I never know what day it is.
Justin: He was just enjoying himself. I was like, dad, what day is it? He had a good laugh. When you think about the future of the customer experience and customer service and creating those moments of magic and all that, in terms of where you see things are headed based on your conversations with organizations and the students and curriculum you put forth.
What has you most excited about where we’re going in terms of how we are able to manage customer expectations with these tools and technology we have, and maybe what’s something that gives you a little sense of pause and concern?
Lee: I’m like, I think we’re going to see a time when people are given a lot of latitude, how they work and where they work. We’re seeing that already. The companies that get it right, are going to have great service, great repeat business. They’re going to have a great reputation. The ones that don’t get it right, they’re going to disappear, frankly. The big companies are going to have to really get on this because they have these big mission statements and vision statements, and we take care, and we save people’s lives and all, and you can’t find anybody in the company that even knows what that is.
They don’t care. They hate their boss. They hate their job. They hate, and so we’re going to see a big change, which is good for me. Because I do training on this around the world. People- I get calls every day now because people they’re scared of what is going on. There’s people we’re seeing. Restaurants can open. The banks are still not open, people don’t have any people, and it’s going to happen more. I think about pharmaceutical companies that need really smart scientists, and they need brain power. If they don’t have them, they can’t grow, they can’t move.
They can’t come up with new drugs. They can’t. We’re going to see a lot more focus I think on people remembering. Everything in your life is about people. I told Chick-fil-A it’s not about the chickens. It’s about the people. We got plenty of chickens. We just don’t have plenty of people.
Justin: You guys got the sandwiches figured out.
Lee: Chickens can’t leave. When they do, it’s a different way, and we just got to get refocused on that. You can’t make mowing your lawn more important than your children. You got to pay attention. You got to be with them, and they got to grow up and think you’re the best thing that ever happened. They got ethics and honesty and everything is from you, and they’re watching you and this is what’s going to happen.
We’re going to see a major cultural change, and we’re going to see companies going under because, and I think it’s exciting because we’re already seeing some places get a lot better with who’s left. I tell people, quit looking for people and keep the ones you got. If I was in business to add and be sitting down with one person every afternoon and having golf, making sure they were going to stay because you can’t afford to lose great people.
Look at IT in it particularly. Everybody’s getting hit hard. Even Disney’s having trouble finding IT people and all over the country. These people are like gold. I had an electrician in my house today. You can’t do that to this guy if he knows what he’s doing. The plumber knows what he’s doing. I can’t lose them. If I have a company, these are the people that make your money.
There, a lot of people are going to get treated a lot better in the future. They’re going to have a better career. They’re going to have more opportunities. Because as I said, we’ve tried everything else. Now maybe we should take care of our people.
Justin: This has been a fantastic conversation, Lee. I’m so grateful for your time before we go, I’m going to ask one last question. What’s, and you also have some courses on time management in your repertoire, stuff. What’s the one tip you could give people that if they start doing tomorrow will have an impact on their ability to manage their time.
Lee: I would tell people time, manage, just get up in the morning, sit down and think about what you did yesterday and what you didn’t do as well as you should have. Then put it in your day planner to fix it today. Then think about next for five minutes or your responsibilities, your wife, your kids, your health, you’re in all those things. Your mom and dad, your grandparents, are they going to need you when they get older and assisted, are you thinking about all the things that are going to come face to face with you?
I’m telling you, if people can learn this time out. It’s like a math course. It’s learned. You’re not born disorganized. You become disorganized. There’s so much coming at us today. Fast that we and I anxiety sets in, and then we get paralyzed.
You got to get, you got to do this on purpose. Every day, I get up every morning. I got a list today. Things tomorrow, some for Saturday. I work through the day and I check them off. When I’m, let me tell you, when you make that check mark, you feel like a $1,000,000.
Justin: Feel accomplished.
Lee: Most people don’t even know the stability they have in their life, like their retirement and their health and their exercise and their diet and sleep. People are wondering why they feel like hell. They say, if you don’t take the time to plan your life, you’re going to get to spend a lot of time living a life you don’t want. That’s what’s happened to people. People are living a life they don’t want, and they don’t know how to get out of it, cause nobody ever taught them.
Justin: Love it. Lee, thank you again for taking some time this afternoon, to chat with us for those listening. If they want to learn more about you and what you do, where are some places they could go to find that.
Lee: Buy ever thanks to my website, Lee cockerel.com and my Cockerell Academy’s there. Podcast, we have a podcast that’s been going on for seven, eight years now, 400 episodes, 15 minutes, every Tuesday, it’s called creating Disney magic on leadership management, customer service. It’s free. If you don’t want to join the Cockerell Academy and get that free and if you go back and start listening to them.
We talked about anxiety, depression, how to fire people, how to hire people, and all the things I’ve really learned over those 50 years working for those great companies. I knew none of this when I started. Nothing, that’s what experience does.
Justin: I love it?
Lee: Go to the website. You’ll find the books are there, whatever you’re interested in.
Justin: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Lee. You have a wonderful afternoon, and we’ll catch you around.
Lee: Take care. Bye now.
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