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The Dream Manager

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,815 ratings  ·  237 reviews
A business parable about how companies can achieve remarkable results by helping their employees fulfill their dreams Managing people is difficult. With disengagement and turnover on the rise, many managers are scratching their heads wondering what to do. It's not that we dont dream of being great managers, it's just that we havent found a practical and efficient way to do ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,815 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm not a huge fan of parable books. Nothing ever seems to go wrong and I'm left wondering about the real application of the system they propose.

There are a few good suggestions. Listen to your employees, help them plan their future by asking them about what their "dreams" (purpose) is and then suggest how they accomplish it.

I'm not so sure it's as simple as pointing people to college admissions to fulfill their education dream or showing them how they can buy a house for the home ownership dr
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
An organization can only become the best version of itself to the extent that the people who drive that organization are striving to become better versions of themselves.
People stop dreaming because they get caught up in the hustle and bustle of surviving. And once we stop dreaming, we start to lead lives of quiet desperation, and little by little the passion and energy begin to disappear from our lives.
There are places I want to go, things I want to see and relationships I want to improve.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book claims to be advice about managment, but it's that but is actually a self-help book. It should be two page pamphlet because that's all the practical advice it gives.

The bulk of the book is a completely fictional tale of a company that hires a team of financial/career/life coaches to fullfill the dream lists of its employees and why this makes the company hugely successfull & profitable, and how the fictional characters become the happy and successful people they always wished they coul
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
I really loved this book! It reminded me of how important it is to DREAM! :) What is your dream???! :)

The book tells of a janitorial service business with such a high turnover rate that the organization is inefficient and beginning to be unprofitable. As they try to decide what to do to turn things around they decide they need to invest in their employees more and help them be more engaged. Through several company surveys and focus groups they discover that people are passionate about their dre
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"The Dream Manager" is a leadership fable in the same spirit as the excellent books written by Patrick Lencioni. The story part of the book takes the reader into the day to day operations of Admiral Janitorial Services. Like many companies today, they have serious difficulties with employee morale and rampant turnover. Simon, the general manager suggests an out of the box idea to improve the morale and turnover problems through helping their employees realize their dreams. Thus, the Dream Manage ...more
Alice Riethman
Nov 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, business
I think that this book may have changed my life! Matthew Kelly is a very insightful author and in this book he takes on employee enagement issues. You may be thinking that you don't much care about corporate reading - but this book goes far beyond that. At the end the book he challenges the reader to start their own Dream Book. What is a a Dream Book? You have to read and find out :-). ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
Blech. Way too "touchy feely" and the company used as the main example is all fictional! Come on...give me some real data from real life examples. Basically I think I'm supposed to get my employees to fill out "dream journals" and envision their ideal future. Maybe I'll bring some incense to my next staff meeting too. ...more
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kendra by: Mom
Shelves: library-reads
Dream baby, DREAM!
Are you
* Unmotivated
* Negative
* Cynical
* stuck
* in a rut
* depressed
* uninspired
* clueless
* dunno what the next step is...
Then this IS the book for you!!! Read it, think about it, follow the directions it provides, but most of all, sit back in your chair, put your feet up, close your eyes and DREAM!
Kelly Sapp
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly, inspiringly true. A must-read for every leader.
Scott Stevens
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Good book. It's one of those rare books that really blends business with something as personal as ones dreams. The concept of the book, a company hiring a person to "manage the employees dreams" is somewhat far fetched for your everyday corporation, but the story of this particular company, a janitorial service, doing it, is a great story to follow. In saying that, the entire book is about the same company, kind of loses its luster, but does remain on track throughout.

