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Dreams are not fantasies. Going to mountain may be a dream. Standing on mountain may be a dream. On other hand, having mountain come to us is a fantasy. Dreams can be realized, fantasies can't. Focus on dreams, on what is objectively achievable, not on fantasies.
Dreams are positive, uplifting. The Old English word "dream" means "joy, music, and noise-making." But that positive, inspirational quality can have negative effects on an organization.
Negative dreams can damage an organization. For instance, union/management issues are often particularly inflammatory because of conflicting dreams, of both sides seeing other as "the enemy." Your audience wanting to go back to "good old days" can be a negative dream. Only a trusted leader can help people reshape their dreams.
Most people have a dream for their life and work. Even people in abject circumstances, such as prisons and concentration camps, dream of a fulfilling existence beyond their present circumstances. If they lose their dreams, they lose an essential quality of their humanity.
People won't be transformed by your leadership if you have a low opinion of and low expectations for their dream and/or if they are convinced that you can't help them attain that dream.
Many people don't consciously realize what they dream. But that doesn't mean that they are not influenced by their subconscious dream. A subconscious dream can motivate people to act without their clearly understanding why they are acting. Have people you lead be fully conscious of content and meaning of their dream or risk having your organization's activities be impeded by a dimly perceived yet none-the-less potent dream.
Each dream has a price. It's one thing to think it. It's another thing to do it. Know price people will have to pay to attain their dream. Have them understand price.
As a leader, dream with people! Without hitching our wagons to stars, wagons and stars lose their true meaning in our lives.
Dreams give meaning to emotion and purpose to action. People who believe they're living their dream see their jobs as part of a higher cause and will work accordingly. Conversely, people who see their jobs as antithetical to their dream, may see that work as oppressive; and they too will work accordingly.
Dreams are supreme reality. Dream graffiti on a Paris wall during 1968 student rebellion said, "Be realistic: Do impossible!"
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com