Cultivating a shared vision and healthy culture is key for businesses seeking sustainable growth. My guest on today’s show, Dino Watt, dedicates himself to guiding entrepreneurs on this transformative leadership journey. With his revolutionary brand, Own Your Role, Dino empowers business owners to take charge of their positions, unite teams around core values, and reignite employee commitment.
In this illuminating discussion, we explore the importance of cultivating self-awareness as a business leader and fostering psychological safety on your team. Dino offers insights into aligning workplace culture with greater purpose while balancing tough love, vulnerability, and compassion as a mentor. We also discuss actionable strategies to inspire employee ownership and ignite intrinsic motivation through a galvanizing group mission.
Whether starting out or leading an established enterprise, you’re going to find this is a very actionable, inspired episode. Dino’s wisdom provides a roadmap for entrepreneurs to own their roles in catalyzing workplaces where people feel safe, united by a shared vision, and intrinsically driven to turn mediocrity into greatness. So, without any further ado, on with the show!
In This Episode
- [02:20] – Dino Watt recounts his childhood experience, which sparked his passion for performing and desire to make others laugh and feel included.
- [07:30] – Dino explains his goals of creating an “aha” moment for listeners, leading them to apply the insights to their lives.
- [10:30] – Dino shares his journey of overcoming financial struggles that led him to learn the value of perseverance and the importance of seeing the blessings in difficult situations, which he now shares with others.
- [15:30] – Stephan and Dino highlight divine setups in their journey. Stephan also emphasizes the importance of having God as your business partner.
- [27:54] – Dino describes the mind-body connection and the idea that physical ailments can be linked to unresolved trauma and emotions.
- [32:11] – Dino discusses the importance of owning one’s role and creating freedom through hiring for roles rather than tasks.
- [42:04] – Dino discusses the importance of reframing one’s mindset to achieve success in business.
- [47:30] – Dino Watt emphasizes the importance of building relationships in business.
Dino, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me, Stephan. I appreciate it.
I know you do some keynote speaking. I’d love to hear what your shtick is all about. I’ve seen your sizzle reel, and you do a lot of dancing, but you also convey a ton of value. How did you develop this persona or this style of keynote speaking?
That’s a great question. Nobody’s asked me that before. I love performing. I loved being on stage. When I was a little kid, the first third-grade play I ever did was I had a teacher who had me lip sync to Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry. I was an alien that came down for some reason, and they’d speak music lyrics. I remember having people laugh, point, and have fun. I went, “I want to do this forever.”
As I started developing my keynote speech, I have a couple of them. My most popular one is “How to Become an Ideal Team Player and Avoid Being a “Staff” Infection.” The idea is to help the team members embrace their roles as whatever they’re playing, the part they play in the office.
Early on, I realized that most people I speak in front of are not asking to be in the audience. They’re there because they’re at a convention, and the owner brought them to this business convention. I wanted to make sure that they felt their time was worthwhile there and that they learned something. It is not just something that can help them in their role in their office, but in their role at home, so they have a better marriage and feel better as a mom, a dad, a citizen, or whatever.
If I can bring some entertainment to that, why not? What’s more entertaining than seeing a 50-year-old man dance like Beyonce onstage? There’s not a lot more entertaining than that, so I just added that. I like to be goofy, funny, self-deprecating, and get a message across. It seems to work really well.
It sounds like your Don Henley experience as a kid was really profound and pivotal. It just cemented in for you a path.
Yeah. I tell the story sometimes from the stage when speaking to speakers. I do speaking training every once in a while, and I will talk about how I’m a third child. I have two older brothers, and then I have a younger sister, and everything I got growing up was a hand-me-down. It was somebody else’s thing they wanted first, their style, and they got tired of it. I never got anything that was my own.
I want to make sure that my audience felt their time was worthwhile. It is not just something that can help them in their role in their office, but in their role at home.
I remember that being the first thing I realized, “Oh, this is my thing.” My oldest brother was just great at everything. He was the star child. My middle brother was amazing at sports. I was terrible at sports, and I had no interest in them.
This was the first thing when people were laughing and having fun with me that I went, “Oh, this is my thing. They can’t do this.” To this day, they still can’t do this. That’s my thing. It really did. It made me realize at a very young age, “If I just kept doing this, I would own this thing.” It’s worked out, and it’s been really fun.
That’s amazing. I have this theory that it’s all a divine setup here, and that was a setup for you. That was totally like a softball. “Here you go, lobbed at you. Knocked this one out of the park.”
Stephan, I agree with you. I’ve had a couple of those things in my life. The other thing was my wife. I met her when I was five. We dated off and on through high school.
