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Extended Audio Sample Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney Audiobook, by Lee Cockerell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 5 4.22 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Cockerell Narrator: Lee Cockerell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9780739370537
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“It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.”

The secret for creating “magic” in our careers, our organizations, and our lives is simple: outstanding leadership—the kind that inspires employees, delights customers, and achieves extraordinary business results.

No one knows more about this kind of leadership than Lee Cockerell, the man who ran Walt Disney World® Resort operations for over a decade. And in Creating Magic, he shares the leadership principles that not only guided his own journey from a poor farm boy in Oklahoma to the head of operations for a multibillion dollar enterprise, but that also soon came to form the cultural bedrock of the world’s number one vacation destination. But as Lee demonstrates, great leadership isn’t about mastering impossibly complex management theories. We can all become outstanding leaders by following the ten practical, common sense strategies outlined in this remarkable book. As straightforward as they are profound, these leadership lessons include:

  • Everyone is important.
  • Make your people your brand.
  • Burn the free fuel: appreciation, recognition, and encouragement.
  • Give people a purpose, not just a job.

Combining surprising business wisdom with insightful and entertaining stories from Lee’s four decades on the front lines of some of the world’s best-run companies, Creating Magic shows all of us—from small business owners to managers at every level—how to become better leaders by infusing quality, character, courage, enthusiasm, and integrity into our workplace and into our lives.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mollie | 2/20/2014

    " I highly recommend this book. The ten basic principles in this book are super practical, and it just reveals why Disney is such a magical place. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Decker | 2/5/2014

    " Very solid leadership and management book. Emphasizes the basics and uses some great real life examples throughout. Leadership isn't complicated...treat people right and you'll do well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christa Mcbride | 1/16/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was a great way to get motivated as a leader and there were many great tips to follow as a leader. Some points in the book were often reiterated to the extent of boredom. However, overall it was a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Dykwell | 1/13/2014

    " This was an excellent book with wonderful tips on not only leadership, but how to become a better employee if you are not at the top. Also enjoyed the fun "insider tips" on how such a famous industry like Disney works. Lee's motivational words have made me want to become a great leader someday, no matter what the position. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia Kearns | 1/12/2014

    " Listened to this book in the car on my commute. It energized and inspired me to bring a little Disney magic to my work world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony Sznakowski | 12/21/2013

    " Great Book for people in leadership positions or people wanting to get into leadership. Very insightful and motivating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ben Klopfer | 12/6/2013

    " A few interesting insights into the culture at Disney and Marriott, but overall the common sense leadership strategies are lacking and simply too common "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 12/4/2013

    " Nothing terribly earth shattering and fairly repetitive, but most of these books tend to be that way, right? The stories basically just made me want to visit Disney. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber Jones | 11/18/2013

    " The only leadership book I've ever read that made me cry a little. Good stories and good advice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 10/20/2013

    " This is being added to my shelves. Every business major should read this book. Only regret is that I hadn't read this sooner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shane | 9/28/2013

    " Good ideas, terrible presentation. 10 section each with 15-20 loosely related subsections makes it read like a top 250 leadership ideas instead of 10. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 9/21/2013

    " Taking management principles from Disney and breaking them down into easy steps, well, steps. Awesome book! I want my own copy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darin | 8/11/2013

    " Wow, fantastic book. So many great ideas. Part of the Disney magic is that they are so willing to share exactly what they do. Now the challenge is to reproduce and adapt as many pieces as I can in my own professional career. I'm sure I'll be reviewing this book for years to come. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh McConnell | 6/11/2013

    " Fantastic book on leadership that anyone in a management or leadership position MUST read. Cockerell says right in the title that it is common sense, but it is amazing how many people don't use common sense. With real world examples, the book is inspiring and should be added to your collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tonya Miller | 5/25/2013

    " Excellent book. Related leadership to real life and easy to implement practical applications "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Rodriguez | 7/21/2012

    " I liked it very much. The information and ideas were directly applicable to consulting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mel | 1/22/2012

    " This was a great leadership read that envelops all aspects of leading. While I have read it through once I am already going back to reread sections. Simply Magical! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron Dansie | 7/14/2011

    " Amazing advice on leadership, giving insight into how Disney has become a world-class company "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 6/19/2011

    " Quite fascinating book. I like this Lee guy. He seems like an awesome person and his leadership advice is wonderful. I highly recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Holmes | 4/16/2011

    " One of my top 5 leadership books. I subscribe to his blog as well. Excellent leader! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 3/2/2011

    " I would recommend this to anyone in a leadership or managerial role, and would recommend to anyone wanting to learn about leadership as well. Direct, insightful and easy to read. Especially applicable to the service industry as that is the environment from where the author came. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bart-Jan | 2/21/2011

    " Creating Magic is an inspiring book. I'm a huge fan of Disney, it's resorts, parks and movies. It's great to get some insight in the story behind the scenes. And I must say, I completely agree on al 10 strategies mentioned in this book. Well recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 2/19/2011

    " Delightful easy read with wonderful common-sense strategies for not only success in the workplace, but in life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Abrera | 9/6/2010

    " Creating Magic shares the secrets of Disneyland's continued success. After reading some of the stories which made their strategies more real, I was "enchanted" by the magic that Disneyland casts on everyone. A must read for people in the Customer Service industry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vincent Sia | 8/29/2010

    " briliant ....! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brigid | 7/7/2010

    " Great book on leadership and inspiring others. I highly recommend it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 6/16/2010

    " Rehash of same stuff - bottom line message - treat others with respect - golden rule - "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Missy | 2/28/2010

    " I loved this book! I bought 2 copies for my 2 assitants and I spent a meeting and held one-on-one interviews with my employees based on this book! So good for anyone who wants to be a better leader! Plus its Disney so its a win-win situation! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 12/30/2009

    " I loved this book. It was so practical and there were definitely some takeaways for me that I will use immediately as a leader. I will probably be revisiting this book from time to time to be reminded of the simple yet powerful principles found in its pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 4/27/2009

    " On of the best books on Leadership I have read. Through engaging stories and examples, Cockerell shares his life experience in leadership. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 1/13/2009

    " This book is very easy to read, and gives simple, common-sense advice on leadership that can be applied at any "management" level. The examples are Walt Disney World-related, so this book is perfect for Disney fans. But no Disney "background" is required. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 11/14/2008

    " This was interesting and easy to read, and it contained some useful tips. "

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About the Author

Lee Cockerell is the author of Creating Magic: 10 Commonsense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. He is the former executive vice president of operations of Walt Disney World and has held executive positions at Hilton Hotels and Marriott. During his distinguished career in the hospitality industry, Cockerell earned a worldwide reputation as an expert on the customer experience. Cockerell currently travels the country addressing audiences at Fortune 100 companies;  educational institutions and non-profits; and government agencies, including the US military.