Lee Cockerell shares career advice on the 3 E's of education, experience, and exposure.

The 3 E’s of Career Magic with Lee Cockerell

Lee Cockerell, a retired Walt Disney World executive, about his book Career Magic and the 3 E’s that are important for somebody’s career to thrive: education, experience, and exposure.

Lee Cockerell shares career advice on the 3 E's of education, experience, and exposure.

“Don’t underestimate what you can do. All you got to do is start doing it.”

Lee Cockerell is a retired Walt Disney World executive and author of Career Magic. He is revising a book of his called Career Magic.

In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. What made Lee Cockerell successful was not just his education, but also his exposure to different people and experiences.
2. Career growth happens when you get out of your comfort zone and learn new things.
3. Everyone has the ability to change and grow, regardless of their background or circumstances.

This is Lee Cockerell’s story…

Lee Cockerell shares his story of career growth from a cook in the army to a senior executive leader at Walt Disney World. He credits his success to his education, exposure, and experience. He urges others to get out of their comfort zones and experience as much as possible to grow personally and professionally.

Lee Cockerell has accomplished things you would not expect from someone born and raised in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It would seem like life was stacked against Lee. He was a college dropout, so that must be the end of the road, right? Not quite.

Hard work and the willingness to learn new skills and new knowledge were his secret recipe to success.

Lee Cockerell is known today as the former Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World. He speaks to various organizations, including the United States Army, about leadership. His 40-year career in the hospitality industry boasts eight years as an executive for Hilton Hotels and 17 years as an executive for Marriott Corporation. This man knows leadership!


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Buy a copy of Lee Cockerell’s revised book, Career Magic: How to Stay on Track to Achieve a Stellar Career on Amazon.

Career Magic Cover

Visit Lee’s website, LeeCockerell.com, to book him for speaking engagements, learn about leadership through The Cockerell Academy, and more.

Chapter Summaries:

[00:00:00] – At Disney. He hired great people, let them do their job training, gave them clear expectations and treated them well.

[00:00:19] – This episode of beyond the Rut is hosted by Jerry Dugan Dugan and features a guest on the show, retired Walt Disney World executive Lee Cockerell, who is revising a book called Career Magic. They talk about the 3 E’s and how you can advance your career by education, exposure and experience.

[00:01:16] – ee was a senior executive leader with Walt Disney World, the resorts. Lee wrote a book called Career Magic about career management and career growth.

[00:03:11] – Lee didn’t graduate from college, went two years, and flunked out for not going to class. He worked in the army, in the oil fields, as a cook, a waiter, a hotelier, and in casinos. Lee has traveled to 48 countries in the world, and he knows people from everywhere. Lee believes that exposure to different types of people and different walks of life makes you a better person.

[00:10:17] – In his early career, he worked for Hilton, and he learned didn’t have as much exposure as he thought he had. Marriott focused on training and development and getting you exposed. He traveled to Hong Kong, Poland, and all over the world doing work. By the time he got started with Disney, he had accumulated a lot of experience and exposure.

[00:15:51] – At 46, I realize I am not getting younger and I need to step out of my comfort zone. I have talked myself out of venturing out or writing a book before. Now I realize that I have the knowledge, the ability and the capability to make it happen.

[00:16:34] – At the end of each chapter of his book Career Magic, which he wrote in 2015. He wrote insights at the end to explain the main points of the book to his readers. He updated about 15% to 20% of it. His wife doesn’t listen to his show.

[00:22:14] – He was 46 when he joined Disney. His first project when he went to Disney was to open Disneyland Paris. He was in high school when Disneyland Paris opened.

[00:26:04] – The pandemic made people more adept at buying online. His first book is in 22 languages, Creating Magic, and universities are using his books now as textbooks. He believes that 99% of the problems of people’s lives are their own fault.

[00:30:33] – Jerry Dugan is leaving his corporate job and taking a three-month sabbatical to focus on his business and writing a book. His wife and daughter are going to help him prepare a business plan.

[00:34:36] – Don’t underestimate what you can do in your career. And don’t underestimate the personal influence you have. Give your brain a break. Don’t be waiting for other people to push you. If it doesn’t work, you can get a job. Getting a job is the least of the problem.

[00:36:24] – Lee talks about how you can grow your career by focusing on the three factors: education, experience, and exposure.

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Creating Career Magic with Lee Cockerell – BtR 072

Dan Cockerell’s 27 Years of Leadership Lessons Working for Disney – BtR 147

How Creating Disney Magic Changed the Life of Jody Maberry – BtR 170

Connect with me:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/beyondtherut
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/beyondtherut
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beyondtherut
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerrydugan/

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: Apple Podcasts


Lee Cockerell  00:00

You don’t have to personally people ask me what I did at Disney and I said nothing. I said I just made things made sure things got done. So I hired great people, let them do their job training gave him a clear expectations and you know, treated them. Well. You know, treating people badly is a bad idea.

