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7 Questions with New “Jedi” Creative Director, Dan Graney

October 14, 2019
Posted by Dovetail

Dan Graney

There are no such things as dumb questions. . .

How do you approach your work; can you explain your process?

Problem-solving is in my DNA. I always bring a unique POV and have been told that I am eternally optimistic and brimming with positivity. These attributes have allowed me to always face an obstacle head-on and, ultimately, find a way around.

Discovering the story, connecting with the consumer… these are my hardcoded skills. Being highly empathetic and understanding that storytelling is crucial to getting a point across, I have always made sure to know not only who was telling the story, but to whom the story was being told.

On leadership. . .

When it comes to the concept of leadership, it’s important to focus on the word “lead,” especially for managers. Managing and leading are not the same thing. Leadership is an attribute, it’s a quality, not a designation. It requires the ability to inspire, to be empathetic, to motivate, to ignite or to diffuse, and to be accountable. Accountability eludes many but separates the merely acceptable from the truly exceptional.

As far as my personal style… I believe in respect. Respect is paramount. It’s the single most important thing I think people can share. With true, exhibited respect, you have the foundation for open and honest communication, for clear direction, for constructive criticism, for the truth.

Simply, I’ve always believed that leading by example is the best way to lead. I just continually strive to be the person I would want to lead me…

Dogs or Cats?

I grew up with dogs… and lizards, fish, turtles, birds. Cats are weird and I have one now. He’s giant. Might be part panther. My daughter is jonesing for a dog big time (so much so that she pretends to have an imaginary one that we had to walk around the neighborhood), so a dog is an eventuality.

If you could be anywhere and go back in time, when and where would it be?

I always wanted to be a pirate… and that was before pirates were a thing (they’re a thing, right???) Seriously, island hopping, fresh seafood, killer outfits, and a fairly generous retirement plan – what’s not to like? Aside from constantly having to dodge scurvy, jaundice, dysentery, etc., I think I’d be a pretty good pirate.

Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A fish eyeball. I’ll eat anything… I’ve never been one to turn something down or get squeamish. That eyeball, though… there’s just a lot going on there.

First concert?

H.R. Pufnstuf and Friends at Six Flags, but since they weren’t technically playing anything and more just shimmying to the music, I’ll go with Paul Revere and the Raiders (also at Six Flags).

Complete this joke – a creative director and an accountant walk into a bar . . . .

I suck at jokes.

One thing from your ‘bucket list’

I never think of things I wish I could do…. I just see them as things I’ll do. Honestly, I do have one thing I really would like to do and need to start planning: I will build an Astromech (R2-D2) as a family project. Like a fully functional Artoo unit.

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