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What Difference Do YOU Really Make???

Monday, August 26, 2013
posted by Lee Cockerell 9:59 AM

NEW POST…..What you do counts.

I had an interesting Cross-Utilization experience in the Magic Kingdom® Park during the holidays one year while I was working at Disney World.  I was assigned to the hot dog wagon in Liberty Square.  I really enjoyed my time there with two Cast Members who did a wonderful job.

About three hours into my shift, the lady I was working with said to me, “I just found out who you are.”  I said, “Really.  Who am I?”  She said, “You are the man that writes The Main Street Diary.”  ( Weekly Walt Disney World Newsletter)

I thought that she was about to say that I was the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World® Operations.  It really is true that people recognize what you do versus who you are.  I like that!  Who you are or what your title is really does not matter much if you don’t do the right things for people and doing the right things is usually hard. That is why most people don’t do them. Most people do what they want but not what they should do….They take the easy route.

As I was leaving my shift, another Cast Member called out to me and said, “Lee, our manager says that it is mandatory that we read The Main Street Diary; and I want you to know that I would read it anyway.”

So, as a leader at work, in your community or as a parent:

  • What are you known for?
  • What do you do that impresses people?
  • Are you a great teacher?
  • Are you crystal clear with people?…Clarity matters.
  • Are you really known for involving others to get the best ideas and to make people know they matter?
  • Are you really known for giving people excellent feedback and coaching and counseling? This means telling the truth.
  • Think about what you have done this year. Has anything you have done really mattered to others?

…so it is pretty clear that Who You Are is Really About What You Do!   …Lee



3 Responses to “What Difference Do YOU Really Make???”

  1. DavidS says:

    I simply LOVE this new post. As the CIO of a large medical physician group practice I can tell you that our 50+ physicians could care less about what my title is, they are driven by results, it is what they do. I have known Lee for a few years now and have read Creating Magic a number of times, have it on audio, iBooks and hard bound book, both he and his books have taught me a lot about leadership. As far as my direct reports, I do make an effort to ensure that they know they matter, however I also need to be sure that what they are doing matters also. One last note – the windows on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom provide an opportunity for Disney to recognize cast member achievements – of which Lee has his own window also. The window doesn’t say Lee Cockerell, Executive Vice President, it says Lee Cockerell, Main Street Diary. I always ask myself, do I want to simply be known by my title like a tomb stone marker, or do I want to be known by what I did to make a difference, I think the latter.

  2. Belgarion42 says:

    Great questions, Lee! The last one in particular may be the scariest to answer…and the most important. “Has anything you have done really mattered to others?” If not, in a very real sense we have squandered that time.

  3. kentnjensen says:

    Love this. Have to be mindful of what we do for others as that seems to be much more important than titles or job descriptions.

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