Jerry Dugan  00:19

Hey, Rutter Nation. Welcome to another episode of beyond the rut, the podcast that shares encouraging stories and practical tools to help pull you out of your rut into a life worth living. I’m your host, Jerry Dugan. And in this episode, we’re going to be joined by retired Walt Disney World executive Lee Cockrell, who is revising a book of his called Career magic. So we’re going to talk about the three E’s and how you can advance your career by education, exposure and experience. I said those out of order, but that’s okay, because we’re gonna kick it off talking about exposure anyway. So if you’ve ever heard Lee cockerel on his show, creating Disney magic, you’ll love having him on the show and listening to this episode. So sit back and relax unless you’re trying to do a paper cut fight, which sounds really brutal. I don’t know why he would do that. But stop doing that because they might get infected and you have to lose an arm and all that good stuff. But anyway, here we go. All right, I’m here with Lee cockerel who just went through a hurricane which I know you’re supposed to keep these things evergreen. But yeah. Now you’ll just start trying to figure out what hurricanes he talking about? Well, that’s the mystery. Lee, how are you doing?

Lee Cockerell  01:28

Oh, we’re good. We didn’t have really any issues in our house. But boy, Florida is a mess. Yes. It is. Really a disaster over on the Gulf side. But we just kind of we didn’t even lose power. Everything was fine. So we feel blessed. And big cleanup though. Yeah. Yeah. I

Jerry Dugan  01:47

just saw a video clip of the isn’t that bridge highway that goes through the keys. Yeah. And their complete sections are just gone. And I thought, Oh, wow, that

Lee Cockerell  01:57

was amazing. Yeah. And I’ve been through many of these. And I think this one must have been the worst ever.

Jerry Dugan  02:04

Yeah. I love sometimes I now know, I respect I think that’s the better way to say it. I respect how Mother Nature will remind us from time to time who’s really in charge.

Lee Cockerell  02:14

Who’s really stronger? doesn’t reveal our plan very far. And no, no, not

Jerry Dugan  02:19

at all. And so you get something like this bridge that whoever built that and design it thought this is impervious to anything that can be thrown at it. And then your sections are missing. You’re like, oh, wow, that’s humbling. And so I have no idea how that’s gonna transition to the conversation we had planned, but what we started with. So now for those of you who don’t know, Lee, was a senior executive leader with Walt Disney World, the resorts. And he’s he’s climbed though from being a cook, serving in the army, to being that senior executive. So it wasn’t like just overnight, boom, he’s an executive. So if there’s somebody who knows about career management, career growth, it’s Lee because he did it for himself. And he helped coach other people to grow in their careers. And there’s a great book that he came out with a few years back called Career magic. And so that’s what I asked Lee to join us and talk about, because in that book, that Lee you talk about the three E’s and how they’re important for somebody’s career to thrive. Can you tell us about its education, experience, and exposure? Tell us about each one of those things and how it helps our careers advance and grow on a level we didn’t expect? Or maybe that we want it to, but we just never don’t know how to go about it.

Lee Cockerell  03:37

Yeah, well, you know, for me, it became more clear that those three were the right three, because I didn’t graduate from college, went two years and promptly flunked out for not going to class, but that’ll hurt. Yeah. I think a lot of parents and a lot of people say just get a great education, and that’ll take care of everything. And that’s not true. I would say the best education you get is experience in miracles in your life and your career. And exposure, which is one of the problems a lot of people have, they’re still in their little town, they’ve never been anywhere. They don’t know anybody. It’s not look like them. And so when I left Oklahoma, I was 20 years old when in the army, and I didn’t know anybody that wasn’t didn’t look like me. And and that changed pretty quick when you get in the army. And then I moved to Washington, DC, and let me tell you, everybody’s from everywhere in the world, and then you go in the hotel and hospitality business, and everybody else from everywhere. And because that’s an entry level, and it’s just people go to those jobs and you, you work with them, you you go out with them, you know, they become your friends. And all of a sudden, you know, you have this new appreciation through that exposure in life to that everybody’s great and great people and it has nothing to do with religion or sexual orientation or or anything. And so it changes you. You’re not the person you are. And and then experience I had a lot of great experience Oh yeah, I worked in the army, I was a cook, I’ve been a waiter, I’ve cleaned rooms, I’ve worked in casinos I’ve worked all over. And let me tell you what, there’s no employee, they know when I come to a job that Lee knows, because I’ve done it. I know, all the bad behavior is going on. I know, I might even have participated in it if they would, you know, back in the day, and, and once you know, you know, and it raises your self confidence, it raises your performance, and it raises your relationship and with the people you work with, because they have a high regard for people who, who know how to do what they do. And so when you think about it, education is great. But it’ll probably be changed pretty rapidly the things you learned in college, but experiences once you get to experience, it’s burned into your soul, you can never, you know, you did it, I worked in the oil fields out at 110 degrees in the oil field, know that that never leaves, I remember that very well. And the people I worked with and how they treated me and making sure I don’t ever treat people that way. And then this exposure to the world when I left Oklahoma never been anywhere. And I’ve done work in the traveled 40 countries in the world. And I know people from everywhere. As I laugh sometimes I tell people I’ve got friends named Mohamed, when I was in Oklahoma, I didn’t. Jose and Ricardo and Maria, and on and on and on and on. And it’s just a just an enlightening makes you a better person. I know. I’m not the same person I was when I left 20 years or 50.

