Finding Joy In and Outside of Work Through Dreams (feat. Dane Espegard)

Feb 1, 2022

What if finding joy outside of work is one secret to finding joy at work? 


Think of the last time you felt true joy. Maybe it was going for a walk at the beach. Painting. Playing tennis.


What lights you up?


So often, your career, family, and responsibilities prevent you from feeling connected to your dreams for your life.


But dreams aren’t meant to be forgotten.


What if you could reignite your passion for your dreams? How would that joy impact your life at home and at work?


Dane Espegard is the bestselling author of The Dream Machine: A Leader’s Guide to Creating Teams of High Performers Who Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes. As a consultant, he has spent 15 years teaching and executing company cultures centered on dream-achieving. He is also a division manager at Vector Marketing where he leads one of their top-performing teams in the nation.


Dane has developed a culture centered around ‘Dreams’ that has led to consistent and explosive growth within his business.


In the latest episode of The Enlightened Executive podcast, Dane explains his Dreams System and shares how leaders can re-engage their teams by helping employees reconnect with their personal dreams. 



Why Dreams are More Powerful than Goal Setting 


Executives and entrepreneurs often use goal setting as a way to inspire teams to strive towards an outcome and be the best employee they can be.


But goal setting is limited in two ways: 


  • It’s usually focused on work and work alone (not accounting for life outside of work).
  • It puts a ceiling on how far individual team members will reach.


“When you ask somebody to set a goal, they say something that they know they can accomplish,” Dane said.


But what if anything were possible?



In Dane’s experience, dreams are a more powerful way to motivate individuals. 


“Dreams get people back to that refreshing period of your life where maybe you didn’t have all these constraints or these perceived constraints of finances, time, your family, and your mortgage,” Dane said.


For leaders, the question isn’t How do I engage my employees here, within the confines of work? Instead, leaders need to be asking how to help employees live a more holistic, joyful life both in and outside of work.


“There’s only one life and I can’t get employees to turn that off when they come to work,” Dane said. If employees are alive and joyful at home, that joy will likely bleed into work and reignite a passion for their role.



How to Use Dreams to Ignite and Maintain an Engaged Team 


In Dane’s experience, having dreams outside of work re-engages team members. Work no longer is an obligation keeping you from doing what you want to do; it enables you to pursue your dreams and live the life you’ve always wanted.


Focusing on dreams allows people to return to what used to light them up and bring them joy. If they have joy outside of work, they’re more likely to bring that joy and passion to their roles at work.


After he realized how much he missed playing basketball, Dane added playing basketball every week to his dreams list. “Once I reconnected with the thing I did all the time growing up, I’m a better dad. I’m a better husband. I’m a better leader at work,” he said.


“Let’s forget about what you do at work right now. What are the things that you want to do in life that would get you back on a path of being alive?” Dane asked.



Here’s how to integrate dreams into your company culture to keep employees engaged at work:


1.  Lead by example and create your own dreams list. 


What activities used to light you up? How did you spend your time before work and life obligations started to interfere?


Maybe you loved playing basketball on the weekend with friends. Hiking with family. Swimming, running, painting, horseback riding. Make a list of 20 things you loved to do, but life got in the way.


2. Guide your team to list their individual dreams.


When Dane works with companies, he uses nine categories to touch on different areas of life, such as career, family, health, and travel.


Ask your team members what they would do if anything were possible. Encourage them to think back to their childhood or teenage years to reconnect with what they truly enjoy spending their time doing.


3. Have team members share their dreams aloud.


Sharing dreams out loud helps teams create lasting bonds. They’ll discover what dreams they have in common and get to know each other on a deeper level, fostering connections that make work more enjoyable.


Dane recommends making sure the Dreams conversation doesn’t stop here. At the beginning of every meeting, Dane’s team recognizes anyone who’s accomplished a dream.


“It’s giving the people that are living their dreams the spotlight for just a moment,” Dane said. “It puts people over profits. And because we do that, dreams are always at the front of individuals’ minds.”


Leaders must practice putting people over profits to retain top talent and keep employees engaged, motivated, and inspired at work. 



Dane also shares…


  • Why it’s okay for employees to dream beyond their company
  • The impact of dreams on work performance
  • Why passion doesn’t have to come from your work



If you liked this episode, you may also benefit from hearing:


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