A good boss is the one who allows people to bring their dreams to work. A great boss is the one who actively encourages them to do so. Let me explain.
Imagine you have a great idea. One you are certain will have a big impact on your organization and team. You’ve spent time envisioning how to accomplish it and how things will look once you do. Though you don’t have all the details ironed out yet, you are really excited about the prospects.
Now imagine you share this idea with your boss. You feel certain she will be excited about it too, but instead she seems only mildly impressed. She then quickly changes the subject and asks you to direct your focus on improving something that feels so minuscule in comparison to what your big idea could provide the company. You leave the conversation feeling confused, frustrated, misunderstood, and unimportant.
This scenario plays out far too often in organizations. It is what too many leaders do. Though usually unintentional, too many leaders crush the dreams of those around them and discourage their people from going for them.
The best leaders however encourage and support their people’s big dreams. They listen to them, ask questions, and draw their big dreams out of them. They tell them “go for it” even when they seem a little far-fetched.
The best leaders are dream enablers and not dream crushers.
Giving permission and encouraging your people to achieve their dreams will help you become a more effective leader. And, who knows, it may even lead to performance beyond your wildest dreams.