Jerry Dugan  06:58

Yeah, it’s really interesting how that that exposure to your talking exposure in terms of different types of people, different walks of life. And that exposure pulls you out of your comfort zone, like you only knew one world, the great big metropolis known as Ardmore, Oklahoma. And, you know, now you’re living in places like New York City and Paris even and Washington DC. And you learn that there’s more than one way to see the world and there’s more than one way to tackle a problem. And and if you learn to embrace that diversity and these different ways of thinking and seeing the world, it makes you more capable to handle any problem that comes forward, I think, is that what you’ve also found like et Cie, in different ways, also allows you to tackle a problem with different options. Yeah, there’s

Lee Cockerell  07:49

not much it bothers me. I’ve kind of been there seen it. You know, when you work in hotel business, everything that happens in real life happens in hotel. Yeah. With the employees, with the guests, with your boss, the good behaviors, bad behaviors? And, yeah, it’s, it just, it reduces I think experience reduces a lot of anxiety. Because you, you know, you said earlier, how does it relate to what we’re talking about today. And I guarantee you, careers are like hurricanes. They go on a hit, and they blow and they go and they come back again someday. And I always said, it’s like a roller coaster. You have those beautiful write up, it’s slow and quiet. And then you have a disaster, you get fired. You got a boss you can’t work with. I mean, it’s unbelievable. A recession. 911 hurricanes and pandemic, it makes you very resilient. And, and I think then you handle things more calmly. People trust you more, because they, they sense that confidence that he’s not going to overreact. He’s not going to treat me badly. He’s not going to raise his voice to me, he’s not gonna yell at me. And all of a sudden people like working with you.

Jerry Dugan  09:06

Yes, it sounds like experience, combined with exposure to not just diversity, but exposure to different types of work even gives you the confidence that needed to handle crisis as it arises as a leader.

Lee Cockerell  09:21

Oh, yeah, I mean, it does. And I just one thing I worry about is enough, people are not getting out of their village and going out and getting exposure to the world. I talked about this all the time, get out of your little village because nothing’s going to change there. And you can change but it won’t change if you stay in the same place and and the education part. I finally got that not with a college degree but I woke up one day and realized after moving to Washington and New York and LA you know how much I didn’t know how ignorant I was. I was and I started listening to tapes, reading more taking courses. And all of a sudden, I, I learned things I should have probably learned 10 years before, but I didn’t. But once you figure out how little you know, the world is big place. It’s very complex. And it’s. And then I learned also what I didn’t know, I hired people around me to take care of it. So our experts and let them do their job. Yeah. And those are the kinds of things that have really made me successful. And as I put in this book, you know, each one of those lessons, you don’t know them when you’re going through them, but you know them after you’ve been through them. And, you know, when you’re in the middle of a disaster, or working for somebody, you just can’t you hate it. You’re not being treated, right. That’s a learning that you don’t realize to later,

Jerry Dugan  10:53

yeah. When was a time in your career, whether it was at Walt Disney Company or with Marriott, or anywhere else, where those three pieces came together perfectly to help you handle a situation. So your education, your experience, and your exposure, gave you all the right tools so that when this crisis came up, whatever the crisis was, you had everything you needed to come up with a decision like that a plan? And everybody just said, wow, okay, yes, we’ll do the thing that we just said,

