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Summary: The importance of motivation in leadership cannot be denied. But most leaders overlook a critical component of motivation, human dream. The article describes what dreams really mean in realm of leadership.
In Leadership, Dreams Are The Stuff That Great Results Are Made Of by Brent Filson
Leadership is motivational or it's stumbling in dark. The best leaders don't order people to do a job, best leaders motivate people to want to do job.
The trouble is vast majority of leaders don't delve into deep aspects of human motivation and so are unable to motivate people effectively.
Drill down through goals and aims and aspirations and ambitions and you hit bedrock of motivation, dream. Many leaders fail to take it into account.
Dreams are not goals and aims. Goals are results toward which efforts are directed. The realization of a dream might contain goals, which can be stepping stones on way to attaining dreams. But attainment of a goal does not necessarily result in attainment of a dream.
For instance, Martin Luther King did not say, "I have a goal." Or "I have an aim." The power of that speech was in "I have a dream".
Dreams are not aspirations and ambitions. Aspirations and ambitions are strong desires to achieve something. King didn't say he had an aspiration or ambition that " ....one day this nation will rise up and live out true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'" He said he had a dream.
If you are a leader speaking to people's aspirations and ambitions, you are speaking to something that motivates them, yes; but you are not necessarily tapping into heartwood of their motivation.
After all, one might aspire or be ambitious to achieve a dream. But one's aspiration and ambition may also be connected to things of lesser importance than a dream.
A dream embraces our most cherished longings. It embodies our very identity. We often won't feel fulfilled as human beings until we realize our dreams.
If leaders are avoiding people's dreams, if leaders are simply setting goals (as important as goals are), they miss best of opportunities to help those people take ardent action to achieve great results.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in Declaration of Independence that "Governments derive their just powers from consent of governed," he was writing about a dream. Not one European government at that time was a democracy. There had been few true democracies in West since fall of Athenian democracy more than 2,000 thousand years before. But Jefferson's "dream" motivated people to take action. In fact, that dream motivates people to act around world today.
Understand dreams of people you lead. People will not tell you what they dream until they trust you. They won't trust you until they feel that you can help them attain their dreams. Acquiring that understanding can cement a deep, emotional bond between you.