The Inspiring Power of Dreams and the Business Solutions They Provide

If you’re a leader looking for good leadership tips, I have one for you: Pay attention to the dreams you have at night.

The selections below are from chapter 1 of What Your Dreams Are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep, which Cindy McGill and I (David Sluka) wrote together. It’s a positive, encouraging look at how what you dream at night can provide solutions during the day.

You’ll see how one leader of a Fortune 500 Company listened to her dream and brought a significant change to business and the way an industry does business. I’m very proud to personally know Julie Gilbert Newrai—whose story we tell to open the book. She’s amazing and the work she does is amazing. I’m grateful she let us tell her story. Enjoy it and be encouraged to let your dreams at night make a difference during the day.

The piece you're looking for might come as you sleep.

Dreams unlock solutions while you sleep. What are your dreams telling you?

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What kind of business results do you think a dream at night could inspire? How about a $4.4 billion increase in revenue!

In 2004 Julie Gilbert Newrai was creating a new business called Magnolia Home Theater for Best Buy Company, Inc. As she built Magnolia, she continually asked herself if a frontline employee or a customer with the same idea as she had could ever realize the opportunity of bringing a new, game-changing business to life. With that in mind, she created an internal program inviting the creative voices of employees and customers to be heard. The passion and innovation she found in these voices deeply impacted Julie.

As part of the business development process, Julie also interviewed high-end male customers and their wives, which increased her awareness of the influence and spending power of women. Simply put, women were making the overwhelming majority of purchases in Best Buy stores (and in every major industry around the globe), and no process existed to bring their fresh ideas to life.

During this time, Julie had a dream taking her back to her childhood when she would stay up late at night listening to wolves howl. She immediately saw the similarity between what was happening at Best Buy and the voices of the wolves. The voices of customers and customer-facing employees were like the howls, except that they went unheard and therefore were not receiving the attention necessary to bring forth any winning combination of business ideas.

Inspired by this dream, Julie created WOLF, which she defines as “a methodology and structure of global innovation teams.” These teams, called wolf packs, were comprised of customers and employees. The wolf packs were connected to key executive business leaders who could implement the best ideas the wolf packs generated about training, marketing, call centers, website design, store design, hiring and other key business elements.

Four years after the dream that led to Julie’s creation of WOLF, some of the business outcomes it achieved at Best Buy included:

  • $4.4 billion increase in revenue from female customers (11 percent increase in total company revenue)
  • Highest ever female market share in company history
  • Largest increase in brand perception in company history
  • Passionate, global, viral customer networks growing market share and innovating new business offerings
  • 5 percent reduction in female turnover, resulting in a minimum of $25 million in savings
  • 18 percent increase in the number of female employees
  • 40 percent increase in female general managers and general managers in training, and 60 percent increase in female operations managers

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Who Does God Want to Bless? by Dick Hochreiter

Super to Natural Front Cover OnlyThe article below is adapted from the book How to Bring God’s Super to Your Natural by Dick Hochreiter. I had the privilege to work with Dick to write four smaller booklets and then later compile them into this book, which Dick has shared around the world. He is a businessman and former Marine who loves to bless people and help them experience God’s presence.

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Do you believe God wants to bless everyone? I find that most people believe that God only wants to bless some people, like those who go to church, who obey His commands, or do good things.

A few years ago I was a few seats away from a woman on an airplane who was visibly sick. I felt God wanted me to pray for her. I said to the woman sitting next to her, “I’m a minister and I’d love to pray for that woman if she wants me to. Could you ask her?” She asked and the lady said, “Yes, of course. Please!” She had a serious migraine that wasn’t going away. I switched seats so I could sit next to the lady with the migraine, anointed her with oil, and prayed for her.

A woman sitting on the other side of the woman I was praying for said to me, “Do you do this often?”

I replied, “Just when the Lord shows me that people need help. I like to help them.”

She asked me if I was a minister. “Well,” I responded, “Not like you would understand. I minister in marketplace businesses around the world.”

She then inquired what I do when I go into businesses. I told her we pray and bless. “These are all believers, right?” she asked.

“No, not necessarily. We just go wherever God leads us. We minister to believers or unbelievers. That doesn’t matter to us.”

This woman’s attitude changed immediately. She said, “You can’t just bless people.” Without using the exact words, she basically went on to explain, “God doesn’t want to bless everyone, only certain people.”

