Now, as adults, many of us continue to pursue our ambitions, whether they have changed over the years or are still inspired by our younger selves. Others of us can confidently say that we have achieved the grown-up versions of our youthful aspirations. Sadly, there are those of us who have abandoned our dreams, deeming their pursuit futile.
What does the status of dreams have to do with career? At the intersection of intimate hopes and professional life lies the job of a Dream Manager. Heeding the advice from bestselling author Matthew Kelly’s enlightening book The Dream Manager, many companies are implementing the radical notion of investing time and resources in employees’ personal goals, all under the supervision of a dream manager. Such a manager would ask every employee to write down one hundred of his or her dreams. Over the course of a series of meetings, each employee would choose one “dream of the year” to focus on and, together with the manager, develop a plan for how to accomplish it. The manager continues to oversee the process and periodically meets with each employee to track his or her progress and provide guidance toward the end objective.
No matter how hard we try, it remains impossible to separate personal and professional lives. Kelly urges businesses not only to acknowledge this reality but to address it actively, for the overall advancement of everyone involved, individuals and companies alike: “The Dream Manager concept provides a revolutionary way of reversing this crippling trend toward disengagement and demonstrates how organizations large and small can actively engage their people once again, thus creating a competitive advantage of monumental proportions.” By starting on the micro level and prioritizing each employee’s well-being outside of the office, businesses will take the necessary first step in the direction of boosting morale and maximizing work ethic and production. When employees are treated as whole people and not just as job descriptions, the company is then situated to thrive at the macro level. As Kelly neatly summarizes, “The future of your organization and the potential of your employees are intertwined—their destinies are linked.”
Regardless of the dreams your own heart chases, we all do well not to ignore personal desires but to weave them into the professional realm with a dream manager. The most effective means to transform a company is through supporting the individuals who comprise it. No matter what industry you are in or the size of your business, one of the best ways to engage your people, cultivate a healthy culture, and generate shared incentive to work for the organization's grander vision is to care for your employees and help them achieve their personal dreams. Here’s how you specifically can benefit from the dream manager position:
- If you’re a job seeker: Does working as a dream manager sound like a dream come true? If you enjoy advocating for your coworkers and guiding them in changing their lives, this job is for you. Stay alert for this position to come on board, whether at your current company, one similar, or even in another field you may have always considered.
- If you’re an employee: Do you feel like your dreams are on hold because of your job? Having a dream manager at your company will facilitate the work-life integration you crave. No longer will you have to suppress your personal drives while at work but will instead have a cheerleader to fuel and encourage you toward accomplishment. As a bonus, feeling personally revitalized will give you motivation to perform successfully at your day job.
If you’re in corporate leadership: Have you been looking for that fresh angle to impel your employees and keep them satisfied? Hiring a dream manager is the key to attending to your staff and your overall business. By investing in a position that will help your employees find personal fulfillment, you will not only allow each one to reach his or her professional potential, but you will also set up your company to prosper on the larger scale.
Hi, there! I’m Allie Hofer, an HR professional and work-life balance enthusiast. More officially, I’m a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Society of Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), and Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter (RACR).
After having my first child, I opted out of the traditional office setting to work from home. Since then, I have been consulting with organizations in the public and private sectors to support the Human Resources function in recruiting, compensation, training and development, and performance management.