Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job / Edition 1by Dennis W. Bakke
Pub. Date: 02/21/2005
PRAISE FOR JOY AT WORK This is not your everyday leadership book about how to survive in the corporate jungle, or how to outfox the competition to build a bigger bank account. Dennis Bakke knows that business is not just about the bottom line. It's about something much more important. "Work," as Bakke explains, "is one of the ways we honor or… See more details below
PRAISE FOR JOY AT WORK This is not your everyday leadership book about how to survive in the corporate jungle, or how to outfox the competition to build a bigger bank account. Dennis Bakke knows that business is not just about the bottom line. It's about something much more important. "Work," as Bakke explains, "is one of the ways we honor or 'glorify' God." Today, joy and work are rarely used in the same sentence. But God really does intend for us to find joy in our work. Is this possible? Can this be accomplished in a fallen world? Dennis Bakke, a graduate of the Harvard Business School, wrestled with these questions when he cofounded AES, a worldwide energy giant, in 1981. Shaped by his faith, Bakke sets off on a quest to create the most fun workplace ever-using principles established in the Garden. In Joy At Work, Bakke describes how he empowered people to use their God-given talents free of needles bureaucracy, obliterated management, eliminated job descriptions, and pushed decision-making responsibility down to the plant floor. These principles extend beyond the walls of business, and can be applied to nonprofit organizations, churches and even your family. "The idea of creating a workplace in which everyone maximized his or her God-given potential and serves the community is a strong biblical principle. This book provides valuable ideas for leaders who wish to build or strengthen organizations using sound spiritual principles: service, integrity, and social responsibility. Dennis Bakke knows firsthand what it is to put these truths to work." -Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries
About the author:
Dennis W. Bakke was raised in Saxon, Washington and graduated from the University of Puget Sound, Harvard Business School, and the National War College. He co-founded The AES Corporation in 1981 and served as its president and CEO from 1994 to 2002. He is now president and CEO of Imagine Schools, a company that operates elementary and secondary (K-12) charter schools in 10 states. He and his wife, Eileen, live in Arlington, Virginia.
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I think Dennis seems to have a clear vison which is completely different than most of Corporate America. I wish we all adapt his vision.
Joy at Work is a risk-taking, inspirational book that discusses the true purpose of business and demonstrates that empowerment of employees ignites joy and brings success to the workplace. It is a philosophy that should be adopted by all companies and Bakke is a passionate, innovative leader that is revolutionizing the way organizations think.
I have a problem with Bakke¿s idea of ¿fun.¿ Fun, by his definition is a free-for-all. For example, he feels that an organization¿s ¿amount of fun¿ is determined by ¿the number of individuals allowed to make decisions¿ (99). I agree that sharing information ¿reinforces the feeling of community¿ (98), but I don¿t agree with his suggestion that leaders should ¿ask for as much advice as possible before making a decision¿ (88). ¿Sharing information¿ and ¿seeking advice¿ are two different things. Bakke misuses the analogy of a child jumping into the arms of a parent by stating that the same is required of leaders to jump into the arms of the subordinate (103). It is the subordinate who should trust the leader. In one section of the book, he stresses the importance of ¿asking for as much advice as possible before making a decision.¿ But in another section he shares the story of his administrative assistant who ¿routinely checks with the office accountant to see how her decisions would affect the budget, but no higher approval is necessary¿ (apparently no other advice is needed as well) (79). His idea of leadership lacks strength by decentralizing decision-making to others. In his postscript, Bakke discusses Biblical leadership. At first glance, what he writes sounds Biblical¿¿serve the people they lead,¿ and ¿allow followers to use their talents effectively¿ (261), but his overall idea of leadership is not Biblical. For instance, he says, ¿The Creation story does not assign people, even leaders, the responsibility of `managing¿ other people¿ (261)¿ I wonder what he thought God meant in Genesis 3:16 when He told Eve, ¿he will be your master.¿ The Bible doesn¿t use the word, ¿manage,¿ but God entrusted leaders to people throughout the Bible¿that¿s why there were judges in the OT. I don¿t think the Israelites would¿ve left the wilderness if Moses asked ¿as many as possible¿ before making a decision.