KelDrea 08-01-02  

The Dream Manager


Matthew Kelly

Hyperion, 2007, 156 pp., ISBN  978-1-4013-0370-9



Kelly writes a fable reminiscent of Patrick Lencioni (who wrote the Foreword) suggesting a company can retain employees and build loyalty and productivity by helping employees reach their dreams.  It is a utopian Cinderella story, but it serves to suggest a fresh idea.  Kelly proposes that all people can be motivated by dreams and the hopes of their dreams unlock great potential.


"The cost of losing good people is no longer limited to higher recruiting and retraining expenses; it is a recipe for failure." (Patrick Lencioni in the Foreword)


"The future of your organization and the potential of your employees are intertwined; their destinies are linked.  An organization can only become the-best-version-of-itself to the extent that the people who drive that organization are striving to become better-versions-of-themselves."  "The problem is, the great majority of people in the workplace today are actively disengaged." (1)


"What does your payroll amount to?  If on average your employees are 75 percent engaged, disengagement is costing you 25 percent of your payroll every month in productivity alone." (2)


The Big Idea:  "When a company forgets that it exists to serve its customers, it quickly goes out of business.  Our employees are our first customers, and our most influential customers.  A person's purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself.  Finding a way to create an environment that helps employees become the-best-version-of-themselves, while at the same time moving the company toward the-best-version-of-itself, may seem impossible to many; to others, these purposes may seem diametrically opposed; but in reality, they are astoundingly complementary." (4)


"The employees know things about our business that we don't." (11)


"These people all have dreams.  We need to find a way to connect their job today with their dreams for tomorrow." (23)  We need to "help our employees build a bridge between their NOW and a better FUTURE.  Dreams are the bridge." (23)


"If you ask people to talk about their dreams, in most cases you'll see a remarkable increase in their passion and energy."  "Dreams drive us!" (24) 


"Help them to fulfill their dreams, [and] we'll create a loyalty and dedication that's unmatched.  And then our people will bring the passion and energy they have for their dreams to their work." (25)


"But people stop dreaming because they get caught up in the hustle and bustle of surviving." (26)


"If we can make the connection between our employees' daily work and their dreams for the future, we will unleash an energy that will transform our business." (27)


The company put out a survey with one question: "What are your dreams?" (29)


"There is a fine line between genius and madness…." (31)


"Help your employees in the direction of their dreams and you will create the most dynamic environment in corporate America!" (33)


"There are two things that keep people interested in a job: the sense that they are making a difference and the sense that they are progressing or advancing." (38)


The company hired a "dream manager."  The program was so successful they hired several more.  The costs were covered by reducing turnover, higher productivity, and increase business opportunities created by the energized employees.


"Everyone needs a Dream Manager.  To a certain extent, we can do it for ourselves.  But we all need someone who can help us articulate our dreams, determine the priority of our dreams, pull together a plan for the fulfillment of those dreams, and hold us accountable on a regular basis for the actions that help us achieve our dreams or hold us back from our dreams." (44)


"Those who don't manage their money well are no better off than those who don't have money to manage." (49)


"The truth is, most people have never really been taught the laws of money." (50)


A good question:  "What has surprised you the most?" (58)


"Just talking about our dreams starts to move us in the direction of them." (60)


"People are always looking for quick fixes and there are no quick fixes to situations that involve real, living, breathing people." (71)


"The employee-employer money paradigm is a thing of the past.  The modern employee is looking for things much more abstract than a simple pay raise.  Sure, they want to be well compensated, but they are conscious of lifestyle, work environment, and more than ever they want work that is engaging." (72)


"Appreciation is the strongest currency in the corporate culture." (73)


The real question is not how much does this program cost.  "The real question is this: How much would you be willing to spend to crate a highly efficient, cohesive, and enthusiastic team that cared about your business, if you knew that every dollar you spent would come back to you threefold or sixfold or tenfold?" (102-3)


"Dreams are the currency of the future." (103)


"Assist them in formulating a plan for the achievement of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals."  "It ha to be manageable and measurable, and at the same time it needs to stretch them." (104)


"Because people spend most of their lives working, so they should enjoy it, or at the very least know that it is moving them in the direction of their dreams." (105)


"Your dreams tell me not only what sort of a person you are today, but also what sort of person you aspire to be in the tomorrows of your life." (107)


"CEOs have to become as dedicated to scouting, nurturing, and acquiring talent as football coaches are.  The future of any sporting franchise depends on the talent that takes the field.  What makes you think your business is any different?" (108)


"Most employees feel like they are being used.  But if you can genuinely convince them that you have their best interests at heart, then you will reverse that belief, and in the process create a spirit of teamwork and loyalty rarely unleashed in the corporate world before now." (110)


"Teamwork and talent remain the ultimate competitive advantages." (157)


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