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What We’re Reading: The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly

The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly, is written as a fable about the CEO of a janitorial company whose HR operations were in crisis – they had a 400% turnover rate. Yes, you read that right. Their average employee only worked for three months before moving on to another job.

The CEO hired a consultant, Simon, to come up with a solution. Simon distributed a survey to employees and went back to the CEO with shocking findings. He found that people weren’t leaving because they were unhappy with the pay, the number one reason for leaving was that they didn’t have reliable transportation to take them to and from their job sites. Simon recommended and implemented a shuttle service, saving the company thousands and cutting turnover in half.

To take it to the next level, Simon pondered what other factors can influence an employee’s decision (and motivation) to stay with a company. Sure, more money is nice, but a company’s genuine care and desire to see their employees succeed is far more rewarding. Thus, the Dream Management Program was born.

You may be asking yourself the same question I did “What the heck is a Dream Manager?” Answer: “A Dream Manager helps individuals to articulate and actualize their dreams by assisting them in formulating a plan with the purpose of achieving short, medium, and long-term goals. They often have a financial aspect so typically the Dream Manager also acts as a Financial Planner.”

The goal of the program is to help employees become the best versions of themselves and turn the company into a more effective and profitable operation. An excerpt from the book explains, “If employees are struggling and failing without a clear plan of achieving their own dreams, how can they be focused or successful in reaching a corporate dream?”

The results of the Dream Manager program were nothing short of amazing. Employees learned English, learned Spanish, traveled abroad, funded their children’s college education, bought their first homes, grew into management roles, and much more.

Your next question: “That sounds nice, but how realistic is it to implement this program at my company?”


Step 1: Write your own list of 100 dreams and categorize them:

  1. Physical

  2. Emotional

  3. Intellectual

  4. Psychological

  5. Spiritual

  6. Material

  7. Professional

  8. Financial

  9. Creative

  10. Adventure

  11. Legacy

  12. Character

Note that your dreams may fall into more than one category.

Step 2: Ask your employees to make their own lists of dreams.

Step 3: Schedule monthly meetings with your employees to review their dreams, the statuses, and help them make plans to make them come true.

Step 4: Use employee reviews as an opportunity to praise them for their accomplishments, both professional and personal, and share the dreams you have for them and the company.

In the words of Steven Tyler “DREAM ON!”


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