Lee Cockerell: Author & Former EVP of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort

My NativeAdVantage:


Lee Cockerell retired as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a position he held for ten years.  His responsibilities encompassed a diverse mix of operations, which included 20 resort hotels with over 24,000 Guest rooms, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 5 golf courses, a shopping village & nighttime entertainment complex, a sports & recreation complex, and the ancillary operations support functions.  The Resort serves millions of guests each year and employs 73,000 Cast Members.

Lee joined the Disney organization in July 1990 as Director of Food and Beverage and Quality Assurance for the Disneyland Paris hotels.  Prior to joining the Walt Disney World Co., he spent seventeen years in various executive positions with the Marriott Corporation and eight years with Hilton Hotels.

Lee has served on the Heart of Florida United Way Board for six years including being the Chairman of the Board and a member of the Executive Committee and as Campaign Chairman for Central Florida.  Lee served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY; a member of the Board of Directors of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) and in 2005 Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service where Lee served as the Chairman of the Board.

In 2008 Governor Brad Henry of Oklahoma named Lee as a Creative Ambassador to assist the state in leadership and business development.

Lee’s first book, Creating Magic…10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney is now available in 14 languages. His iPhone Creating Magic Leadership and Coaching on the Go App gives a dose of daily advice on how to be a great leader and manager and how to provide world class customer service.

Lee’s Lessons in Leadership blog and iTunes top 10 podcast in the category of Management and Marketing, Creating Disney Magic teaches readers and listeners how to move from good to great and great to greater.

Lee’s second book, The Customer Rules...The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service was published in 2013 and is currently available in 12 languages.

Lee’s third book, Time Management Magic…How To Get More Done Every Day was released in 2015.

Lee and his wife Priscilla reside in Orlando, Florida.  Lee enjoys teaching leadership, management and service excellence seminars, traveling, dining out and most of all spending time with his three grandchildren, Jullian, Margot, and Tristan.

For more information and access to all of Lee’s resources go to: www.LeeCockerell.com

What do you do best?

I am a great teacher. I inspire people to be better than they ever thought they could be.

What makes you the best?

I am a recognized expert in leadership, management and customer service because of my passion for learning and teaching and for my 42 years of experience with Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels and The Walt Disney Company.

How will you stay the best?

I keep up by reading, attending seminars, teaching and most of all “thinking” everyday about how to be better.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: Great Health, Great Family

Business: Leave a legacy of teaching and helping others succeed and be the best they can be.

What fascinates you? 

The ability of humans to succeed or fail based solely on their attitude and passion.

Favorite Motto:

“It is never too late to get better.”

Favorite People: 

Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, General Lloyd Austin, Bill Marriott and Walt Disney

Favorite Places:

Paris and Provence, France and Carmel, California

Favorite Products:

Lexus, Samsung Galaxy 6, Southwest Airlines, Costco, Disney World and Disney Cruise Line

Current Passions:

Writing books on leadership, management and customer service , my Creating Disney Magic podcast, teaching, traveling all over the world and spending time with my family, especially my three grandchildren, Jullian, Margot and Tristan.