This boss invests in his employees’ dreams

Personal Finance


Later, he initiated dream trust, a program that helps his mostly Mexican and bilingual-speaking employees identify their own personal and professional goals and then provides the means to achieve them. To that end, the company offers training programs on everything from how to build a website to paying down debt.

Handley modeled the program after Matthew Kelly’s book “The Dream Manager” and Jon Butcher’s motivational “LifeBook” sessions, as well as his own experience starting out with nothing.

Now, he encourages every one of his workers to go after their own dreams. ListenTrust budgets about $3,000 a month to the dream trust in addition to keeping a full-time coach on staff to meet with employees and run the program day-to-day.

Individual goals have varied from opening a checking account to launching a business. Some are as simple as earning enough money to buy a new computer for a son or daughter before the start of school.

“We’ve had over 50 dreams already granted, from buying a house to successfully battling addiction,” Handley said. “They’re all pretty meaningful.”

Going forward, Handley said they might increase the budget to sponsor more “bucket-list” excursions like skydiving or scuba diving. (Handley himself is an adventure seeker — he swam with great white sharks in South Africa, snowmobiled across a live volcano in Iceland and hiked through the jungles of Malaysia.)



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