4 Ways to Throw Gas – not water – On Dreams

People are excited to do what they want to do, not what you want them to do. The sooner you embrace this idea, the more successful you’ll become.

Control resources. Release people.

leaders don't dream for others they help others dream for themselves


Leaders think:

  1. You could do ….
  2. You could become …
  3. You should …

I’ve always seen the great things others could do. It’s frustrating when your aspirations for others exceed the aspirations they have for themselves. It’s also futile, unnecessary and self-defeating.

Successful leaders don’t dream for others. They help others dream for themselves.

4 ways to throw gas – not water – on dreams:

#1. Know their strengths. Fixing weaknesses doesn’t ignite dreams.  

Don’t pressure people to be like you. Encourage them to be like themselves.

#2. Know their story.

We’re answering our own struggles, disappointments, and pain. How many social workers grew up in an abusive home, for example?

When someone wants to lead, ask:

  1. What’s important to you about this?
  2. Where does this desire come from?
  3. How does this passion express what you’re all about?

#3. Connect story with action.

I recently asked a leader what was behind their desire to lead an initiative. Imagine my surprise when she said, “When I was eight, my parents got a divorce.” 

Give purpose by connecting story with aspiration.

Everyone has passion within. Your job is to create an environment where they find and express it.

#4. Give practical expression to aspiration.

Energy erupts when people find something specific to do that makes the world better today. It’s never enough to say, “I want to make the world better.” Who doesn’t? 

People are excited about their own dreams, not the dreams you have for them.

How might leaders ignite and fuel aspiration in others?