Lee Cockerell  11:19

Yeah, I mean, I would say in my early career, I had eight years with Hilton, I was just doing my job wasn’t paying. And matter of fact, I didn’t have as much exposure as I wish I had, because I was working six days a week. So I was living in LA, but I wouldn’t see in LA. And but again, after that, I would say started at Marriott, because they really focused on your training and development and getting you exposed and I worked for them, I traveled to Hong Kong, I traveled to Poland all over the world doing work. So they gave me that exposure that I probably would have never done by myself. You know, I went to Poland before the before the wall came down it still. And that experience is like, whoa, can you get off the plane and people there with shipping. And so I’m going in the stores and there was no food, there was no nothing. And, and it’s changed today. And but then I was really by the time I got started with Disney, then I had really accumulated a ton of experience and exposure. And I had been reading and taking courses and getting really excited about waking up every morning knowing more than I did when I went to bed, you know. And so it was it’s progressive. It’s like if you decide to do it, you can do it. And I tell people don’t underestimate what you can do. All you got to do is start doing it. And don’t blame your Mother, don’t blame your poor, or your from some third world country, forget all that. You’ve got. It’s all I tell people, it’s all in your brain, your brain lies to you. Your brain tells you you can’t do something. It’s a big lie. And you listen to it. And then your brain likes you because over your life bad things have been put up there to make you insecure and feel like you’re nobody and not having a college degree and growing up in a little racist town. And all of a sudden your brain tells you that it’s all true. And then when you get out and get exposure, you find out it’s not true.

Jerry Dugan  13:17

Yes, yeah, it’s almost like you’ve held yourself back through like a million tiny paper cuts. And, you know, it’s all these things that just add up over time that make you think, yeah, that you aren’t worthy or capable of and then you just have that catalyst moment, hopefully that says, Wait a second, I’m exactly where I need to be right now. The thing is, I need to take that first step to the thing I need to do. And I feel like I’m just shouting at myself, because that’s kind of where I’m going through right now. Like, yeah, okay, I listen to my own show here, we got to do this. So

Lee Cockerell  13:48

the thing is, I think that you probably can’t do it until you break up. I mean, I couldn’t, I could not have ever come to that conclusion. Until I got out of the environment I was in, you got to extricate yourself from the environment that’s holding you in and not giving you this assurance that and, and when I tell people if it’s not going the way it is, I don’t care where just leave, go live in New York, Washington somewhere, you won’t starve to death, you’ll find something to do, you’ll get a job and go to Salvation Army. But get out of that place that makes you feel like you can’t do anything or be anybody, because that’s what’s trapping you. When you’re in an environment you, you become like the environment because that’s soy. That’s the problem in politics. If you hang around the people that say the same things their whole life and you never hear anything different and you believe everything. That’s what you are, that’s what you become. And that’s one thing I just and it’s hard for a lot of people, their parents don’t want them to move. I want you to stay here, way dad, blah, blah. You know, and I’m gonna tell you right now you don’t do what your parents want. You do what you need to do with you and your family. And so my mother wanted me to stay In Oklahoma and become a dentist. Really? No, I’ve had so much fun. I’ve lived all over the world. And so there’s something inside you when you’ve been exposed.

Jerry Dugan  15:13

Yes. And you can’t shut it off, right? It’s just like, get rid of it.

Lee Cockerell  15:17

Exactly. You can’t forget it. Like you can forget things you learned in school?

Jerry Dugan  15:20

Yes. It’s almost like the movie, The Matrix where you had the choice between the red pill and the blue pill, take the red pill, and it just opened your eyes to what’s possible. And there’s like, I don’t want to go back. You know, it’s

Lee Cockerell  15:32

absolutely, it’s just, it’s that easy. Seems hard. But it’s not just do it. And what’s going to happen, you can always move back to that place, if it doesn’t work.

Jerry Dugan  15:45

plug back in for a little bit for people notice and then get right back into it. The dream may be low. Yeah. And I think a lot of people would be surprised by that, you know, they, I mean, I’ve, again, I’ve mentioned, I’ve gone through it myself, where I’ve talked myself out of, you know, venturing out or writing a book, and now realizing 46. And it’s like, wait a second, I am not getting younger, my last physical just prove that I am getting older. So what am I going to be doing with this life? And so it’s like stepping out of those comfort zones and forcing myself out of those comfort zones. And realizing I have the knowledge, I have the ability, I have the capability. Do I have the will to go make it happen? That’s the only thing I need to plug in. And I’ve got the formula. And it’s just it’s it’s amazing to hear you say it. It’s like, Yes, I’m on the right track. I’m doing it. Now, you’ve got this book career magic, and you wrote it back in, I believe 2015. Is that correct? 2016. So when I ballpark? Yeah. And you gave it a facelift? I heard through your show, actually.

