Keep Your Promises

Today’s post is an article that I wrote for college students working at Disney. It is good advice for everyone. More at:

Live Up to All Commitments You Make

I have heard that we have had a few College Program Cast Members start to leave because they were homesick.  I want to give some good advice to all of you, and especially any of you that are thinking of leaving early and breaking your contract.  I want you to think about how you feel when someone breaks a promise to you. 

I want you to remember that each one of us has a reputation and that you should take your reputation very seriously.  You don’t want in your Disney file that you did not complete your contract, I assure you.  You want to be thought of as an individual who makes a commitment and sees it through. 

The other reason you want to keep your commitments is that you want to get in the habit of doing what you say you are going to do.  You need to practice keeping commitments.  The definition of commitment to me is that you will go all the way.  I hope that each one of you sees it this way as well. While you may be homesick, you will be even sicker if you get in the habit of doing what feels good at the moment and not sticking it out when it comes to things that you’ve agreed to do. 

This is called professionalism, discipline, and many other things . . . but remember most of all, your reputation is developed by your actions and behaviors. 

Another thing to remember is that many of you will not get credit for an entire semester if you leave early, so please take this seriously and hang in there just a little while longer.  You will be glad that you did, and then you won’t have any regrets in your life.  Now read this week’s article below, and think about it.   . . . Lee


It Is Not What I Anticipated!

Over and over again, I hear from our Leaders and from the College Program students that the College Program is not what they expected or anticipated     . . . and it is not what they were told by their recruiter.

All of this may in fact be true for some students.

I have a different point of view on experiences, and that is, experiences are just that:  experiences . . . and you should not get all worked up with huge expectations and anticipation that fit your agenda, even if that is how the human mind works.  It is impossible to anticipate an experience really.  Most experiences in your life will be different than you anticipated to some degree.  Enjoy the experiences you have, and learn from them.

To get the most out of any experience in life is to enjoy it and look for the good in it.  Take advantage of it.  The harder it is and the more unfamiliar it is, the better it is for your development.  You don’t want a bunch of easy experiences in your life.  You want tough experiences that are controversial and that concern your parents a little.  Experiences are what put the finishing touches on your personality.  They are what give you great stories to tell.  They are what build your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Anyone who is part of the College Program and goes away just remembering the millions of hamburgers he or she sold or working in Custodial shift after shift is not paying attention to life.

Working with and beside people from all over the world in difficult jobs will give you a sense of understanding and sensitivity to the real world and will serve you well when one day you are leading a business or serving people.

It is true that the College Program on one level helps us with hard-to-fill jobs.  The other level that exists is for you to be an observer of life at the most famous place on earth for entertainment, service, and quality.

We never appreciate our experiences in life until later when we finally realize that who we are is a big part of what we have experienced in our lives.

I started my career as a banquet Server and then a restaurant Server.  I have worked in Housekeeping, making up rooms and cleaning bathrooms.  I wish I had known about those towel animals back then!

I have been a Cook, and I have washed dishes and cleaned kitchens; and I can tell you one thing:  looking back, these may be the best experiences I ever had and may be the ones most responsible for my being where I am today!  THINK ABOUT IT!   . . . Lee

PS: I  will be conducting a public leadership seminar at Hilton Head Island on August 18th from 3-5 pm. It is being sponsored by the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce. For information go to their website at: The special price is 15.00 per person. Many of you have told me to let you know when I am doing a public seminar. Have a good weekend….Lee

1 Comment
  1. Mr. Cockerell,
    Thank you for this post. As a College Program student thinking of self-terminating due to homesickness, I believe this was just the thing I needed to keep me going. Thank you!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *