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The Dream Manager Hardcover – Aug 21 2007

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 131 reviews
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Life Is About Living Our Dreams Aug. 21 2007
By Thomas M. Loarie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In "The Dream Manager," author Matthew Kelly departs from earlier best-selling books ("The Rhythm of Life, Perfectly Yourself, Call to Joy, Seven Levels of Intimacy") where he focused on improving "self" and provides, through a fable, an innovative way to improve the life of "the other." While the book is centered on the workplace and potential improvements in productivity and profitability, the concept Kelly outlines can reap great returns when applied to people outside of work as well.

Kelly builds on the concept of connection (See Michael Stallard's "Fired Up or Burned Out) to meet basic human psychological needs for respect, recognition, belonging, autonomy, personal growth, and meaning. The connector is the Dream Manager who connects the employees' now to their dreams and a better tomorrow.

The fable Kelly tells is based on a true story in which a janitorial services company had a chronic annual turnover rate of 400%. The fictional General Manager, Simon, is frustrated since he is operating more as a full-time "lead recruiter" rather than GM.

After numerous unsuccessful studies to define the problem, Simon's senior assistant suggests they learn what the employee's dreams are then find a way "to connect their job today with their dreams for tomorrow." Making money without a dream to fulfill is pointless and obscene. "Life is about living our dreams."

The company goes on to implement "The Dream Manager" program (the program's implementation and evolution is described in detail). The program results in improved morale and loyalty, and a drop in the annual turnover rate to 12% while gross revenue tripled. The number of employees grew only to 743 from 407 (less than 200%) during the same period.

The story of Rita serves as an example of a dream fulfilled. Rita, a 42 year old woman, had a dream to own a home. No one in her family ever owned a home. Within 132 days she owned her first home. This dream was not fulfilled with an increase in pay, company bonus or a gift but rather, with the involvement of a Dream Manager who worked with her to develop a program of saving and house/loan shopping. Once in her home, Rita commented that no one had ever asked her what HER dreams were.

Do you know the dreams of those around you? "You can ignore people's dreams, but it will be at your peril. You are free to ignore your children's dreams, your spouse's dreams, your employee's dreams, and your nation's dreams. But in each of these areas of life, you will pay an enormous price if you do." Dreams are invisible but powerful. With a "Dream Manager" you make them visible then harness their power.

Since his real life experience with implementing the Dream Manager program, Kelly has founded Floyd Consulting (Chicago, Illinois) to help companies in its implementation.

And since reading "The Dream Manager," I have begun to find out the dreams of my employees. I have also added the question, "What are your dreams?" to interviews of potential employees, suppliers, and consultants...and I have given copies of the book to: my wife, a real estate agent; two friends who are financial planners; another CEOl; and an inner-city high school teacher. All, like me, are in a position to be effective Dream Managers.

And in closing, it would be accurate to say Kelly's book really is about "self" not just "the other" as there is a lot of receiving when one gives.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Give to friends and family this easy but profound read Aug. 29 2007
By Ralph D. Zerhusen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have now purchased 28 copies of this excellent work, and have given most away already to people I care about. The message is simple but profound. Some amazing conversations with my wife and kids have already taken place because of this book. I highly recommend it. Dave Z.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good business ideas presented clearly Sept. 25 2007
By Armchair Interviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Matthew Kelly writes like he speaks - with power, clarity, and focus. I should know because I've shared the platform with him, and I've read every one of his books. In this latest book he tells the story of Simon Roberts, general manager of Admiralty Janitorial Services. Recruited to run the company by Greg, the entrepreneurial founder, Simon finds he spends more time recruiting than anything else. With 400% annual turnover, a little over average for the industry, the company is a revolving door. And turnover costs-big time. Simon convinces Greg to go back to the basics and ask employees what they want and need, even though the executive team believes they have answer: more money. And it turns out they are wrong.

By really listening to employees and finding innovative solutions that appear to cost, but really pay back-and pay back big time, Simon finds the real key to employee satisfaction, full engagement, and reduced turnover, as well as profitability. For example, running employee shuttles to help people get to their jobs because many don't have cars, and the buses don't operate on the schedules when they clean buildings.

Ultimately, this is where the Dream Manager comes in-someone who asks people what their dreams are and then helps them to create plans to reach them. Simon and Greg, together with the executive team and the Dream Manager, show the employees that the company is committed to helping them achieve their dreams-and the employees respond with increased performance, lower turnover, fewer sick days, and greater productivity.

Kelly helps the reader realize the importance of motive in making the concept of a Dream Manager work. Though the story is fiction, the facts quoted are alive and well in every industry. Hearing of the employees' dreams that come true because of the company's commitment, will bring tears to your eyes. Executives and managers reading this book will long to make the same things happen for their own employees-and they can. The final section of the book lays out a step-by-step plan for individuals, managers, or organizations to implement their own Dream Manager process.

Armchair Interviews says: Everyone will want to work for a company with a Dream Manager program.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Transform your organization, transform your life Sept. 1 2007
By Joe Tye - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read a great many works of inspirational fiction (and published a few myself), so I'm obviously a fan of the genre. Probably as a result, I'm pretty easy to please but pretty tough to impress. I read "The Dream Manager" at one sitting, then read it again taking notes. I'm impressed! Any leader (including family leaders) who takes Kelly's extraordinary concept to heart and acts upon it cannot help but to achieve extraordinary results. If you are a business leader, you really must read this book - before your competition does! Never Fear, Never Quit
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dream Manager - Fantastic Story! Nov. 26 2007
By C. O. Connor - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Dream Manager is an incredible book! I was listening to the audio version on a 200 mile drive and I wanted to keep driving because there was more to hear. Every manager, business school student, parent, teacher, coach, and everyone else should either read the book or listen to the cd's. If you have forgotten your dreams, it will inspire you to rediscover them. If you need help to develop a game plan to achieve your dreams, this story is for you. The first two cd's tell the story of a company; the third cd includes an interview with Matthew Kelly. Initially, I was disapointed that Matthew was not the narrator, but I quickly got over it. I highly encourage "The Dream Manager"!