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Book Recommendation – The Dream Manager

Title: The Dream Manager

Author: Matthew Kelly

The Problem:

Facing a turnover rate of over 100% for a quarter, Admiral Cleaning had a massive issue with turnover, morale, and engagement from their staff. Managing profitability and productivity as a small business owner is challenging enough, particularly so in a tight job market. The cost of continual hiring, dis-engaged employees, and low morale contribute to thin margins and missed targets. The reality is, few people work for money alone. To unlock the potential of your team, you’ve got to ensure 1.) your employees have dreams, 2.) actively learn what those dreams are, and 3.) facilitate the planning to reach those dreams.

By seeking to understand each team member – their reason for being – their wants, dreams, ambitions, and hopes – you can attain happier customers, healthier margins, and stronger relationships with happier, more engaged employees.


  1. When facing turnover, disengaged employees, and low productivity, many companies throw money at the problem.

  2. Rarely do employers seek to understand why staff members are under-performing or why peers leave their positions.

  3. Take time to ask – directly – what your employees and peers dreams are.

  4. Early dreams tend to be easily attainable or wildly unattainable on any foreseeable timeline. Overtime and with success, people will better identify dreams that are challenging but realistic.

  5. Many simply need assistance with the planning steps to realize their dreams. Others need financial coaching. Others need accountability and encouragement.

Why Read It:

Hearing the story of a company that transitioned from 100% turnover rate to 0% is fascinating in and of itself. When you combine the improvement in productivity with bottom-line results, the outcome to a business can be radical. Stepping aside from the financial performance of the company, taking the time to invest in your employees’ dreams is highly rewarding. Helping a staff-member have “a proper Christmas” or buy their first home would be life-changing.

This is a book I found highly inspirational as it drives far beyond net profit and EBITDA numbers. It’s more than business philosophy or negotiating tactics. It challenges the reader to be an instrument of change – an amplifier of realization for the people we rely on every day in our businesses. It challenges me to be a better owner. Ultimately, it fits with my personal legacy that can ripple through lives for years after my time is over.