Lee Cockerell  16:47

Yeah, I did. I was writing it again. At first, I did for two reasons. First, it wasn’t edited very well. When I first did it, my wife back kill me. Her mother was an English teacher. And you know, I said, I’ve written six books now. And I don’t know where the commas go, but, and semicolons. But so she said, get this redone. It needs a lot of work. So I got a really great editor they added to it. And then I went back through it and basically added some things. But at the end of every chapter added insights, a list of what you learned in this chapter just to emphasize, okay, you just read this now, here are the eight points that you rethink these right now. So you start to figure out, what action should you take from what you just learned. So that’s what mainly I did is because I, in the first book, creating magic, I had insights at the end of every chapter, and people really, they’ve told me they really like that. What were the main points I should learn lay? And those are the main points that help you make the right decision. So that’s the big learning for me to start. Anything I do now is when you even give a speech, you know, summarize the main points at the end. Okay, here’s what you just heard for an hour.

Jerry Dugan  18:01

Yes, three. It’s like, old addicts yourself.

Lee Cockerell  18:05

So that means get sleep, eat right. And then exercise. That’s what I just talked about. And forget all the other stuff. I said, you know, it’s really

Jerry Dugan  18:15

interesting, right? It’s like, tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them and then tell them what you told them. It applies even sounds like two books, every single chapter. If it’s a nonfiction book, you probably wouldn’t do it in an in a fiction novel. But at least with a nonfiction if you’re trying to teach people some concepts. I’m saying this mostly for myself, because I just jotted down insights at the end of each chapter. Because I’m working on myself edit right now before I hand my manuscript off to my editor, so I just got bonus content,

Lee Cockerell  18:43

you’re writing a book, you might want to think about what is it that I want to teach people in this chapter. So then at the end, you’ll know what the, you’re gonna put the insights in there. You know, it’s not just blah, blah, blah. But here’s the three, four or five things that are important and let you know, it’s like, people asked me what I did at Disney. And I said, Well, the main thing we do at Disney is hire them, right, train them, right and train them, right. Okay, that’s the insight. Forget all the other stuff. You do those three things. Let me tell you what, you will have no problems. Yes. And sometimes we go on and on. And we don’t get to the point.

Jerry Dugan  19:22

Yes. Oh, yeah. And so it sounds like you also updated about like 15 to 20% of the book. So it’s like not just the insights. Were there some of the things that updated you got a copy editor who cleaned up the commas and pieces like that? So folks probably are trying to race out and get the older copies so they can compare but don’t don’t worry about that, guys. Just just get the book get the knowledge.

Lee Cockerell  19:43

Now thing by the way, is most Americans are not very good either, because I only got about four comments over the last five years about the grammar and, and people telling me the book was great, because they didn’t know any more than I did, apparently. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  19:57

I mean, you share your own story in there and it’s very compelling, and you get to see like, Oh, this is where he learned this. And this is where he learned this. And I kind of went through something similar. And I can learn from that too. And oh, wow, you know, that’s the hurdle I’ve run into and didn’t realize. So it’s, it’s, the story is there and the lessons are there. And I think if that’s the case, then folks probably don’t care as much about that. Don’t tell your wife. I said this. She doesn’t listen to my show. So we should be okay.

Lee Cockerell  20:25

You know, more than you think you do. That’s the problem, right? You’re your own worst enemy.

Jerry Dugan  20:29

I was too. Yeah. And I’m gonna guess your brain

Lee Cockerell  20:33

knows what’s holding you back. Nobody else knows.

Jerry Dugan  20:36

Exactly. And it just, you know, there’s only so many times when you can hear somebody telling you or a bunch of people telling you, why haven’t you like published this? Or why haven’t you created a business around this? Why haven’t you created a training program for this? And, you know, there’s only so many times you can hear that before you realize, Wait, why haven’t I? And that’s if you get to that point, I think there are a lot of people out there who still kind of just like, Man, I wish that you know, things were just better somewhere like they don’t take that responsibility for themselves and say, Wait, I am in control of my own destiny here.

Lee Cockerell  21:07

One thing that matters most is discipline. If you’re gonna do it, then you got to get up every day, I wrote my books, I write from 830 to 1030, every morning until I’m done. Every morning, seven days a week, I schedule, it’s in my calendar. Sometimes I write for half an hour, and I’m brain dead. So I put it down. But schedule the priorities in your life, if you want to get them done, and you will get them done. If you write every day for two hours, you’re gonna get that Yeah. Oh, yeah, that’s good. When I’m watching TV or skirting around, and you got to when you start to schedule what you want to complete, it’ll be in your calendar, you’ll stop at 830. And you’re right. Next, I know you gotta vote,

Jerry Dugan  21:46

right? It’s kind of like they say about your checkbook. Like where your money goes, that’s kind of where your heart is, or your mind. It’s the same with your calendar, it’s whatever you’re putting on your calendar is where your heart really is. So if you’re saying, like a goal to start a business, or to get a promotion, or to go back to school, to get a certification, whatever it is, that you put the time in your calendar every single day to get closer and closer to that achievement. That’s where your treasure is, and you protect it. It sounds like you’re writing every day 830 to 1030. And you’ve got six published books to show for it plus a speaking career and you know, it’s it, but it’s because you put the time in, you know, the things that people don’t typically see. And well, you have