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Racial Pain in America: Why People of Color View Injustice Differently Than American Caucasians – by Alice Patterson

BRPD - Front Cover - 2012.10.12The article below is adapted from chapters one and two of the book Bridging the Racial and Political Divide by Alice Patterson. I had the privilege to work with Alice on this book, which contains seasoned insights about the root of our present racial and political situation—and what to do about it.

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I don’t remember how I found out. I just grew up knowing it. Papa, Dad’s father, had once joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the early 1900s in Oklahoma. The family moved to Texas in 1924 when my father was six years old and Papa’s Klan activity ceased. I thought the KKK was something like a volunteer sheriff’s posse—a citizen group that helped to enforce the law.

That’s a genuine case of whitewash, but it’s really what I thought. I didn’t ask questions.

I can’t explain how I could live my teenage years during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s without being affected by it, but I did. Now I’m saddened by the thought. But at that time I was ignorant and in my little White world in Earth, Texas, population 1,087 with less than 30 Black folk.

I remember the time I went inside the Colored school to deliver a note to the teachers. The Colored school was a small white stucco building among four large brick modern structures for White students. There were less than fifteen students— most of them were elementary school age. I knew that Black kids were in the separate, inferior school, but I didn’t ask why. I didn’t question the way things were.

I didn’t watch the news on television or read national newspapers. I know it sounds impossible, but I lived through my high school years without realizing that there was a struggle going on among Black folk for basic human rights. In 1970 after I was married, I remember seeing a Black guy in a red bandana with his fist in the air during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at a college football game. I was shocked, but I was not compelled to find out why he was angry at our nation.

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So What’s Your Problem? Discerning the Root of the Fruit You Hate – by Anthony Hulsebus

Rejection Exposed frontThe article below is adapted from chapter one of the book Rejection Exposed: Understanding the Root and Fruit of Rejection by Anthony Hulsebus. I had the privilege to work with Anthony on this book and the workbook that goes with it, which contain very helpful and timely content to deal with the root of the problems in our lives.

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Bad things happen. We all get hurt and we all hurt others.

We’re part victims and part villains. So what do we do about it?

I suggest we have missed the answer in two areas: first, we have focused on the fruit and not the root; and second, we have ignored the spiritual side of life.

Many of us struggle with the fruits of anger, fear, anxiety, addictions, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, depression, etc. We don’t like the bad fruit in our lives (or in the lives of others) and we try all kinds of things to fix our problems.

We try better or different friends, new hobbies, new clothes, new jobs, new location, therapy, and even religion, but we often don’t experience the change we want. We have failed to see the root of the problem, so we can never change the fruit.

Our issues become the proverbial weed in the sidewalk that we pull every week, but it just keeps growing back because we can’t get at the root! We constantly ask ourselves, “What is my problem?” or “What is their problem?”

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Do Men Really Have a Greater Sex Drive? – by Eric T. Smith

The-Science-of-a-Woman ebookIn 2012 I had the privilege of working with Eric T. Smith on his book The Science of a Woman—The Art of Manhood: Keys to the Glory of Marriage. The following excerpt is from chapter 5, “If It Doesn’t Feel Good, Something Is Wrong.” This is a read-at-your-own-risk book that’s sure to mess with your ideas about what marriage and sex can really be like.

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Why is it that many wonderful men have sex with wives who don’t really want to?

A pastor friend and I were discussing a book about understanding women and I pointed out that the author made a damaging error. He said that compared to a man, a woman doesn’t have a sex drive. I then drew a diagram on paper showing a man’s sex drive at one hundred and a woman’s at twenty-five. I said to him, “This is what many Christian books say isn’t it?”

He replied, “Yes, do you disagree?”

Instead of answering directly, I then asked, “And almost everyone you know has an experience that matches the books, right?”

He said, “Yes!”

I continued, “Would you agree that the implication is that God created it that way?”

He said, “Yes.”

I asked, “Would you also say that this is a conflict that couples have to work out?”

Again he agreed.

I answered, “So God created a conflict that we have to resolve. Couples negotiate an agreement because of their love for one another. The woman rises above her desire level, out of obligation, and the man comes below his desire level, out of obligation. We call this Christ-like love, giving at the expense of self for our spouse.”

Many think a man and a woman must negotiate an agreement to get along sexually.

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