We’ve been married now for 29 years. We’ve talked about before, “Why did God set it up this way?” It was such a softball thing. “Hey, here’s the girl you will be with for the rest of your life. You’ll meet her at five years old, and she will be your neighbor.”
It’s a cool story, but it is also one of those things I believe was a divine setup. I love that word. I’m going to use that from now on. I’m going to steal it from you.
That’s awesome. I love that.
We were just out going about this the other day. Have you heard of the Camino de Santiago, the walk across Spain?
Yeah, I have heard about it.
It’s a 500-mile walk across Spain. It’s been a goal of ours for a while. We’re in training to do it next year in July, and it’s 500 miles. A lot of people do it on their own. It’s this spiritual experience. You got to see it with your thoughts. I was talking to her as we were on our walk the other day. I went, “What are we going to talk about on this walk? We talk about everything. But we’ll figure it out.”
That intention of up-leveling the intimacy, connection, and communication for that trip will bring it about.
Absolutely. We’re super excited about it. It’d be fun.
My wife, Orion, and I attended the Biohacking Conference in Orlando. We were in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, two of us squeezed in there, experiencing hyperbaric oxygen therapy—twenty minutes of just two little sausages in this container. We had nowhere to go. We couldn’t just zone out or be on our phones. It was a beautiful, deep conversation and connection, looking into each other’s eyes and everything.
That’s cool. That is neat. I want to experience it now.
Yeah, so get a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. How you apply your faith, belief, and everything is the divine setup in how you show up on stages, with clients, and in your marketing. What cool, unusual things you do that you don’t see much of your competition doing in that regard?
First of all, my intention every time I step on stage is to get more. I want people to have more. I heard it years ago from Brendon Burchard, and I was like, “That’s so smart. I want to help more people understand the only thing that connects every human being: the desire for more. Some people want more water, peace, love, health, or whatever it might be.” We all want something more.
My intention is, “How can I people get more in their lives, not just the life in the office, but outside?” Because if I can help them get more out there, they will automatically bring that positivity and that connection to more inside the office. The second thing is my vision for my business. I reverse the direction of divorce, addiction, and suicide among private practice owners and their team members.
All of my content, everything I create, is based around, “Is this going to help people get more and, in some way, reverse the direction of divorce, addiction, or suicide in themselves or their office?”
I work a lot in the medical field. I started my business in the dental and ortho space. Depending on the year, dentists have either the number one or number two rate of suicide among white-collar workers, so it became that mission for me.
My intention is to help people get more in their lives, not just the life in the office, but outside.
The content I teach is always to know how to get more and improve your relationships, conversations, and communication. It will be wrapped in some sense of humor or factual, situational experience that I know they’ve all had because they have a human existence, and we all have a similar human existence.
Number one, we’re all weird. Number two, we all deal with the same stuff that everybody else does at different times. We think we’re special, but we’re not. When I can point that out to them, I love it when I see like, “Aha! He’s right,” where they go over to their seatmate, they’re like, “That’s so me,” or “That’s so you.” That “Aha!” is what I’m always looking for. I build my content around that, which is a lot of fun.
What was a big aha you got when you were in an audience at a seminar, conference, trade show, or whatever?
That’s a great question. The biggest aha I ever got was at a real estate seminar. I had just started dabbling in real estate. For those people who are in real estate, they might remember Carleton Sheets back in the day. I got some Carleton Sheets books.
Somehow, I was invited to a seminar and had just given up my dream of performing and acting in Hollywood. I lived in Hollywood, I worked behind the scenes, I was a performer, and a makeup artist. I did makeup artistry for years in the movie industry. And I wanted to be a dad. My wife and I had three kids in three years. It’s just not conducive to try to be an actor and have three small kids. I know some people do it, but the majority of people don’t make money.
I decided to give up on my dream and find a “real” job with not a lot of skills. I didn’t go to college or anything like that. I’m sitting in this conference and see this guy talking about taxes. It’s so boring. It could be, but he was funny. He was engaging.
I remember going like, “This guy should be on,” and I went, “Oh, wait, he is.” He’s on a stage. He’s performing. I’m in the audience, and he’s going to get paid. Suddenly, the world of personal development outside of the industry but still performing was opened up to me.
We all deal with the same stuff everybody else does at different times.
I admit that in certain situations, I was bitter at my kids for a while because they made me “give up my dream.” When they would do something, they’d act out. They are three, four, and five-year-olds. I’d be in my head going, “You don’t understand. I gave up on my dream for you.” And I’d be bitter.
Suddenly, I realized my dream wasn’t about being a star or a celebrity. My dream was about I wanted to perform. That fit our third-grade kid who got that attention and got that one thing that was his, suddenly was seeing it differently and might have gone, “Oh, I could still be on a stage, I could still perform, I could still be in front of an audience, I can get paid.”
