• Toby Sinclair

Book Summary: Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell

Updated: May 17

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Rating: 10/10 | Recommended For: Everyone | Category: Leadership

✏️ Creating Magic Book Summary Written by Kris Corbus


3 Big Ideas from Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell 💡


In this Creating Magic book summary, Kris shares that:

  1. Everyone is important. Everyone should know that their opinions matter and will be listened to. Communicate clearly and directly. Make sure everyone understands boundaries and responsibilities. Successful cultures are established by design, not by chance.

  2. Get out and about routinely. don’t be a manager, sitting in a fancy office far away from everything and everyone. Spend a great deal of time speaking to your customers and members of your team (all of them, not just a few middle management ). Do it regularly, not only once per week. Answer tough questions and make your people feel safe. By being visible you will gain trust and people will open up and share what you need to know. It includes honest opinions about your own strengths and weaknesses.

  3. Master the practice of ARE: Appreciation, Recognition, Encouragement as sustainable fuel which builds self-confidence and self-esteem. It will help you to attract and keep the best employees. This chapter has many ideas for doable actions for IT companies that have problems with employee fluctuation.


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2 Best Quotes from Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell 💬


Creating Magic Quote

Creating Magic Book Summary quotes:


The Disney formula for success:

Leadership > Cast (Employee) Excellence > Guest (Customer) Satisfaction > Business Results

Four Expectations of All Employees:

make me feel special, treat me as an individual, respect me, make me knowledgeable

Top Takeaway


I rated Creating Magic 10 / 10. I don't give many books this score. Creating Magic really is my favourite book on the topic.


Lee Cockerell reveals the magic in a very structured, but entertaining way. His leadership approach is built on 10 strategies. Creating Magic shares several illustrative stories and action steps. Lee shares his very inspiring journey from farm boy to Disney Leadership. He does not hide details of his earlier failures as a manager which included injuries and many stitches.


The leadership mindset that Lee describes in this book fits very well with the agile manifesto. For example, he talks about using their own services as a customer (we call it dogfooding) or talking to customers (talking to a user). I hope this book will help IT managers to close the gap and be better leaders.

Buy Creating Magic on Amazon


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Creating Magic Book Summary Written by: Kris Corbus

Bio Pic

Leadership coach for first time IT Managers, Lifelong Learners & Enablers: let's write new rules about what is good & wrong in tech.


📚 As a little kid, I had difficulties talking to people. They always misunderstood me. So I learned about the world from books. I learned to communicate, but I still see books as non-judgemental, caring teachers.


📗 A book I've been recommending recently is “The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully” by Gerald M. Weinberg