Making Dreams Matter

Dreams smolder and die unless others own them.

Passion isn’t meaningful until it ignites others.

Igniting passion isn’t pumping up. Pumping up:

  1. Is fun at events but manipulative as long-term strategy.
  2. Places unnecessary burden on leaders and managers.
  3. Never lasts.
  4. Drains and exhausts. Pumping up pours energy from you to others.


Healthy people all dream the same dream;
they long to matter.

Igniting passion is always about their dream not yours. Leaders are matches. Fire and heat come from others.

Flames ignite the moment others see themselves in your dream. Help them find a place and watch the magic.

They own it when they’re in it.


Pumping up is pushing. Igniting passion is releasing. Once their fire starts, step back. Don’t control it; focus and fuel it.

  1. Avoid limiting. Let your dream grow beyond you.
  2. Don’t correct. See where they go.
  3. Keep talking big picture and results. Passion and expertise from others fill in details.


Details kill baby dreams. Let them grow legs before detailing them to death. Talk “what” when dreams are young. Talk “how” when they can walk.

The right people:

Dream killers are everywhere. Success depends on talking to people who share your values. Casually bring up your idea and watch for the sparkle. If you don’t see it, move on. They may ignite later.

Pulling not pushing:

Passionate people pull you; you don’t push them. There’s nothing better than watching a collection of small fires become one giant blaze.


Keep your dream in the back, like a back-seat drive. Keep their dream in the front. Everyone wants to matter. Give them a way.

Has someone ignited your passion? What did they do?

Have you ignited fires? What did you do?