I did everything I could to figure out how to be a speaker, get up on stage, and train people in a very intense and fun manner. That was the biggest aha for me. Without that moment, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here talking to you.
Again, this is part of the divine setup, right? That session you attended was no accident.
Absolutely. That was 20 years ago. That was huge.
What did you feel like you’ve not given up a dream of but realized that dream? You gave up on that dream of acting, but I’m sure you had other dreams, too. What came to fruition, and you’re like, “Wow, that’s like winning the lottery?”
The most important one was being the dad that I could be home, be with my kids, and dictate my schedule. The lottery part is with the business now. I jokingly tell people when they ask me what I do, and I explain it, and sometimes I give a sub-context of basically, “I made up a job, I wrote a book about it, and now people pay me to do that.”
I didn’t know growing up I had dyslexia. I just thought I was dumb. I can’t spell the word beans. I love Spell Check. It’s my friend, and Siri is the best girlfriend I could possibly ask for because I can’t spell. My wife, being an English major, that’s a challenge. But I was able to figure out what I was really good at, as Dan Sullivan talks about, my genius.
I did everything I could to figure out how to be a speaker, get up on stage and train people in a very intense and fun manner. That was the biggest aha for me.
I’m excellent at this stuff, but my genius is created to provide for my family and a pretty good life as they’ve traveled around the world. We were able to spend 2013 in an RV, traveling around the country for 13 months. Those things are blessings that I could not have seen and foreseen before then.
We’ve had the challenges, too. I’ve gone bankrupt and had cars repossessed, which was a blessing. One really big blessing that I didn’t see as a blessing at the time, but I knew it would be, was during the real estate crash in 2008 and 2009, I made some really bad real estate investments. I lost almost everything except for our house.
The only reason we kept our house is I had to take a job knocking on doors selling home alarm systems in Yuma, Arizona, in the middle of the summer. If you lived in Yuma, Arizona, in the middle of summer, you know how bad that is. It’s 120-degree heat. It was terrible.
I was the oldest person in the crew, but I just had to do it. And I did. I was able to save my family and our home. But every door I knocked on, I was like, “I will tell this story from the stage someday.” Those are blessings that I didn’t see at the time that I see now, and I’m so grateful for them.
One of the core precepts in Judaism is that everything is a blessing. It’s just that not everything that you see as a blessing is obvious to you because it’s disguised. It’s either revealed blessing or not yet revealed blessing.
It’s so true.
How did you turn things around when you were bankrupt, got your car repossessed, and all that? You had this hunger to go, “I’m just going to do whatever it takes. I’ll go in 120-degree heat and go from door to door.” But what was a turning point for you, some manna falling from heaven or some miracle dropping into your lap?
There’s been a lot. That was really hard. I learned a lot during that. I did two summers of that. As I said, it allowed me to save my home, to be able to feed my kids and get back on my feet again. Working that hard and seeing the fruits of that was a big aha. But also had that “I never want to do that again” moment, so what can I do to figure it out?
I’ll go back to that road trip that we took. We started planning for it in about 2011. Some things fell into place and should not have fallen in place. There were from getting the truck we needed and the fifth wheel trailer that we found randomly, which we should not have been able to afford, but we found a government program that allowed us to lease the truck. They paid us to drive it, and all this crazy stuff that when we tell people the real story if we had two hours to go through it, people are like, “That’s insane. I’ve never heard of that program before or since,” and then how it all worked out in the end.
It’s a divine setup again. That program was just for you. You’re the only one.Embrace your professional role. Transform how you see yourself and how the world sees you. Own your role, and watch your positive impact and influence grow. Click To Tweet
When my wife and I look back on that and talk about how those things happened, there’s no denying the divine setup. The moment that I recall, even now, all these years later, 10 years later, it was December 31st, 2013. We had finished a trip. We drove up in front of the house we had rented out for the year we were gone.
I remember driving up, parking in front of the house, and looking at my front door. I just got emotional. I started crying. I went, “I can do anything now.” I took my family on a little longer than a year-long road trip across the country. We didn’t have buckets of cash waiting for us. I had to figure it out on the road. All this other divine intervention stuff happened, but in that moment I’ve just, “Oh, I could do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do.”
From there, my business has just improved every year, and I want to do much more. Because you’re further away from the miracle, the more you think, “Well, is that really true?” I have to remind myself of that sometimes of being like, “Oh, yeah, I forgot, I can do anything.” That was a huge moment in my life.
That’s awesome. I was talking with a group of guys on another mastermind called METal (Media Entertainment Technology Alpha Leaders). We’re in the Genius Network together. Some Genius Network men are also in METal, an awesome men-only group. I highly recommend it, by the way. METal.men, if you want to go check out their website.
Some of these METal brothers run a Zoom call. We were just talking about this idea of divine setups. If God is your business partner, everything shifts. God is my business partner. I asked him, and he said, “Yes.” I don’t have to run around from conference to conference like I used to. I spoke a lot. And I don’t have to do that anymore.
I have a three-year-old. I don’t want to be on the road all the time, two or three times a month. It was insane, so now I don’t have to. Not that I had to before, but I believed I had to, so I made that reality real.
Now, it seems that the synchronicities are on steroids. They’re just everywhere. That’s something that you might consider. I learned this concept from Kurtis Lee Thomas, a guest on my other podcast, Get Yourself Optimized. That really stuck. Within weeks, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to do this because Kurtis can have God as his business partner.”
He learned it from another guy who is a friend of his. He said, “What’s your secret? How are things going so well? I’m really surprised.” He’s like, “Well, God’s my business partner.” He’s like, “Tell me more about that.” We talked about that on the podcast. Within weeks, I’m asking God to be my business partner.
It totally makes sense.
It’s beautiful. That’s on another level in this game of life for you. It’s to have God be your business partner.
I believe that he not only inadvertently has been. I grew up in a belief that I’m not alone. Even when I’m alone, I’m not. That’s always a call to me, like, “Okay, what’s the next step? What could I do? Where should I go?” That’s a part of my belief system.
My belief system has evolved over the last couple of years. It’s been wonderful, beautiful, freeing, and feeling that I am connected in a bigger way than I thought before, so it’s been great.
How did you center in on a vision of where you’re reversing divorce, addiction, and suicide? Why those three things?
We care most about what we know most. My parents divorced when I was eight years old. I remember standing on the sidewalk watching my father pack up his Honda hatchback and saying, “Dude, I can help you. I can fix this. I know why mom gets upset when you do X and why you get upset with your Y.” I’m eight, so no one’s listening to me.
That divorce was a very pivotal part of my life. It made me want to understand relationships. When my wife and I got married, it was very intentional. We talked about everything.
We care most about what we know most.
We have a core value in our marriage, which is radical transparency. There’s nothing we can talk about. There’s nothing we don’t know about each other—no secrets, no passwords. We don’t know all that type of stuff. But we are very intentional about it. That was the first part of it.
Addiction was something that I never really dealt with a lot in my life, but I saw it in my family’s life, especially my extended family. I know the dangers of that in my industry. When I started to get into it, I saw its big challenges.
I remember sitting around in Genius Network a few times because a lot of it is around addiction, and you have people who talk about their multimillion-dollar businesses or their billion-dollar businesses that they built up as addicted to something.
I remember just being like, “Dude, what’s my excuse? These guys are building multimillion-dollar businesses. I’m not an addict or anything, but they did that during addiction. I should be able to do something pretty cool, too.”
And then suicide is two stories. Number one is a friend who asked me to do a speech in the orthodontic space. I’d never done that before in the ortho space. I remember I was talking about marriage. I used to have a business called the Business of Marriage, where I helped put business principles inside of marriages to help people like Garrett Gunderson. I’ve helped out through that process.
I’m speaking on that. A gentleman came up to me right after I spoke and said, “I’m in my third marriage, which is going to end in divorce. My practice is in shambles. My team members are about to leave me. I need some help.” I was like, “Cool, let’s talk.” Every time we talked, it would be like, “Well, I’m not ready yet. I got this other thing to do.”
We ended up losing contact. Three months later, I got a call from a mutual friend who said, “Hey, do you hear about so and so?” I said, “No, what’s up?” He said, “He killed himself this weekend.” I went, “Come on, this is ridiculous. I don’t think it’s that hard of a fix if you know how to have the conversation and who you’re talking to.”
On a personal level, I have two younger adopted brothers, who, with my mom’s second marriage, they adopted. The oldest of the two almost five years ago took his life. That affected my family in a pretty profound way. I just looked at it. I’m very grateful that I’ve been blessed since I was a kid to have the ability to look from the outside and go, “Okay, well, if this isn’t working, let’s do this.”
When I worked in the movie industry, that was one of my biggest challenges. The movie industry goes so slow because everybody can only do the job they’re told to do. Even if you can see, “Well, if we just moved this light right now, we’d be out of here 15 minutes earlier,” you have to go through the union people, and this person has to do it, and that’s not your job, so don’t touch that. That’s insane to me. If I can see a shorter path to help you get to this place, then I want to help you do that.
I started looking at the areas where most entrepreneurs and business owners were talking about beforehand. Justin Breen talks about most entrepreneurs who are at a higher level and experienced some traumatic challenges when they were a kid, such as bankruptcy, anxiety, or depression. I started seeing that as the truth. I didn’t know that before I spoke to Justin, but I saw that as a truth in my own life and other people’s lives. I said, “Okay, I think I can help with this on a practical level.” I’m not a therapist, and I’m not a counselor. It’s just a practical life skill level. What can we do?
That’s where it became the vision for me. It drives everything I do every day, even this podcast. When I agreed to do a podcast, this, in some way, hopefully helps someone on the listening end of this, “I never thought about it that way.” I’m not looking for them to reach out to me. I’m just looking at them reaching into themselves, “Oh, yeah, that’s true.”
I was that kid in school who knew everybody. I got along with everyone: the heavy metalers, the emo people, the drama people, the sports people, etc. I remember even back then, I wanted to write a book. I had a friend who would come to school and talk about the ulcers that she had, and I’d be like, “Are you kidding? We’re in high school. Where do you get ulcers? We had nothing to worry about.”Building relationships is a vital component for successful business growth. Click To Tweet
I didn’t know the stuff that was going on in her life in a traumatic way that I do know now, but I used to want to write a book called Build a Bridge and Get Over It. A chapter would be, “I’m fighting with my spouse, and they don’t understand me.” You turn the page, and it just says, “Build the bridge and get over it.” The next chapter, “I’m having trouble with people in my work. They’re not communicating with me the way that I want.” Turn the page, “Build a bridge and get over it.”
Everyone’s got a problem. Everyone’s got a challenge. Build a bridge and get over it. I never wrote that book, but that’s my attitude with so many things like, “Build a bridge and get over it.”
Did you ever get back in touch with the girl who had ulcers?
Yeah, we’re actually really good friends on Facebook. We go back and forth on some stuff. She had a very difficult, traumatic life and, unfortunately is definitely the product of that belief system now. She’s a very faithful person. She has a strong faith in God but went through some crazy trauma growing up. But as a teenager, you’re just like, “What’s the problem? What’s going on? We’re teenagers.”
You know the book The Body Keeps the Score?
I think that principle is true: you store unresolved trauma and emotions in your body differently. All makes sense when you zoom out and consider how your body’s organs and systems work together. None of this is random. If you can unpack what the lesson is, whether it’s ulcers, lower back pain, or whatever, then you go a long way towards releasing that and not having to get the lesson in a different way.
Build a bridge and get over it.
My wife introduced me to the mind-body connection years ago. We survived our marriage for the first couple of years because she’s a massage therapist. She learned from a very intense program in California. I used to say, “All right, whatever, woo-woo type stuff.” She has incredible stories of people who are on her table.
One lady I remember her talking about she was just doing her massage. Suddenly, my wife saw the red handprints on the lady’s chest and was just like, “What is going on?” And the lady starts crying. She’s like, “Are you okay? What’s going on?” The lady was living through the rape she had gone through with the person holding their hands and choking her.
In that month, whatever Shannon was doing pushed that energy up into that. She has story after story of those types of things happening. I absolutely believe that there is that mind-body connection. I have talked myself through getting better quicker when I knew I had a speech coming up and needed my voice, couldn’t be sick, or had to do a full four or five-hour training. And I had been throwing up the whole night before because of food poisoning.
I know that the mind is so incredibly powerful. I actually teach this. I can tell a quick story. I was born blind. It’s a really weird, rare condition. I said earlier that I have two older brothers. She wanted a girl desperately because my dad said, “We’re not having more kids. Number three, that’s it, no more kids.”
My mom is very much a girly girl. My mom is very much into makeup to this day. She’s 70-something years old and just got through surgery but is going to be putting on full makeup–type stuff. Back then, they didn’t have the ultrasounds to figure out if I was a boy or a girl, and I came out not a girl. My mom doesn’t even hold me, wants nothing to do with me, gives me to the nurses, takes me to the nursery, and goes into a major depression.
She then took me home a couple of days later, and she and my dad started noticing that I was not responding to things like light or tracking. They’ve had two other babies. They know what I would be doing. They took me back to the doctor and said, “He is blind. We think it’s just a slow development of his eyes. It’s not permanent, we think.” Within about two weeks, I started to track things and got my sight.
The doctors will tell you it was a slow development. Now that I’ve learned about the mind-body connection and how powerful that is, I truly believe that as an infant in my mother’s womb, I knew how disappointed she would be when I came out. And I did not want to see my mother disappointed. To this day, I hate to see my mom disappointed. I can’t look when she’s crying.
I truly believe that I knew as an infant that my mother would be disappointed, and I felt that. I blinded myself so I would not see that. My mom will tell you that as soon as she found out I was blind, she felt, “Oh, my gosh, God’s punishing me for this.” I don’t believe that’s true, but she felt that. She felt “God’s punishing me for not holding my baby and not being grateful for it.” She took me in her arms, became her baby again, and treated me great.
I absolutely pull this story out every once in a while, like, “Mom, remember, you didn’t hold me when I was first born.” I’d love to tease her like that.
That’s a little harsh.
I love it. I’m such the sarcastic one of my family, like, “You didn’t hold me when I was a baby. That’s probably why.” I’m the weirdo in my family. I’m such the black sheep that most of my family doesn’t know what I do for a living, but I love to tease my mom with that stuff. I believe that’s why I have that mind-body connection of being blind.
Wow. Thank you for sharing. This is not the interview I thought it would be, but wow. Okay, let’s talk about the ‘Own Your Role’ concept. Why should our listeners care about that?
They should care if they want themselves to up-level how they show up not just their work but in every part of their life, and if they want their team members to do the same thing. I mentioned the title of one of my speeches earlier about avoiding a staff infection.
This came from Garrett Gunderson, a friend who has said this for years. It started sinking into me about how important and true it is. He would say, “If you hire for a task, you create enslavement for yourself. But if you hire for a role, you create freedom.”
Years ago, I worked for Disney. I was a dancer and always wanted to work to be a parade dancer at Disneyland. In 1991, I became a dancer for Disney.
Up-level how you show up not just at work, but in every part of your life.
I know some people listening weren’t even born. You probably weren’t born in ‘91, were you?
No, I was born in ‘70.
Wow. You look so young. I thought you were younger than me.
When I worked for Disney, they pushed this idea that your goal is to make it a magical day, the part you play. At Disney, you don’t have employees but they have cast members. So I was cast as the character of an alligator in Mickey’s Merry Christmas parade.
My role is to make it a magical day. They emphasized that people come to Disney, and some spend their life savings on this one trip to Disney. They’re bringing their family from across the world. Our goal as cast members is to do whatever we can to make it a magical day. If it’s raining, even though it’s California, we make it a magical day, whatever we can do to a point. We want to make sure that these people make a magical day.
I’m in an alligator outfit. If you want to envision what it’s like to be a parade dancer in an alligator costume at Disney or any other costume, just take a sleeping bag, put it upside down over your body, and cut a little hole out for breathing and a little bit of vision, and then dance for a quarter of a mile. That’s what it’s like to be a Disney parade dancer.
I wish you didn’t have to do that in Yuma, Arizona, in the summer.
That’s true, but it was Southern California. It’s still freaking hot, even in November and December. I realized my role was to make it a magical day as an alligator. Even though they couldn’t see my face, my role wasn’t just to be a dancer to go through the steps. My role was, if I could see a little kid on the side of the road, I could go up and be the one to give him a high five, or I could point that out to them, let them know I see them, wave to them, and they can wave back. I just made it a magical day.
The ownership of that role required me to do a couple of things. They required me to have full accountability for that part. I was a small part in this big huge parade that lasted about five minutes, if I’m lucky, to the people on the sidelines before I moved on to somebody else. I needed to be curious about what I was doing to find the right people. Even if I wasn’t feeling good that day or sweating inside that sleeping bag costume, my job was to make it a magical day.
When I look at this in the world today, and I’ve been consulting with businesses now for over a decade, especially in the medical space, and now we’re really branching that out to anybody, is I looked at it and said, when you ask people what they do typically in a business, they’ll tell you their task, or they’ll even tell you what they were hired to do.
“Oh, I’m the scheduling coordinator in an office.” “Okay, well, let me ask you this. What impact do you make on people? If I were to ask people what impact you make on them, what would you do?” They now can answer in a couple of different ways. But one of the things I want to get them to do is to help them understand that their job is not to be the scheduling coordinator. Their job is to be the director of first impressions.
The first impression somebody has in any business is at a phone call. Sometimes, it’s the website. Hopefully, they have a really good website that gives them a good impression, but then they’ll call. They will talk to a human being, and that human being’s job is to be the director of first impressions.
When I stand on stage and show people, “Okay, you think you’re the front desk receptionist, the front desk coordinator, or scheduling coordinator, whatever these generic names are, I don’t believe you’re that.” I believe you’re the director of first impressions.
Stephan, I tell you, one of my favorite views is from the stage, and I say this to people. Suddenly, shoulders go back. People sit straighter and look at each other like, “Yeah, I am the director of first impressions.” Suddenly, the role that they are given is completely different. They own it in a completely different way.
Like I said, I worked in the medical field, one of which is the orthodontic field. I’ll say, “Hey, doctors. Doctors are a cool title. You work for it; you get it. But what if instead of just a doctor like everybody else, you are a smile architect instead?” “Oh, I like being a smile architect.” It just levels them up.
When you own your role, you’re no longer an alligator dancing a parade route. You’re now making it a magical day for others.
Owning your role is about understanding that if you take on the role you play, all of a sudden, how you own it and how you step up changes everything. You’re no longer just an alligator dancing down a parade route. You’re now making it a magical day for people. You can take that and extrapolate that out into a fatherhood.
You mentioned your kids. All right, what does the greatest father in the world do? How do you react? Do they go out and speak 230 times a year, or do they say, “I’m going to figure out another way to own my role as a father and a business owner, so I don’t have to be on the road as much? No matter how much I love it, my kids deserve to have me in their life more. So I’m going to own that role.”
What about being a husband? What does owning your role as a husband or a wife? All of a sudden, you start looking at it differently as opposed to using the word just that you own the thing. That’s what owning your role is all about, in a very long-winded way to your short question.
I love that. That’s really cool. It reminds me of what I learned from Aaron Ross. I had him on the show a long time ago, episode 30. He wrote the book From Impossible to Inevitable. One of these chapters was just so profound for me. It started with a letter from the employee to the employer. “You just don’t get my challenges and my motivation. You’re just not there for me.”
There was a letter from the employer to the employee. It was the same plan in different worlds. They just didn’t get each other. There is an explanation about functional ownership. You have to give the employee ownership.
You don’t have to give them financial ownership, although you could certainly do some stock option plan, phantom stock, or whatever. But giving them functional ownership sounds very much like owning your role. It just really was a great concept. I love hearing that from Aaron, so what you’re talking about certainly resonates.
I also liked how you restructure in the person’s mind how they relate to the role with some really sexy terminology, whether it’s a smile architect, some alchemist, director for impressions, some wizard, director of chaos, or whatever. I feel much more empowered, powerful, excited, remarkable, and memorable because of this new shift and this new title and way of looking at how I show up in the company.
I totally agree with you. On the other side is how the guest, the client, and the customer look at you. I remember Jim Dew changed my frame of mind and reference to how I look for my financial planners. He said, “Okay, as your personal financial historian or fortune teller,” and I went, “Oh, my gosh, I’m dealing with financial historians, people who just tell me what happened last year,” as opposed to, “No, Dino, if you want this outcome, let fortune tell what you should be doing. These are the steps you need to be taking.”Ownership allows you to care deeply and elevate your professional and relational impact — regardless of the job title you hold. Click To Tweet
Suddenly, I’m like, “The person I’m looking for for my business has completely shifted. Because if you’re just a historian, I don’t need that. I need somebody who can help me do this.” I think it just helps clear the way.
Think about it. You walk into an office and walk up to the director of first impressions. They say, “Oh, your smile architect will be with you in a moment.” Everywhere else, they’ve got a dentist and an assistant. It’s like, “Wait a minute.” You reframe it, and it makes all the difference in the world. I love that idea from impossible to probable.
Impossible to inevitable.
Inevitable, yeah, I love that.
This reminds me of the terminology many marketers have heard before: surprise and delight. If I go into a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office, and I hear that your smile architect is about to be available in just a minute, I’m like, “What? You surprised and delighted me.”
That’s right. I love that phrase, surprise and delight, too.
I know you’ve got some team transformation experience. Do you want to talk about that? That’s relevant to what we’re talking about right now.
In this Own Your Role and the work I’ve been doing with teams, I’ve wanted to create a space where people can learn and have fun. For many business owners, the ideal clients I work with are usually between 10 and 60 team members. I always say, “If you know the names of all of your team members, then you’re my ideal client.” Yet, for businesses that are in that size in that range, it’s hard for them to afford to take their entire team to a conference in Vegas, Miami, or wherever.
And so I thought, “How can I create a situation where I’m helping team members and owners create a great experience, giving them six to seven hours of a process that will change their lives and help them unify together?” When I went on that road trip back in 2012 and 2013, I had to figure out how to take my business online so all my clients were online. Pretty much, I would fly out to a few things.
But when COVID happened, and everybody went to virtual training, I had already been doing that for years, so I was like, “This is no problem.” I was talking to my wife about this last year. My idea has always been, “How do I get people out here? I’d love to have 10 teams together in a room doing an intensive event.” She said, “Why don’t you just do it virtually?”
I created a virtual event. I call it an Interactive Broadcast, a digital experience, where it’s not just me sitting here doing a PowerPoint in front of people. It’s from a stage, multi-camera interaction. We’re having them doing surveys with their phones, calling people out, doing one-on-ones, hot seats, and all this crazy, very interactive stuff in six hours.
