Learning leadership: Former Disney VP to share expertise
Article from The Sierra Vista Herald - September 17, 2007
Being a great leader is a lot like being a good parent, said Lee Cockerell. Employee development is as important as child development: “You can’t fire your children. You have to develop them, so why are you firing your employees?”
Cockerell will share his leadership advice at the Disney Institute’s Executive Leadership Speaker Series hosted by the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce on Friday at the Buena Performing Arts Center.Cockerell led more than 40,000 employees during his 16 years with The Walt Disney Co.
As executive vice president of Walt Disney World Resort Operations, Cockerell was in charge of operating 18 resort hotels, four theme parks, three water parks, five golf courses, a shopping village and other entertainment venues.Cockerell on leadership
• Be the same person 24 hours a day. Don’t change when you come to work. Sometimes leaders act unnatural at work.
• Don’t ignore people because they don’t speak your language. A smile is a universal language.
• Routine is a good thing. Having the right routine in your life can improve your whole life.
• You may not always be able to help someone in need, but you should always try.
• I did the work until I learned to manage. I managed until I learned to lead. I lead until they learned to manage. They managed until they learned to lead. Then I retired!