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

Lee Cockerell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 14 2008

“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 about this kind of leadership than Lee Cockerell, the man who ran Walt Disney World® Resort operations for over a decade. And in Creating Magic, he shares the leadership principles that not only guided his own journey from a poor farm boy in Oklahoma to the head of operations for a multibillion dollar enterprise, but that also soon came to form the cultural bedrock of the world’s number one vacation destination. But as Lee demonstrates, great leadership isn’t about mastering impossibly complex management theories. We can all become outstanding leaders by following the ten practical, common sense strategies outlined in this remarkable book. As straightforward as they are profound, these leadership lessons include:
Everyone is important.
Make your people your brand.
Burn the free fuel: appreciation, recognition, and encouragement.
Give people a purpose, not just a job.

Combining surprising business wisdom with insightful and entertaining stories from Lee’s four decades on the front lines of some of the world’s best-run companies, Creating Magic shows all of us – from small business owners to managers at every level – how to become better leaders by infusing quality, character, courage, enthusiasm, and integrity into our workplace and into our lives.


Frequently Bought Together

Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney + Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service + The Disney Way, Revised Edition: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company
Price For All Three: CDN$ 50.50

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  • Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service CDN$ 15.67

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  • The Disney Way, Revised Edition: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company CDN$ 16.02

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Review

“Shows the magic in leadership — and the leadership in magic! Read this book!”
-Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times best-selling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year.

“In Creating Magic, Lee Cockerell delivers his ideas about leadership in a common sense way that can really reach people and help them improve their effectiveness at work, at home, and in their communities. His valuable leadership strategies and remarkable Disney stories will ring true for everyone who reads this book.”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The One Minute Entrepreneur

"Elegant in its simplicity and practicality, Lee has distilled many powerful leadership strategies into the lessons many of us learned as children.  They are no less relevant to our working lives.  At its core, Creating Magic is a collection of stories that reminds us to demonstrate care and respect for every member of the team and to focus our efforts not our ourselves but on the people we lead."
-George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc and ABC Sports

“Lee's common sense principles and down to earth storytelling is refreshing. His book will help leaders and managers at all levels become better in all parts of their lives."
—Lee Huebner, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, Georgetown University.

"… Creating Magic transcends the leadership business-speak so prevalent in modern day motivational tomes and offers a real approach to sensible and practical strategies culled from the experience of a lifetime spent in pursuit of leadership excellence.!"
-Ted J. Kleisner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company

“Disney is one of the world’s prime exemplars of service having pioneered and implemented much of what is today seen as best practice in service management. Lee Cockerell has played a major role in this….For those wishing to learn how Disney has achieved its reputation for service, this will be a book to read."
-Chris Voss, Professor of Operations and Technology Management, London Business School

“In the hospitality industry, people are our most important asset. No one understands how to develop this asset better than Lee Cockerell who clearly articulates in Creating Magic how leadership environments that are committed to achieving excellence through lifelong  learning, continually honing our professional competence, maintaining personal control,  and rewarding behaviors that recognize the personal worth and reinforce the professional accomplishments of our fellow team members will create a culture of shared vision, trust and a “can do” sense of individual empowerment. The result: pure “Magic” …. Lee’s “10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies” will contribute much to the success of any endeavor.”
-Dieter Huckestein, past President - American Hotel & Lodging Association, Chairman of Conrad Hotels and President - Hotel Operations, Hilton Hotels Corporation (retired).

“Lee is a powerhouse when it comes to developing and inspiring leadership in front line employees and managers. During my years working with him at Disney and in all of my senior management positions since, I have used his leadership philosophies to successfully develop effective leaders and cultivate business environments focused on service excellence. Creating Disney Magic will be a must-read for anyone who wants to make a positive organizational difference built on highly engaged employees delivering exceptional service."
-Karl McDonnell, President& Chief Operating Officer, Strayer Education, Inc

“Lee Cockerell created a distinctly unique service culture at Disney World…Essential to fulfilling this strategy is a complete understanding of the nature of leadership which Lee spells out in his book. Managing is not enough. It takes leadership to create excellence. The formula is not limited to the hospitality industry. It works for healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and education. It applies to the government, military, and not-for-profit ventures, as well as private industry. Those who practice these lessons, and participate in such organizations, live in a better world."
- Martin K. Starr, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Operations Management, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College

About the Author

LEE COCKERELL was the executive vice president of operations for Walt Disney World for more than ten years. As one of the public faces of the world-renowned Disney Institute, he continues to teach courses in leadership and professional development. A popular keynote speaker, he frequently addresses Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits across the country. He lives in Orlando, Florida.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars First half of the book is good April 5 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While the second half is more about repetition and not very effective.
It is a collection of good advice but without a logical sequence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  101 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger than Blanchard and Covey? Nov. 7 2008
By Jeff L. Noel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lee Cockerell should be bigger than Blanchard and Covey combined. Lee is light-years past theory. He is straight-forward, no-nonsense, wise. Every great leader should read this book, or miss an incredible opportunity to see Disney from an executive mind-set, with tons of practical, how-to's for any leader, in any organization.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magically Successful Oct. 31 2009
By Larry Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lee Cockerell, by his own admission, wasn't a very easy person to work with. After getting whacked on the head a few times with various office supply products, wielded by unhappy co-workers, he got the message: Lighten up. It's a message many people currently engaged in "business" (including more than a few CEOs) need to heed. Watch out, that next clipboard may have your name on it.

Sometimes it takes a good smack on the head by a clipboard, or a swift kick in the pants, to make us understand that we need to get along with people in order to succeed. That's such a simple concept, but one that so often is dismissed by so many, especially the higher up the corporate ladder they climb.

Fortunately, Lee Cockerell got the message, loud and clear. The rest is contemporary American business history. He went on to great accomplishments with the Disney empire, simply by learning how to effectively engage with people; especially those working under him.

For anyone looking for the most basic & wonderfully "common sense" approach to leadership, look no further than this terrific book. Read it, and you too, may create some magic.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Common Sense for a Common Problem Nov. 23 2008
By Michael Gooch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a corporate human resources director, I really enjoyed reading this book. "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. I also suggest High Altitude Leadership: What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR - Author of Wingtips with Spurs
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Handbook of Practical Love for Leaders at Every Level Oct. 25 2008
By Keith Bower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most of us judge ourselves based on our intentions. The people around us judge us based upon our behaviors. As leaders, we must make sure that our behaviors support our intentions. This is one of the many lessons I've learned from Walt Disney World, a legendary culture created and sustained under the exemplary leadership of Lee Cockerell, WDW's former Executive VP of Operations. In "Creating Magic," Lee Cockerell explains how to make that kind of loving, caring, respectful leadership a practical reality. Lee shows leaders in all walks of life how to operationalize a culture of caring in every sphere of influence. "Creating Magic" is the most inspiring and the most practical book on leadership I have ever read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Insight June 23 2009
By N. Comtois - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Absolutely an amazing book. Lee has such an insight into what works in a leadership position and what won't. I have already begun to utilize his suggestions with great success. Even if you are not in a position of leadership, this will help build your sense of self, and is great for business and Disney fans alike!!
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