Lee Cockerell  22:28

time, by the way, you know, during the pandemic, we didn’t have anything to do. Yeah, so my partner and I developed the cockerel Academy and it has 10 courses, and it is a subscription. Right. And it’s they’re great. And the reason we did it is we said, well, what are we going to do is done those two lists is our time, let’s get off the couch. And so we did it for like an hour, an hour tomorrow on our next our, our our next thing, you know, we were done. Again, you know, we it’s like you have the time? Do you have the will? That you really wanted?

Jerry Dugan  23:02

Yes. And it’s just like, you hear a lot of stories of folks who, you know, maybe their businesses closed up shop or, but then on the flip side, so many folks who just reinvented themselves or made an adjustment and both have the same amount of time in front of them. And it’s what did they choose to do with it? Where do they choose to let their minds go? Do they?

Lee Cockerell  23:24

Yeah. And you are the solution.

Jerry Dugan  23:27

Yes, that’s like, that’s that’s the good news. Right. And also the bad news. It’s,

Lee Cockerell  23:32

yeah, you are. Your mother was not going to write the book for you.

Jerry Dugan  23:38

I probably wouldn’t want her to only because you know, her English is still broken. She’s from Thailand.

Lee Cockerell  23:44

She might still make your bed for you. But she won’t.

Jerry Dugan  23:46

Oh, no, no, she wouldn’t choose Tiger Mom. She’d make me and I probably get spanked for it too. Like I’m 46 mom.

Lee Cockerell  23:59

I was 46 when I joined Disney. Oh, well.

Jerry Dugan  24:02

Yeah. And

Lee Cockerell  24:05

just we did it. And I mean, I’d been married 17 years and I watched it like you know, go to France open Disneyland Paris. Disney. Let’s go do it. Yeah, no, we could have not worked out but I figure I can still get a job as a waiter if I have not gonna starve.

Jerry Dugan  24:23

Yeah, there’s always a plan B. Right. There’s, there’s always

Lee Cockerell  24:25

when you’re doing it, sometimes it’s miserable, you know, for a year, two years or however long it takes you to achieve that. Yeah, I mean, yeah. But if you stay on it, you’ll get on the other side of it. Yeah. And plug away.

Jerry Dugan  24:39

And so your first project when you went to Disney was to open Disneyland Paris, right? Yeah. No pressure there, right.

Lee Cockerell  24:48

That was rough. That was rough.

Jerry Dugan  24:53

You know, most leaders they get in and maybe they work on like some small little quick win for the organization to prove themselves or To get a feel for the lay of the land, they threw you right in there to open up that I was. I mean, I think it was in high school and that opened.

Lee Cockerell  25:07

Well, I’m back to certain 79. So you were a baby? Yeah. We opened 30 years ago.

Jerry Dugan  25:15

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was probably 16. Yep. Yeah, learn to drive. And you know, the only the only thing that’s still the same then as now is I could barely grow facial hair. Good for you. Good. liasion jeans. Everybody in

Lee Cockerell  25:31

the world. They say what do you recommend? I said, shave.

Jerry Dugan  25:35

Oh, man, I think I finally got to an age where I do get it. I have to shave daily if I want to look clean at work.

Lee Cockerell  25:41

But I got a mirror on a razor. I put it in the shower, one of those sticks on the wall. And I shaved in 130 seconds at night. And then the morning. Oh, man, when you don’t have a big bear, and you can go quick and

Jerry Dugan  25:55

Bono bonus content here. I got a life hack. I never knew I needed

Lee Cockerell  25:58

to save time and screwed up I need. I’m always worried about time. Oh,

Jerry Dugan  26:03

man. That’s brilliant. Now, I think the dumb question I had is so career magic. If you if you don’t know by now, because the pandemic made us very, very adept at buying online. So I know the book is on Amazon. But if somebody is adamant they don’t want to buy the book off of Amazon. Are there other places where they could buy the book?

