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The Invisible Power of Dreams

Up until now, everyone at Admiral had resisted the temptation to do interviews with the media. They had published some of their notes and manuals on a public Web site to help other companies who wanted to emulate the program, but they didn't feel media coverage was necessary. And then came the call that seemed too good to turn down.

Sandra had been promoted to Dream Manager about twelve months earlier, and she had hired Stuart as Simon's new assistant. It was Stuart who had taken the call.

At the time, Simon had asked not to be disturbed and had his phone blocked accordingly. So when Stuart went into his office, Simon had his eyes closed and his feet up on the desk.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I think you'll want to take this call,” Stuart explained.

“Probably not,” Simon replied, without even opening his eyes.

“It's Linda Gray, the producer of The Frank Morgan Show.

“And?”

“They want to know if you'll appear on the show.”

Simon still didn't open his eyes or take his feet off the desk. “Tell them I'm flattered by the offer, but no thank you.”

Stuart just looked at him.

“Is there a reason you're still standing in my office?” Simon said a few minutes later, sensing that he was still in the room.

Stuart went back to his desk and picked up the phone. The voice on the other end of the phone was clearly used to getting a very different kind of response.

The next afternoon, Stuart received another call for Simon; this time it was Frank Morgan.

“You can't not take this one,” Stuart said to him. “It would be rude, even arrogant.”

“Hello!” Simon said, picking up the phone.

The conversation that followed consisted of Simon turning down the request again and Frank Morgan arguing that millions of Americans would benefit and be inspired by the wisdom Simon had discovered and was now in a position to share in an interview.

The following Tuesday, Simon appeared on The Frank Morgan Show. It was one of those rare moments in television when the person being interviewed was not selling something and was undeniably interesting just because of who he was and what he had accomplished.

“How did this idea of a Dream Manager ever come to you?” Frank asked to begin.

“You know, we had a big problem and it seemed every other company was just trying to put a Band-Aid on the problem, and I started to think that we needed a radically different solution. Looking around at our employees, they just seemed miserable. So I started to ask myself: How can we inspire these people? And we're a janitorial company, so I knew it wasn't going to be the work. Then I thought about all the gimmicky things corporations do in an attempt to inspire their employees. And then I started to study the very nature of inspiration and observe what people are most inspired about. It was then that I discovered that we are driven by our dreams.”

“In what way?” Frank asked, intrigued with the concept.

“We become our dreams,” Simon explained. “You tell me what your dreams are and I'll tell you what sort of a person you are. Your dreams tell me not only what sort of a person you are today, but also what sort of person you aspire to be in the tomorrows of your life.”

The interview lasted the whole hour and Simon took calls from all across the country.

Over and over, Simon gave powerful and potent examples of how the Dream Manager Program had application not only in the corporate world, but in marriage, parenting, friendship, politics, education, and every other arena of life and society.

“Helping people chase and fulfill their dreams is one of the primary functions of all relationships,” he explained to one caller, “and this is true whether that relationship is between husband and wife, parent and child, or employer and employee.”

Toward the end of the hour, Frank asked Simon, “What would you say to a business owner or corporate executive who is watching tonight?”

“Just this — the greatest problems we will face in corporate America in the next twenty years all surround the area of human resources, in particular, talent and labor. Executives will ignore these challenges at their peril. CEOs have to become as dedicated to scouting, nurturing, and acquiring talent as football coaches are. The future of any sporting franchise depends on the talent that takes the field. What makes you think your business is any different?”

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