Look What They Make You Give

Did you see the recent Bourne movies The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum?  In the first movie, The Bourne Identity, Jason and Marie run into the countryside to hide out at her friend Eamon's chateau.  Another of the Treadstone assasins, The Professor, played by Clive Owen, comes to kill Bourne, but Jason thwarts the effort and mortally wounds the Professor.  Before the Professor dies, he says to Jason, "Look at this. Look what they make you give." You can watch a clip of the movie here.

In the final movie, when a confused young assassin has his sights set on Jason and we're wondering if this is the end, Jason strikes up a short conversation with the man.  "Do you even know why you're supposed to kill me?  Look at us. Look what they make you give."

What do you make your employees give?

Do you lead a team or a company?  Have you considered the question from their perspective?  Have you even considered (or truly appreciated) how much your success depends on your associates' contribution?  They contribute their lives in exchange for your organization's success.  What do you offer in return?

Many CEO's and executives spend their career's pursuing customers and stockholders.  There are countless legends about executives and large clients or stockholders. As an executive, what keeps you awake at night, the loss of a huge account or poor return for the owners?

Would anyone consider the most important question answered by any company as "Do we reward our people fairly?  Do we appreciate the contribution made by our associates?"  As an employee, think about your current or past employers.  Do you think your present company spends more time making sure shareholders, customers or employees are satisfied with the results?

Consider the associate's perspective.  Every employee or associate asks the question, "What must I give, and what do I get for it?  I'm investing my life in this company.  What do I get in return?  What's the ultimate reward of spending my life at your company?"

Matthew Kelly's book titled The Dream Manager presents an interesting idea in the way of giving back to your associates.  The book is written as a fable with practical application at the end.  The story is about a fictional janitorial service company in the midwest.  The had very high turnover and their head of operations wanted to do something about it.  So they came up with the idea of helping their people reach their dreams.  The fable is a believable story about how this worked out, all the way down to using very believable yet surprising numbers about how the company was transformed, how the leadership came to embrace the idea and how the lives of the people working for this company were changed.  The story is a great idea about creating a process to equip your employees to achieve their goals and dreams BECAUSE  the work for you, not in spite of working for you.

The book is worth reading twice, or more.  In three hours (or less for you lucky readers) you can pick up some great ideas and energy for making a difference in the workplace. I was so excited after having read it that I went the next week to their Living The Dream event, a day long seminar that helps drive home the principles in the book.  Floyd Consulting leads the event. It was exciting and energizing to be in a room of people that shared the dream of helping people reach their dreams through their employment.  It was a great day.

At the event, I found out that the book was less a work of fiction than I originally thought.  It's based on actual events at real companies, but some things were changed to make it so the companies themselves did not become the focal point of the book.  I agree the Dream Manager process needs to be the point. Focus on the organizations would create an undue burden for those same businesses. The people behind the idea are committed to helping businesses improve employee engagement and improve top and bottom line results at the same time.

When was the last time you thought deeply about your own dreams?  Have you made the progress you hoped you would on your dreams?  I am still trying to figure mine out. I was disappointed by the lack of clarity and focus around my own dreams. It's no wonder then that we're not on the road to achieving them.  Only when you begin to focus, identify, plan and work toward your dreams do they start becoming reality.

Do you dream of helping others? The Dream Manager is a good way to start. Begin your dream pursuit anew.  If you haven't read the book, get a copy. Have you thought about your dreams? Leave a comment and help us with your ideas. Either way, the more you focus on your dreams, the greater the chances you'll achieve them. Let's live our lives on purpose.

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