Huh? How does that work?
That sounds counter-intuitive.
The intuitive response for some might be that if you follow your dreams, you’ll leave where you work and the business will be worse off. Also. What about lack of focus? If everyone is focused on their dreams, they won’t be working on the business and their roles.
So, why is it that I encourage people to follow their dreams?
It’s because I believe that the opposite holds true.
If you encourage your team to follow their dreams, you’ll have more motivated, more loyal and hard working teams who are working with purpose towards something that really matters to them.
Making a dream happen is significantly harder than having it and it takes time, the need to learn, to plan and to seize the initiative to make things happen.
Let me share 7 specific reasons in support of this:
- You’ll enjoy life more if you are working towards something you really care about. You’ll be happier, more motivated and have more energy. That energy can’t help but fill other areas of your life.
- The skills you’ll need to develop to plan and make your dreams happen are highly valuable skills. Things like teamwork, resourcefulness, taking the initiative and creativity. What business wouldn't want more of these skills?
- Being around people living with a purpose is so much more energising. That’s a benefit to your whole team.
- People are going to have dreams anyway. Why not show that you care and encourage them. Feeling cared about is one of the most motivating things a person can feel.
- Different perspectives. You’ll learn more, you’ll get different perspectives, your brain will have time to reflect, to learn and take on board different influences. You’ll be a better person because of it.
- You might find in reality, the goal for many people is not to actually make the dream happen but to feel the freedom and excitement of planning it and the feeling of possibility.
- It takes time to make your dreams happen. In our case it took 5 years of planning and working towards it. Given that the average length of time an employee stays with a company is 4.5 years, there’s a good chance people will have left anyway! In the meantime, you’ll have benefitted from the increased energy, learning and focus.
In the 5 years it took to make our dream happen I was forced to learn more than I'd ever learnt before, to become a better leader, a better team member and ultimately our business thrived and grew. I learnt to take my ego out of business and find the solutions that were right to grow the business.
The mantra "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" really caught in my mind and I had to learn how to grow a team and make them better rather than making me better.
In some ways, it reminds me a little of a quote I heard some time back where a CFO and his CEO were talking. The quote goes something like this:
The CFO asked: “What happens if we invest money in training in our employees and they leave?”
The CEO replied: “What happens if we don’t and they stay”.
Made me smile. In all the ventures I’m involved in and have been involved in, I always take the time to ask each person what’s truly important to them in life and what do they want to do. Once you get clear on those things, even just thinking about and doing that thing for 5 minutes a day will be so much more rewarding than not doing it all. You’ll have more purpose, more energy and that can only be a huge benefit to any business.