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And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership

    At last a book that truly embodies the American Dream! Jim DeSpain has lived the life and walked the walk, and here in his book, he talks the talk. It's refreshing to read a book about business that has quite a different philosophy than the greed that is such a hallmark of the American business culture and which threatens long-term American prosperity by tearing down corporations rather than building them up, brick by brick, starting with the bricks and mortar that are the everyday personnel that DeSpain focuses on. Perhaps it's beacause of his background, working his way up from the shop floor and not forgetting where he came from, that gives DeSpain his understanding that the American Dream is for everyone, not just for the few. His philosophy, which eschews greed, is based on the simple tenet that when one benefits, we all benefit. This utilitarianism, if practiced widely, just might save the American, America-based corporation from extinction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2003

    And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership

    I came across this book while visiting the Peoria area on a business trip and read it during my stay (it was probably the most constructive thing that came out of the trip). I found the book to be very valuable and have urged other managers at my company to read the book. Somehow over the last five years the idea of quality circles and the empowerment of employees has been forgotten and replaced by a system more focused on boosting the bottom line by letting employees go rather than turning them into profit centers that add to the bottom line. Bravo to Jim DeSpain for sharing his story and reminding us that it is PEOPLE that need to be the focus of corporate strategy, PEOPLE that need to be the first concern of managers. Focus on PEOPLE, as Jim DeSpain reminds us, and the profits will follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    Incredibly interesting and a genuine look at corporate life

    James DeSpain and Jane Bodman Converse's "And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership" proved to be an incredibly interesting book about corporate life as it tells the story of an hourly employee who worked his way up off the shop floor to become the vice president of a major manufacturing company. I found the personal aspect of this book, Mr. Despain's own story of his struggles up the corporate ladder, especially his not always pleasant relations with the workers he left behind and his fellow high-level executives, to be a breath of fresh air. I mean: this book is really readable! What I like about this book is it's not some puff-piece about some pampered and overpaid C.E.O., obviously ghostwritten by a fawning, and well-compensated, member of the New York financial press. In these times, what with all the scandals that have decimated the reputation of many firms and sent the stock markets roiling, it's great to read the story of a second-tier senior executive, a vice president who came up through the ranks; this man is real, and his story is real. This story is more illuminating because it is rooted in a reality that all of us who have toiled in the corporate world can understand. This book is a must read in these new economic times. James Despain's story, for my money, is far more genuine than that of some fat-cat C.E.O. trying to cash in yet again, after seducing stockholders and bamboozling his board of directors, by trying to hoodwink the reading public with insincere, prefabricated prose. James Despain's story takes you right into the guts of a corporation and the working world. You can actually FEEL what it's like, like as if you were reading a good novel. In summary, this is one of the best business books I have read in a long time, and business journalism is my bread and butter. I was happily suprised by this book and heartily recommend it to ANYONE, even those not particularly interested in business. It's that good.

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