What I truly did draw from
Nick Marzano
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book took me in two different directions, often within the same page, paragraph, or sentence. At times I felt it's fictional narrative was designed to be emotionally manipulative on a scale even with drivel like Tuesdays With Morrie or Anna Quindlen books. The scenario consists of a simple problem in a simple organization with a familiar, non-complex hierarchical management structure. The rousing successes experienced from a business end and by those who find their dreams fulfilled are cont ...more
Damien Jones
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick read which is good. I am starting to notice a pattern in many corporate management books where there is a new way of saying the same principles like efficient management, high impact communications. Then the rest of the book is repackaged drivel. Matt Kelly avoids this by telling a great story where he helps a friend transform his cleaning service by having more stock in the individual employees personal goals. He doesn't waste time with rolling out the same principles and attach the word ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm fairly certain that if I had read this book 5 or 6 years ago, I would have agreed with a lot of the one or two star reviews. Yes, this book is not what I thought it was. I thought I was going to read a book that would tell me how to be a better Manager. It's a business parable. And yeah, since its' fictional, we don't know if it's going to work. There's no real world data on the success rate of this program, or how to go about implementing it. But what it did do for me was give me a good ide ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I really enjoyed this book for the practical application to both work and life generally. My favorite take-away was the simple reminder to define and write down your dreams, then ensure that you help others achieve those dreams, in addition to creating a path for your own. From a workplace perspective it's a great conversation starter with your colleagues as you get to know each other and also for your team -- but most importantly how to equip, enable, encourage, champion, and cheer others along ...more
The Dream Manager makes the argument for working for people who genuinely care about us. To some extent, I could have already argued the point, by doing a basic comparison of who I've worked for before, and how much I've enjoyed the experience.

Matthew Kelly goes deeper on that, to focus on how connecting our dreams to our work makes us better employees, because we are better people.

I'm reading this book at the behest of my current manager, and can admit to being intrigued. How do I find the time
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Another gem brought in by a fellow student in my unemployment course...this should be required reading for anyone who ever has been, is, or ever wants to be a manager of people. I am still having a tough time believing this isn't a work of fiction...I've worked for a huge corporation and a small one and neither was even remotely like this. In fact, the smaller one was even further off this mark than the gigantic one. I so believe in the founding principle here...that if you treat people with res ...more
Jenn Malone
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
It is amazing how themes repeat in your life until you get it. My boss asked me to read this book just a few weeks after I came back from a seminar on Life Success. Then she turned around and gave me a dream journal for Christmas. Working for a company, much like the one in teh book, that takes time to worry about what you want and makes effort to help you figure out how to get there can make all the difference in the world.

It isn't just about work. What do you do to help those people important
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is another that presents it's concepts as a narrative story of a fictitious company. While this device effectively provides simultaneous example and concept, it comes off as "too perfect" in many places. Nevertheless, the book provides a powerful idea on a simple way to harness good will in relationships, business or personal.

What are your dreams? Have you given up on them? Have you even forgotten them? This book challenges us to not only remember our dreams but to seek them and help o
Adam Decker
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This book had some good messages. I subscribe to the concept of taking care of your employees and they'll embrace their employer. The connection to helping them fulfill their dreams is an approach I hadn't thought of before and will be looking to somehow parlay into my business. I couldn't help but think though as I read the book that the it was about a fictional company. A lot of conclusions and results from implementing this were projected. How realistic are these results? I'd guess that many ...more
Doug Della pietra
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"I highly recommend this book. Matthew Kelly uses a fictional story to make the point that the "new loyalty" between employee and company is the following "unspoken contract": "An employee is responsible for adding value to the life of the company, and a company is responsible for adding value to the life of an employee." For a company to add value, its leaders and managers must show interest in their employees' dreams and help them achieve them and become the-best-version-of-themselves. By doin ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't care for the first part of the book. The story was good, but because it was fictional it somewhat made me discredit what he was trying to convey. It would of been great if he had shared short stories/testimonies how dream management has impacted people personally and companies. This would of built a better foundation. The second part of the book was my favorite and I did get some nuggets. I'm going to try to set sometime aside this week and write down 100 dreams. Overall a good book and ...more
Sarah Geiger
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Demonstrates the power of dreaming. It helped explain the feeling of "blah" and discord in my work life. This book helps provide hope and a road map to help determine dreams that we may have forgotten.