Lee Cockerell  26:22

Oh, yeah, it’s Barnes and Noble. And that’s wherever books are sold. I mean, it’s actually we just got an offer from China. They want to publish it. And you know, my first books and 22 languages, career magic are correct. Creating Magic and and universities are using my books now as textbooks, because the kids today are, we’re finding out they don’t want theory, they want real life. How do you do it? Well, and so that’s been we did a course for the University of Northern Arizona. It’s an online course the students take we’re talking to other schools right now. And, and practical kids want practical advice, not some theory that was written in 1941, you know about. So I think that’s pretty much. And, and, and I think the young people today would need encouragement to go do their thing. And so yeah, it’s been fun. I love working with students. I’m even date working with high schools, too, because they need a lot of encouragement to get out there and do these things. Even if you don’t have a college degree, get a good job, be the best at it. And then you’ll get promoted. I don’t care if it’s clean bathrooms be the best bathroom cleaner and the world’s ever seen and you’ll be in charge of the bathroom cleaners. You know, I mean, it’s just become an expert in something. And experience does that if you do it every day, you’ll be an expert.

Jerry Dugan  27:44

It sounds like I mean, you call it discipline. It sounds like a lot of it is also the attitude you bring in every day, you know, if you

Lee Cockerell  27:51

resign, you know, yeah, I would say 85% of your life is attitude. Good or bad? Yeah, you create most of your problems, right? The one question you should ask every day when you have a problem in your life, no matter what it is. isn’t my fault. Yeah. Whose fault is it? You haven’t written your book?

Jerry Dugan  28:11

Yeah. Oh, geez. Yeah. It’s your fault. I tried to place blame on that one. And it just kept my name kept coming up. I’m like, What is this? Ah, man, okay.

Lee Cockerell  28:23

99% of the problems of everybody’s life is their own fault.

Jerry Dugan  28:26

Yes, exactly. It’s, there’s so much truth. Well, I mean, that is the truth. You know, that the variation of that question that you would ask is, Is this my fault? I had a previous leader who taught me it’s, you know, where in this is it my fault? You know, what is it I brought to the situation? And what is it I can bring to the situation now to help correct it? And, you know, just taking that out? And then of course, the army, you know, what’s the maximum range of excuse? 0.0 meters, and you’re like, oh, man, there’s no excuse, by the

Lee Cockerell  28:59

way, you even if you don’t have to do everything, if you can do it, ask somebody to help you. Go see a friend. Get online, go Google it. You know, you can write a book by googling some subject. There, really, you don’t have to personally people asked me what I did at Disney and I said nothing. I said I just made things made sure things got done. So I hired great people let them do their job train gave him a clear expectations and you know, treated them well. You know, treating people badly is a bad idea. Oh. You think it’s a good idea to try it on your wife? Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  29:39

No, I’m 20 years going here. It’s going strong so far.

Lee Cockerell  29:45

I just got 54 So I’m in good shape. Nice.

Jerry Dugan  29:47

Nice. Yeah. Good number to aspire to. I mean, that’s a you definitely don’t know. My wife and I growing up experienced five divorces all together. You know that our parents had gone through it. And that was like, our one big thing is that we don’t fall into that as well. And I mother

Lee Cockerell  30:04

was married five times. Yeah. So you know, they’re four times. And my week two, I’ve been married 54 years, my son’s been married 27 years. And we broke that claim and what you did, do you broke that? Somebody’s got to break it. Alcohol, drugs, marriage abuse. God bless you. That’s it. Yeah. And you’ve already achieved something better than most people.

Jerry Dugan  30:26

Yeah. And I mean, it’s worth it to. I mean, it’s

Lee Cockerell  30:29

just shows you can do it.

Jerry Dugan  30:33

It takes a lot of humility, though. It’s, you can’t be like in your own head, like, I’m the smartest, I’m the man of the house. It there are a lot of humbling moments. And if it doesn’t come from my wife, pointing things out, my kids will have pointed things out Jerry, or they don’t call me chair. They call me dad. You know, you say you’re about this, but we saw you doing this. And you do that a lot? And what is it you really want to do in life? Because I don’t think it is to drive a wedge between you and your wife. And I’m like, How are you kids again? Where’d you learn this? They’re like from you, like you say it all the time. But we want you to, we want to see you do it.

Lee Cockerell  31:12

Wow. Kids are always watching their observers.

Jerry Dugan  31:16

Yeah. And I think I’ve been blessed that I was humble enough to let them have that rain to speak that kind of truth at me. Give that feedback to me. And because that was something I believe in is that you should be able to take feedback and grow from it. And if I’m going to shut my kids down, because I’m prideful, then I’m full of stuff. And that’s not who I wanted to be. So yeah, yeah, it comes back to Yeah, it’s my fault. Yeah, it’s, it’s my responsibility as well. And I love that. I mean, it’s just, you’re where you are, because you took personal responsibility for what you could do. I mean, your son, Dan, is where he is because he looked at one day, he’s like, I’m in charge of my life. And my dad’s got this cool formula that works. I want to do that with my flavor. And I’m like, Dan’s on to something.

