The Real Truth About Dreams
It doesn’t matter how inspired you feel, if others don’t feel it.
Martin Luther King Jr. inspired people, not because he had a dream, but because others felt the dream in themselves.
You feel it – they don’t:
Leaders feel dreams first.
Your response to people who don’t feel the dream defines your leadership.
- Arrogant leaders know what others should feel. Arrogance expresses itself in pressuring people. The results of pressuring are stress in leaders and resistance from others.
- Incompetent leaders, who feel the dream, find fault with those who don’t. Fault-finding seldom inspires.
- Wise leaders make space for others to see themselves in the dream. A dream isn’t a dream until you’re in it.
You feel a dream’s power when you see yourself in it.
Inviting people to dream is an invitation to feel something because they imagine themselves in new ways.
Everyone who dreams imagines who they could be.
4 ways to make space for others to feel dreams:
You expand another’s potential when you make space for them to dream.
- Be wrong once in awhile. Your need to be right sucks the oxygen out of dreams. The battle for who’s right ends with losers. Guess how much energy “losers” feel.
- Accept others for who they are. People with dreams don’t need to be changed by you. They change themselves.
- Reject illusions of grandeur. When you’re the biggest person in the room, there’s little room for others. It takes a long time and a lot of failure for the illusion of grandeur to evaporate from arrogant leaders. “Grand” leaders tend to devalue others.
- Understand the difference between dreams and execution. Others may know how to achieve your dream better than you.
How might leaders stop sucking the energy out of others?
How might leaders tap the power of dreams?
Thank you for this inspiring post. I couldn’t agree more that great leaders help people find their own intrinsic inspiration and are wise enough to know they don’t know it all. They walk beside those they lead. They listen intently to what gets said. They know there is more to learn each and every day. They don’t waste time on finger pointing because they know it is counterproductive and will never build the engaged team they want to have.
Thanks Mim. The thing in your comment that grips me is listening. It’s easier to know what makes people tick if we listen to them.
It’s probably worth quote T.E. Lawrence here. In The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, he wrote this:
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.”
Thanks Mitch. Powerful! I’m so glad you added this.
What a topic. Great.
First lesson of leadership starts from here. It’s job of a person who has a special DNA.
1. Dream is part of entire vision. Really who looks for transformation not transaction can dream best, dream is straight pathway of what you are thinking and exactly you are going to do with a certainity and great confidence.
2. Still this breed is rare or very rare or I should say perfect dreamers are absconding. This breed always remain inside and keep talking outside like flow of river with a great energy and midas touch and others only by seeing them can get a lot of motivation.
3. I still keep thinking definitely god sometimes choose special guys and with a perfect touch help people to dream better and actually he himself enjoys the happening and we are calling they are great dreamers.
4. Leadership moves with various dimension like let others sink with your dreams and allow yourself to enjoy your dream with their dreams with a space and right energy.
Miracles happen ……….
Thanks Crazy. The idea of remaining inside and talking outside speaks to me. In one sense a dream is about what’s inside. But, in order for a dream to matter, it turn to the outside. So much to think about.
Well said; I like the part about arrogant and incompetent leaders. Could not find a better description. Thanks
Thanks Life. I just had to reflect on my own experience to find these ideas. 🙂 Best for the journey
Thanks for another thought-provoking post! I will confess that I was always impatient while waiting for all members of a team to “get it” and buy in to the vision or “dream” that was supposed to be moving an organization forward. This is based solely on my experience in public safety where the “top leader” (often an elected official) usually has his or her duties and responsibilities defined by statute. He or she just can’t come in one day with “a dream” and decide that the organization is going into a new business. Thus, game-changing “big dreams” are rare and progress primarily involves improving processes and performance. (Still, no small job.) Such leaders usually come into office with a fairly well-defined vision for the organization. As the one-time “second in command” of such an organization, I often coordinated efforts to fully communicate the vision of the top leader, to ensure that everyone’s ideas got a full hearing, and to ask (and act upon the answers to) questions like “How should we achieve……?,” “How can we make it easier for you to….?, ” or “How do you feel about…?” Creating “co-dreamers” -translating a dream into a shared dream- is difficult, if gauged by success in having everyone enthusiastically embrace the leader’s vision (as refined and shaped by participation and deliberation) and give it anywhere near their full support. Not everyone is willing to “see themselves in the dream” no matter how much “space” -or time- they are given. Ultimately, I saw my duty as a good follower as doing my best to help create that shared vision and then supporting it; overcoming resistance or simple inertia as necessary. In my experience it is hard to move an organization forward unless most of the people are pulling in the right direction, most of the time. Of course, if my vision is drastically different than that of the top leader, it might be time for me to leave! Thanks for once again making me “question my answers.”
Your post reminded me of a quote I have on my desk…”It’s never too late to be what you might have been!” So pursue your dream and take someone with you!!
Lovely post. I love the concept of dreams vs execution. Determining which dreams are those you should chase and those you should just enjoy is the hard part. But well worth investigating.