I’ve been spending a lot more time in my car over the last three weeks, so I decided to return to my student status in “Auto University”. I took a trip to my local library to pick up an audio book for my travels and decided to browse the book shelves. As I walked down the aisle, a purple book called “The Dream Manager” caught my attention. I thought the title was awesome because who doesn’t want a “Dream Manager” as in the manager of your dreams. I thought for sure that the pages would be filled with how to become a “Dream Manager” or simply the manager you wish you had. That is not what awaited me when I began to read.
The Dream Manager is my favorite kind of business book. Matthew Kelly outlines management best practices and business growth strategies by telling a parable of a fictional company with well thought our characters and real-life examples that can be applied to any business. The challenges that the company encounters are very familiar, but the solutions are innovative, simplistic, and sustainable.
Managing people is hard work but can be very rewarding. All companies experience some challenge with the universal problems of recruiting, hiring, training, retraining, and advancing their employees. The Dream Manager book addresses each of these areas – which ultimately impact the bottom line – by hiring a literal Dream Manager. A Dream Manager is an employee hired to help both employees and executives reach their personal and professional dreams so that they feel valued and are more engaged and productive in their jobs.
There are so many gems in this book but what I love most about the story is that it validated my management philosophy as well as my knowledge of how a strong internship program can positively impact productivity, performance, and profits. One of my management principles is “we are all in the people business” and The Dream Manager clearly articulates how the right people can make or break a business.
Managers and Executives are responsible for creating the organizational culture and should be intentional and strategic in how they make they happen. The main points I want to share from The Dream Manager are:
- Employees cannot thrive when they are simply trying to survive
- When employees feel appreciated their performance improves
- Employees should be included in problem-solving and strategic planning
- Managers must be willing to try new strategies if they want to see new results
- Always operate in integrity
I was so captivated by The Dream Manager that I completed the book in about two hours. As you continue your journey to become a stronger and more effective manager, I hope that you will add The Dream Manager to your reading list.
Contact me to learn more about how to include an internship program as a part of your employee recruitment and retention strategy.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career development. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.
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