Lee Cockerell  32:10

Yeah, and the biggest, the biggest problem is just deciding to do it. Make the break, and you’ll be scared. And you’ll be first things are not won’t go well, and, but if you’ve got a good plan, you’ll finish and you’ll go through it, and you’ll get it done. You’ll figure it out. And, and get people to advise you and help you and don’t go it alone. And make sure you watch on board before you go though. Well, that’s

Jerry Dugan  32:41

that is huge. Yes. We had a business meeting a couple of weeks ago, because you know, I’m leaving. I think I mentioned earlier, I’m leaving my corporate job, dive in. And I’m gonna take a three month sabbatical to really hone in what is it I’m doing in the next 10 years of my life. And I was a little nervous, though, when she said, we’re gonna have a business meeting, because we’ve never had 121 years never had a business meeting. And she’s like, and our daughter who’s a business major in college right now she’s gonna moderate or mediate the meeting. And like, I messed up, I don’t know what I did when I messed up. And then so we sat down for two hours, we actually mapped out, like, what are we going to do with the three months sabbatical? I’m about to take, you know, what are the things that are, and she was supportive of everything, the idea of starting a business, the idea of publishing a book, and I was thinking, this is not what I was expecting. And she goes, No, you’ve got everything you need. But you’re also kind of ADHD and all over the place. So we just wanted to help you hone in and get a plan. And I almost started crying. I’m like, wow, this is like, I didn’t realize I had that support. And here it is. It’s been there the whole time.

Lee Cockerell  33:46

Well, encouragement, it’s a powerful thing. Yes. Okay. Oh, Daniel, and Valerie wrote his book together. Yeah. worked on it together every day. And she had it and push back and forth and correct it and, and they enjoyed working together on it. And it made it a richer book.

Jerry Dugan  34:05

Yeah. Yeah. Cuz exposure to a different point of view. It’s not just as

Lee Cockerell  34:09

a French lady has a different point of view than a boy from from USA. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan  34:19

Now, I mean, oh, man, we are run out of time. I don’t, I don’t want to run out of time. I never liked running out of time when I chat with you. So we’ve talked about the three E’s we talked about the revisions to creating magic or create a career match career magic, and where you can buy the book. Before we go though, any final words you want to share with those listening and thinking about their career?

Lee Cockerell  34:41

Well, I just always have one. Don’t underestimate what you can do. And two, don’t underestimate the personal influence you have, as you know, with your kids, with people around you, friends, family. You have huge influence and to be aware of it. Be careful what you say and do because people are watching you and they’re judging you. Every second of the day, and just don’t hold yourself back, give your brain a break, you know, feed your brain just like you do your mouth. And your brain needs to be fed, and every day. And if you’ve got something you want to write about, there’s plenty of resources out there to get more and more content. And think about why you’re writing it. You know, how’s this going to help somebody? Why should somebody buy it? What will they learn? And you’ll be great. It sounds like you got a good support with your wife too, which is amazing.

Jerry Dugan  35:33

And yeah, she’s awesome. So

Lee Cockerell  35:35

that’s the thing you got to do. It’s about you know, don’t be waiting for other people to push you. You got to go do it. And if it doesn’t work, so what you go, you can get a job. There’s millions of jobs, and people can’t even hire anybody right now. Getting a job is the least of the problem.

Jerry Dugan  35:53

Nice, Lee, I mean, treasure trove of information and wisdom here. And I’m just so grateful that you’re able to take some time this morning and spend it with me, and with everybody who’s listening. And yeah, we’ll keep in touch. I’ll be bugging you again, every time you do a revision. Trust me, I’ll be I’ll be there. And

Lee Cockerell  36:12

we can help other people think about how to get out of their box. And there’s a big world out there. So good. Thanks for having me on. Appreciate you.

Jerry Dugan  36:23

Yeah, thank you, Lee. So you heard Lee and I have a conversation about how you can grow your career, create career magic, and AdSense by focusing on the three E’s, the education you gain over the years, the experience you gain through the work you do, and the exposure you allow to have into your life, meeting new people going to new settings, and trying new things. So if you liked what you heard, in this episode, hit the share button right now, and send this on your social media, or to a friend through text, email, whatever it is carrier pigeon, if people still do that, and let them know you just listened to a great episode of beyond the rut to end for them to check it out. Another thing you can do, if you don’t want to do that is take a selfie of where you are right now, listening to this episode, and share it on your social media and say, Hey, I just listened to an episode of beyond the rut with Jerry Dugan, and he had a great conversation with Lee cockerel about advancing your career, and then put the link to this episode there. Now what’s the link? It’s beyond the rut.com/ 330 so this is episode 330. That’s what makes sense in my head. We’re gonna roll with it. So there you have it. I’m glad you joined me this week. I look forward to joining you again next week. But until next time, go live life beyond the rut. Take care