Moving You From Surviving to


Creating the Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
Lee Cockerell

I picked this book up at one of my favorite bookstores in Walt Disney World two years ago. I hadn’t heard of it and thought it might be helpful to me in my work as a coach and consultant for small businesses and nonprofits. But like a lot of the books I have on my shelves, it took me awhile to crack it open.

Once I did though, I found it was very easy to digest and practical for almost any company I work with. The author weaves the story of his career development at the same time sharing examples of specific ways in which you can learn from his mistakes and successes.

His tenure at Disney wasn’t without challenge – hurricanes and tropical storms impacting guests stranded at the park and resorts as well as cast members who were affected by damage. Also changes and restructuring in several of the companies he worked for over the years.

Each chapter is well thought out with anecdotes to support his strategies as well as action steps to go forward and use as checklists or barometers.

It’s a short read – about 250 pages – and is written using a style that’s easy to read but stimulates a lot of thinking about your own strategies and systems.

My original hope of using these strategies to help clients was definitely realized. I use it when discussing team member roles, customer service, staying connected to mission, and creating a culture of empowered and respectful employees. These aren’t difficult lessons or strategies to implement – you can begin to put these ideas into practice while you are reading the book. And if you are working with a coach, it’s a way to marry the coaching and accountability piece with the tips and tactics you’re learning. I definitely introduce it to clients and invite them to bring the lessons into the coaching conversations.

I gave this book

because it’s solidly written and contains a lot of helpful information on how to create a successful leadership style and develop talent that will lead your brand.

After reading, I found out Lee has a podcast, which I am now subscribed to, as well as several other books. The next on my list is Time Management Magic. I’ll review it as soon as I finish.

If you decide to take a look, let me know what you think in the comments below.




When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for all your bookkeeping, accounting and tax documentation. If you’re like me and it’s your least favorite thing to do, it often doesn’t get done.

I am NOT great at handling an email once. I’m working on it, but I will still open an email, read it, decide I need to take action on it and then leave it in my inbox for me to handle later. Later turns into tomorrow or someday and I end up with…too many emails, clogging up my inbox, that are dated and no longer relevant.

I do meditate – probably more frequently than a lot of people do. I just have this sense that I would be better off if I meditated every single day. And as much as I love meditation, it does feel difficult to keep up a daily practice. I try to remember how I created dedicated time for my morning pages ritual all those years ago. What makes me automatically get up, make the coffee, and begin journaling every single day of my life, but stops me from moving into a few moments of meditation right after? How can this be so difficult for me when it seems so simple?

Don’t beat yourself up over what self care looks like. Just make it look like whatever you can manage today. Even if that’s just taking a shower.

Morning pages are definitely a habit for me now. But they take a good bit of effort, when I really think about it. I have to get up early sometimes to catch a flight or to drive to a client appointment. On vacation, I may want to get up early and have breakfast in whatever city we find ourselves visiting. But for some reason, morning pages are the way I operate now and they can’t be skipped. So I adjust my waking time to make sure that it happens – three pages, with my coffee, in the same seat every day.

Those of you who follow me regularly know that a strategic plan is one of my 4 Elements for Success! I think it’s pretty difficult to move forward if you don’t have a plan or roadmap for what you will do to accomplish your goals. It’s helps to keep you focused on what’s most important and eliminates your tendency to follow every bright, shiny object that will max out your time or capacity.

My heart and my hands and my mind share an occupation. I am a coach. I am a writer. I engage people in the discovery of ways to do work that they too can love. My goal really is to help their hearts, their hands and their minds find an occupation that creates a rich and wonderful life. I help them discover and give them permission to do work that brings them the greatest satisfaction. Whether that work is routine and predictable or wild and crazy with no limits.

My client was describing how she just bought a new car and her gauge tells her how many miles she should expect to be able to drive before she runs out of gas. I replied that I have a similar feature in my car, but have the option of viewing that measure or viewing another measure of miles per gallon functionality, etc. My client responded, “I wish there was a gauge for my personal energy that would measure how many clients I can serve before I just plain feel worn out and unable to give anything else.”