Dan Cockerell worked for Disney for 26 years. He started as a parking attendant, finishing his career as the Vice President of Magic Kingdom with 12,000 cast members. Today, he sits with Jesse Cole to share how working together with his crew has helped solidify magic customer service and company culture.
“No one at Disney gets anything done by themselves.” – Dan Cockerell
Dan Cockerell – Walking the Park
Even after he became a VP, Dan never let go of the little things that make the magic happen at Disney. Every week, he walks the park to see how the cast members are doing, engage with customers, and take a look at the seemingly minute details of the business.
“There are no small things at Disney. And I think in any business, there’s nothing that’s too detailed.” – Dan Cockerell
The magic doesn’t happen with the supervisor talking to their managers or with the managers talking to the team staff. The magic happens when the cast members are interacting with the guests. If a business owner can acknowledge how customer service plays a crucial role to success, then they’re on the right track towards exactly that.
Cast Members are Guests
In order to create magic, supervisors need to remember that their staff deserve the same amount of appreciation and attention as their customers. The Disney company treats its cast members as guests. By letting the cast experience the same magic they’re expected to inspire, managers are able to rest easy knowing that they can provide the same service to customers.
“The magic happens anywhere the cast member is interacting with the guests. And that’s where it is. And so you gotta remind yourself to always bring it back to that.” – Dan Cockerell
1. What’s something you’ve done differently in your life to stand out?
“To be open-minded. I’ve always taken things with a positive attitude.”
2. If you could give advice to someone to stand out in business and in life, what would you say?
“Have an incredibly positive attitude. Find that place where you can add extra value.”
3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Do your best and then forgive yourself.”
4. How do you want to be remembered?
“As someone who cared about people and taught them something to help make their life a little bit better.”
To hear more about Dan Cockerell‘s magical learnings and how he was able to take care of his thousand-people cast, download and listen to the show!
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Jesse Cole is a passionate and engaging business leader sharing other leaders messages, tips and fresh ideas on Business Done Differently. Subscribe to hear more front runners doing it differently and remember to leave him a rating and review on iTunes.
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