“Recharge” at Disney

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One Fathers look at Fathers Day from a business perspective

First, let me say Happy Fathers Day to my son Keith (the father of two of our six grandchildren) and congratulations on starting this new web site dedicated to Family and Fatherhood from a theme park family.

I always tell my children “remember why you are working or are in business”. My feeling is that it’s not just to make money, but it’s to prosper enough to enjoy the fruit of your labor with family and friends.

So very early in my business career, my wife fortunately decided the best way to share with our young family was to visit and vacation at the new Disney World park in Orlando. We gathered our very young family in the big old Plymouth Station Wagon and headed south from Chicago. This first trip and every one virtually every year since have helped me realize that it is important to find a spot that will enable you to recharge your batteries and remember why you work long hours.

Years later After we became a successful business (in a hostile changing industry) I realized that Disney and that experience had a huge impact on my business philosophy and its success. Years later I even co-authored a short business book with a military strategist that was called “Accelerating on the Run”, In stream Business Improvement from the War Room to the Board Room giving Disney credit for their impact on my thinking. Our family owned business has grown from a couple million in sales when we acquired it to over $100 million and still growing every year for over 30 years. In the book I gave credit to Disney for opening my eyes to the importance of customer relations and recharging your personal energy battery. I really mean it! Disney absolutely understood that if they don’t satisfy customers, they won’t come back. So everyone working at Disney is “on stage”. They remain happy caring people in “Character” and “on Stage” while interacting with the public. So, I get to be with people having fun, recharge my battery, and go back to work remembering the great time with family and friends.

I am so happy my oldest son Keith married and settled in the Orlando area, the home of theme parks, because it gives us one more reason to visit every year to recharge our batteries, see tens of thousands of people having fun while they are recharging their batteries. Remember there is a reason you are working! I believe it’s so you can enjoy life with friends and family.

Happy Fathers Day to my son’s and all fathers everywhere.

Ken Johnson

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