We call it the team transformation experience. We do it twice a year at the beginning of the year to launch the year and kick off really well. We do that in January. We will do another one in June to kick off the summer.Your job is a platform for 'getting more' for those around you -– more inspiration, more insights, and more empowerment for all who join you on your journey. Click To Tweet
Speaking of surprise and delight, there’s a lot of surprise and delight that goes on from the last one I sent inside. I have a little bobblehead of what Dino would do, a bobblehead that everybody gets to remind them afterward. I send out certain lessons and processes that they do. We give giveaway prizes and have games. It’s so much fun and interactive.
We’ve had over a thousand team members go through it over this last year. It’s been a ton of fun. And the coolest thing is that it’s one fee for the entire office. It doesn’t matter how many people you have. That’s something that you don’t see out there. Usually, it’s per person-type situation, and whether we should go to this or not comes into play. I tried to make it, as Alex Hormozi would say, an offer so good they’d feel stupid not saying yes to it. That’s what I tried to do.
That’s awesome. Are there lots of people from different companies, or is it just a per-company virtual event?
Yeah, lots of people from different companies. In January, we had 52 offices from around the world. We had a team from Australia and the UK. This last one, the actual UK team, came again in June. They enjoyed it so much in January because it’s two different curricula. There are offices all over the place.
The next one will be seven hours. We’ve done six hours but will do seven next time because of the time difference. You got to look at how many people can get home by five and things like that. It’s all over. It’s different mediums, so it’s just so much fun.
Everything I’ve received in my life has been through a relationship that I’ve created and cultivated in some way.
In almost every office, even though our process and what we do is a little different, our challenges with human beings—again, because I’ll say this, as I said earlier, we’re all weird—are not very dissimilar. We talked about unifying processes across the board. It doesn’t matter what the industry is.
Awesome. I know we’re out of time here. If you want to point our listener or viewer to learn more from you, work with you, all that stuff. If you also want to share a parting word of wisdom, something we haven’t already discussed.
All right. First of all, this has been totally fun. I love how you asked me at the beginning what’s been my favorite podcast. I’ve said, “I just love a good conversation.” You’re a great conversationalist, and this is a lot of fun, so I appreciate you having me on the show. It really means a lot. I hope those listening got something out of it that they can take back to their lives.
Not just their businesses but their lives.
Yeah. I’ll throw this out there. If you haven’t subscribed to this podcast, you need to do so.
They can find out more about me. They can follow me on all the socials, @dinowatt. Then dinowatt.com is where you can learn more about my speaking and keynotes. Dino Watt Consulting, you’ll find out a lot about the deeper stuff I do.
I only take on a handful of clients per year because it is at a higher level. The dinowatt.com is a good place for that. Your team transformation is where you find out about team transformation experience, yourteamtransformation.com.
You’ve helped me say a lot, that I appreciate you. You’re asking some great questions. I believe this to be a truth in my life and in most people’s lives. I very much care about relationships. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before in some format about how important relationships are.
I came to a realization a few years back of why I care so much about relationships. What I realized is that every single thing I’ve ever received in my life, even up to this podcast right now, you and I happening to be in Genius Network together, everything I’ve received up into my life until this moment, has been through a relationship that I’ve created and cultivated in some way.
It might not be super deep. It might not be my best friend, but it is a relationship. Everything I will receive from this moment forward will be from a relationship I create and cultivate. The most important business attribute I could possibly have is building relationships.
And cultivate them.
That’s right. Yeah, because you never know.
Thank you very much, Dino, and thank you, listener. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
Connect with Dino Watt
Previous Marketing Speak Episode
Previous Get Yourself Optimized Episode
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Consider incorporating entertainment and humor into my workplace culture. This can help make learning and growth more enjoyable.
Create content and training programs that educate, inspire, and personally resonate with my audience.
Foster radical transparency in my personal and professional relationships. Open and honest communication can build trust and effectively resolve issues.
Pay attention to moments in life that seem like divine setups or synchronicities. These moments may guide me toward my true purpose and provide valuable insights.
Consider partnering with God or my higher power on my entrepreneurial journey. Trust that the universe is working in my favor and embrace synchronicities and opportunities.
Approach my challenges with resilience and a problem-solving mindset. Sometimes, all it takes to overcome obstacles is a shift in perspective and the determination to move forward.
Embrace my professional role. Understand that my role is not just a job title but an opportunity to make a significant impact.
Strive to create exceptional experiences for my customers, clients, or patients, regardless of my professional role.
Consider using impactful titles for my team members that reflect their true contributions and value.
About Dino Watt
Dino Watt is dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and their teams on a journey from the confines of mediocrity to unprecedented sustainable growth. With his revolutionary brand, “Own Your Role,” Dino empowers business owners to take charge of their positions as leaders and reignite their employees’ commitment by creating a shared vision and healthier workplace culture.