We all encourage our employees to dream big, but did you ever consider that helping them achieve those dreams could go far in achieving your own goals?
It’s a concept I first read about in a book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly, and it’s one I’ve gleefully adopted. Basically, if you focus on your employees’ personal goals instead of the work they do at your company, they’ll do just about anything to help you succeed.
Some may find this principle idealistic, but it makes sense to me. I put it into practice by having my employees write down as many goals as possible in 30 minutes. I encourage them to use these categories:
- Goods I’d like to buy
- Activities I want to do
- Subjects I want to learn
- Places I want to go
Then, I dedicate time every week to helping them set out tangible steps to make these dreams come true. I don’t mean loaning them cash for a BMW 7-Series or buying a flight to Peru. Helping in this case means showing them how to break down their goals into small, attainable steps. Or it could mean lending expertise and calling in favors from your own network.
Putting It in Motion
One of the first times I tried this exercise, I found three of my employees had listed "pay off my student loans" as one of their goals. They were being crushed by the burden and couldn’t seem to get ahead. So I sat them all down, worked out budgets with each of them and followed up weekly to see how things were working out.
Within six months they were either out of debt or well on their way. More than that, these guys suddenly had enough money to save and invest for the future.
So with a few hours worth of mentoring I had not only saved my guys from a bad situation, I had also created loyal partners for life. They’ll never forget what I did for them.
Another Way to Look at It
You can even think about this selfishly, if you want. Help enough people achieve their dreams, and you’ll create a huge network of loyal people to lean on for any favor you might need, whether it be hockey tickets, stock advice or even an extra hand when you're moving.
Everyone says a company is like a family, but it’s just lip service unless you really support your employees. Listen to their goals, work your hardest to mesh them with your own and you’ll be amazed by what can happen.
How do you support your employees' goals?
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