Hosts Leon, Paul and Dean are joined by Dan Cockerell - Disney VP 

Unlocking The Secrets Of Disney's Magic With Dan Cockerell - Former Vice President The Walt Disney Company  

Get ready to dive into the enchanting world of leadership and creativity with our latest Hack episode! This time, we're joined by none other than Dan Cockerell, the former Vice President of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida. Imagine having the power to create a workplace where creativity flourishes, collaboration is the norm, and innovation drives success. Dan is here to reveal the secrets behind leading a team as if by magic, drawing from his awe-inspiring journey at the helm of one of the most beloved destinations on the planet. 
With a captivating mix of candid revelations and expert insights, Dan shares the spellbinding lessons he's learned on fostering a culture that not only encourages but thrives on creativity, teamwork, and exceptional customer experiences. Picture this: orchestrating the daily operations of a dreamland, leading a dedicated team of 12,000 cast members, all while ensuring over 20 million guests a year leave with smiles brighter than fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. That was Dan's reality. Under his watchful eye, the Magic Kingdom soared to new heights of guest satisfaction, setting records that still echo through the halls of Disney's legacy. 
But every fairy tale has its next chapter. After an illustrious 26-year career with the Walt Disney Company, Dan and his wife Valerie embarked on a magical new adventure, launching their consulting and speaking business. With a treasure trove of experience, Dan now stands as one of the most sought-after luminaries in the realm of business advising. 
So, whether you're a leader looking to sprinkle some pixie dust on your team dynamics or simply a dreamer eager to learn how the magic is made, this episode is your invitation to step behind the scenes of the happiest place on earth and discover how to bring a little bit of that magic into your own world. Tune in, and let's create some magic together. 

Bringing the Magic into Your Business 

Parks and Resorts have been Dan Cockerell's lifelong passion. He remains a leading innovator in the field, pushing the industry standards for customer service and creating memorable guest experiences worldwide. He will always be remembered for his commitment to excellence at Disney Parks and Resorts, which helped make it one of the most beloved travel destinations. 
To bring the magic to your business, you need to get the basics right, take time, focus and consistency, and put yourself in your customer's shoes. See what the experience is like from customer'scustomer's point of view-talks to your employees to bring the right approach to your business. 

Customer Success 

We often forget to ask these fundamental -why will customers keep coming back to us? It has everything you do to make your customers feel good, dazzle them, and make you memorable. Customer success is all about delighting customers. 
Dan Cockerell understands that delighted customers are repeated customers and loyal advocates for your business. As an expert in customer relations, he has seen first-hand that companies can create lasting relationships by providing easy access to helpful information, prompt responses to inquiries, and effortless checkouts. He advocates for personalised service that makes customers feel valued and supports utilising technology to automate processes and reduce costs. 

Problems V's Dilemmas 

Leaders must think differently and ahead of the curve- understanding a problem, dilemma or opportunity. Dan Cockerell believes in recognising when something requires creative solutions - and having the courage to continue to explore options, even if you don't have a clear answer. 
You say, "Put yourself in your customer's/clients' shoes and see the experience from their point of view. Go and find the friction points and negative experiences and turn them into positives. It may not be your fault, but it is your problem to solve. 
Dan explains that if you can start taking ownership, people will never leave you. They will stay with you forever, tell their friends about your service, and even pay a premium if you can bring value to their experience. 

Natural Strengths 

Dan believes it is essential for leaders to understand and embrace their natural strengths to succeed. Leveraging these strengths can help individuals become more productive and effective, making them better business owners or managers who can lead confidently and positively impact the people around them. His top 3 favourite books include; 
Don Clifton's, Soar with Your Strengths. Steven Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, and Earnest Hemmingway's A movable feast discuss the importance of discovering and leveraging your strengths. Regarding strength, Clifton's book is focused on identifying what you're naturally good at. By exploring the principles outlined in this work, you can find out how to maximize success.. 

Creating a Magical Culture 

For Dan, it comes down to using your time wisely, managing your natural strengths and weaknesses, putting customers in your customers' shoes and seeing what the experience is like from their point of view. He believes you can ensure success and create lasting relationships with customers by talking to your employees, asking questions, understanding their perspectives, and bringing the right approach to your business. 
Your current routines and how you live your life will create your future- you create your luck. You make the conditions for success and failure; using your time, resources, focus, passion, and knowledge will determine your ultimate success. 
Dan likes to look at business through a holistic lens. He believes in assessing every angle of a venture before embarking on it. He also believes in building a team of experts to help bring your business to life. 
No matter what industry you are in, relationships are key. Building solid relationships with customers is essential for long-term success. It's about being proactive and authentic in your communication, creating trust with customers, establishing loyalty and delivering a positive experience that will keep them coming back for more! 
Sponsored by: Talk suicide 
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Tagged as: The Hack Podcast
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