It’s not every day that I get to hear recommendations from the man who had Mickey’s ear for more than 16 years while serving
as executive vice president of operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. But I did, along with a group of more than 300 spa professionals, this past March at America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa® in Chicago, as Lee Cockerell presented the conference and expo’s keynote address, outlining what he believes are four keys to being successful in your career. He is a true authority on customer service and employee retention, having front line experience overseeing more than 40,000 cast members at the Magic Kingdom. The four keys to success, as outlined by Cockerell, include:
Technical knowledge and experience. Be on top of your game.
Management. You need to learn how to manage your life better. This will help you keep things under control. Cockerell recommends that you ask yourself each day: “What responsibility that I signed up for must I do today?” You need to have a routine business plan. It’s also important to think about yesterday—is there anything that you need to go back and do; go back and fix?
Technological competency. Keep up with the times—this will help make your business better.
Leadership. You need to be a good role model and realize that there is enormous power in words. Leadership is about how to be, not how to do.
Building on these principles, Cockerell went on to explain that there are three things that you need to give every employee:
This “feel” drives people. The more committed you are to your employees, the more committed they’ll be to you. Think about what you have done today—even this week—to make your team feel special. Did you commend your manager for training the esthetic team on a new treatment for your spa? Or let your spa concierge know what a great job she did handling that difficult client over the phone? Often, those little positive strokes can make more of a difference than you realize.
Cockerell also turned the tables a bit, and outlined what employees are looking for in an employer. The top universal employee needs, according to his experiences to which I think we can all relate, include:
- Make me feel special.
- Treat me as an individual—work with me.
- Treat me with complete respect.
- Make me knowledgeable.
- Teach me, train me.
Great words, in my book, from a man who clearly knows. After all, Disney World bears the motto “The happiest place on Earth.” Make your spa the happiest place on your piece of the Earth, as well.
Until Next Time,
Editor in Chief
Recent Reflections columns by Melinda Taschetta-Millane:
Reflections: Community Involvement (April 2008)
Reflections: Monoco Highlights (March 2008)
Reflections: Sustainable Efforts (February 2008)
Reflections: Skin Inc. magazine Celebrates 20 Years (January 2008)