THIS WEEK I heard about The Dream Manager, a book by Matthew Kelly. It sounded so interesting that I’ve added it to my reading list.
The underlying concept seems to be that it’s extremely helpful and inspiring for a company to evoke its employees’ dreams and aspirations. Check out this extremely short video to get an idea. Some organizations have a designated “dream manager” whose job it is to bring that out and capture the benefits of an energized workforce.
But I wanted to take the idea in a new direction.
If an individuals’ dreams are so powerful and motivating, then how much more potential is there when a group comes together with a shared dream?
In my mind, there’s a subtle difference between dream and vision or purpose. Let’s say that a company has a vision to solve illiteracy around the world. That’s quite admirable and potentially quite engaging. But if I’m an employee, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s MY personal passion. After all, I’m just an accountant or a line worker, so my primary focus is on doing that job. It just happens to be in a company that’s trying to solve illiteracy. It’s inspiring, yes, but not necessarily in a personal way.
But let’s say, instead, that our company shares the dream to deliver a new invention that’s going to replace the automobile. If that statement is really true, then this company is going to hire only those people who share the dream. Their job role is secondary to the passion and drive which comes from wanting to PERSONALLY change the world.
I imagine that there’s some similarity to the history of the USA. At the beginning, we like to think, there were a bunch of people who shared the dream of greater freedom and a new way of governing. They proceeded to “infect” so many others that they created a new country and even died for that dream.
Over two centuries later, it seems that few people are impassioned by the American Dream. We even speak cynically, treating that phrase as a cliché. Instead, we’re going about our daily lives, doing the best we can, but not deeply engaged with that dream of building a free and prosperous society. I imagine that this has to do with elapsed time, and the tremendous increase in the number of citizens.
So here’s the question for you and your company: Do your people share something as powerful as a dream? Are they getting up every day passionate to make that dream a reality?
And are you hiring people who already have that dream deep within them?