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Disney magic comes to CMU

Lee Cockerell will share Disney’s secrets for success

Contact: Heather Smith


​​​​Lee Cockerell, the former executive vice president of operations at Walt Disney World, is credited with establishing the legacy of leadership and customer service for the No. 1 tourist destination in the world.​

Central Michigan University will bring Cockerell to campus Wednesday, Sept. 30, to share the philosophy behind Disney Great Leader Strategies, the approach used as the primary training tool for the 7,000 leaders at Walt Disney World.

Cockerell will lead three presentations (see below) covering topics ranging from service excellence and customer service to leadership and management. All presentations are free and open to faculty, students, staff and the public.

“CMU has long been known for its dedicated and friendly faculty and staff that focuses on customer service,” Harley Blake, manager of human resources’ professional development programs and chair of CMU’s Service Excellence committee, said. “Lee’s humorous and motivating style will inspire everyone to create “Disney magic” in their careers, our university and our lives.”

Nearly 20 CMU groups have combined to sponsor Cockerell’s appearance to further advance the university’s focus on developing leaders and providing first-rate customer service.

“CMU is the university of choice because of the personal touch and interest we have in our students’ academic success,” President George E. Ross said. “They come here because of the lasting impression our faculty and staff have on future students and families when they visit campus. Mr. Cockerell’s inspiring tips will help us serve our community in even greater ways, further cementing our efforts to help our students go forth and put their stamp on the world.”

Cockerell, also the author of several books, will have a book signing opportunity following his evening presentation.

There’s some magic at Central Michigan University

Faculty, students, staff and the public are invited to attend three presentations by Lee Cockerell, former executive vice president of operations for the Walt Disney World Resort, free of charge.

September 30, 2015

10-11:15 a.m.: Service Excellence/Customer Service

CMU has long been known for its dedicated, friendly staff that focuses on customer service. In this session, you will learn new approaches to keeping customers coming back for more. Lee’s compelling humor, wisdom and folksy storytelling demonstrates why the customer always rules and how to better serve customers so well that they will never want to do business anywhere else.

Location: McGuirk Arena

2:30-3:45 p.m.: Leadership/Management

Improve your performance by increasing your effective leadership skills and be ready to meet the challenges of today’s increasingly competitive world of higher education. This leadership seminar will help boost your performance through effective leadership skills:

  • Learn the keys to becoming a great leader
  • Learn the big difference between management and leadership;
  • Learn four simple ways to set you and your department apart in the eyes of your customers and employees; and
  • Learn the most important leadership behavior that will ensure success for you in all parts of your life.

Location: McGuirk Arena

7:30 p.m.: Leadership and Customer Service

Lee will share the magic of Disney and the legacy of leadership and customer service he helped create for the No. 1 tourist destination in the world. Whatever your current station in life, his motivational presentation will have applications you can put to work the next day in your professional and personal lives. Learn how to:

  • Make people feel special;
  • Treat people as individuals;
  • Show respect to everyone; and
  • Train and develop your team members and learn the differences between training and development.

Location: McGuirk Arena

A book signing will follow his speech.

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