The entrepreneur Dan Cockerell visited the University on Saturday, March 25
Author of the book Disney’s secrets to captivate and retain customers, Dan Cockerell came to PUCRS for an exclusive lecture on Leadership, Culture and Strategy for guests from different segments of the Rio Grande do Sul economy. Dan was accompanying his wife, who is also an entrepreneur, Valérie Cockerell. Together, the couple has over 40 years’ experience working at Disney theme parks in the United States and in France, and, in the last five years, they have been building a business consulting company.
“Even after so many years on the road, Valérie and I still find ourselves learning a lot whenever we meet leaders, business people and entrepreneurs from all over the world. I hope our passing through PUCRS has been informative and inspiring.”
The business man, who has already visited Brazil on other occasions for lectures and workshops on leadership and strategy in companies, understands that both Brazilians and Americans have a strong entrepreneurial culture. Dan hopes that Brazil understands better and better the importance of qualifying these professionals and believes it is necessary to reduce the bureaucracy of the process so that opening companies in Brazil becomes more profitable.
“When entrepreneurs are successful, they lift all boats: employment, economic contribution, international competition. I was impressed with the energy and the passion of the young entrepreneurs I had the chance to meet so far. I believe there is an unlimited potential here in Brazil!” he says.
Dan, who worked at Disney for 26 years, went through 19 different positions before becoming the vice-president of the Magic Kingdom, one of the most famous theme parks in the world. The businessman began as a valet at Epcot Park, in 1991, and in the following year he moved to Paris to participate in the Disneyland Paris Management Trainee Program.
Once he returned to the United States, Dan went through other jobs at the company until he reached the vice-presidency. In this position, the entrepreneur led, during 9 years, a team of 12 thousand employees, and he was one of those responsible for entertaining over 20 million people who visit the Disney parks every year. For Dan, that is what made him a complete professional.
“Each experience gave me more knowledge, know-how and values which I ended up implementing in my next employments. If a young man or woman focuses on learning throughout their life, treating people well and taking care of themselves, they will live a real-life adventure. That does not mean these young people will not fail or make mistakes, because that is also a part of life. But they will have incredible stories to tell and they will know they lived their lives to the fullest,” he ponders.