Dreams are power things. Learning how to track, plan and achieve, can chance lives. This book illustrates how a simple cleaning business turned itself around by investing in its employee's dreams, creating better leaders, better employees, better people, and rewards are so far reaching, it leaves
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
The premise of this book is that building a great organization requires helping people achieve their highest potential. The storyline throughout is a fictional company that implements a "dream manager" program to help motivate people and to help them achieve their goals. I found the first half somewhat simplistic but it grew on me. I still think the concept of. having full-time dream managers for every employee is a stretch. There needs to be more personal accountability. It's still a worthy and ...more
Chuck Jackson
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is made wonderful by it being a narrative most anyone could read in an hour or two. It is the story if listening to people that powerful, boss like people don't have to listen to. It seems like an obvious implementation of the asset building model but has the added plus of the process also being empowering and not just for the down and out. I love the potential this book reveals and feel like it could be used as a model in any church, business, or other group where there is a desire fo ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Excellent ideas, realistic approach for implementation. This goes against the standard business models that focus only on company profit. It takes a look at how individuals being helped to become better people by their companies actually gives the individuals natural inclination to help their company become better. Profit is the natural result. For those that see the value in helping someone besides themselves, this is the natural next step. I would recommend this to anyone who dream ...more
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gary
Matthew Kelly spoke at our church last year. He has a lot of energy and speaks very well on many subjects. In this audio version, I learned how important it is to dream -- at any age. Dreaming creates an inner-energy. Dreaming can make an employee (or an individual within) happy and more loyal to their company. This inspiring book taught me several important lessons about self-fulfillment that applies not only to my workplace, but also to my life outside of work.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Recommended to Kent by: Ryan Gluth
Kelly has provided a nice way of re-stating the golden rule. One of the most surprising realities of my managerial experience is the large number of people who do not have a dream for their lives and even resist developing a dream.

I can't quote it exactly, but it has been said, "A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for."

Helping people dream and live the dream is the at the heart of Kelly's work.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: leadership
It was unnecessary to frame this as a fictional story. It's a disingenuous technique to use when you're trying to posit that a *genuine* connection and interest in your employees' dreams and hopes for the future will make them more invested in their work. I would have been more interested in actual data on the effectiveness of such an approach and real-life examples of these principles in action rather than a fanciful fable spun from yet another business theory. ...more
Heather Young
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a recommended book to me when I was still taking classes and found that it was such a great motivational read! I gave it to my manager at work and it's one of those books that can change your whole outlook on your job, life, and inspire you to dream and dream big!!! All it takes is believing that your dreams are a possibility and moving in a direction to achieve them! AWESOME MUST READ for anyone needing a new perspective on their lives! ...more
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it
A revolutionary idea for anyone who manages people. Matthew Kelly is a better speaker than writer, but his message and passion for life is timeless. I didn't rate this book higher, perhaps because I'm suffering a bit of Matthew Kelly overdose. But if you've never encountered Matthew's work, I'd recommend this book, as well as "Rediscovering Catholicism." Better yet, listen to his speeches... in person or on CD. ...more
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Are employee dreams relevant to a business? 1 8 Nov 02, 2011 06:38PM  

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Matthew Kelly was born in Sydney, Australia, where he began speaking and writing in 1993. Since that time he has travelled in more than fifty countries and spoken to over four million people. He has written twelve books which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists and have been published in twenty-five languages. His titles include: The Rhythm of L ...more

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15 likes · 2 comments
“The future of your organization and the potential of your employees are intertwined; their destines are linked." - Matthew Kelly, The Dream Manager” 0 likes
“The employees now things about our business that we don't. We should do a survey and ask them why they think so many people come and go.” 0 likes
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