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Joy at Work
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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. He and his wife, Eileen, live in Arlington, Virginia.

Reviews

Bakke cofounded international energy giant AES in 1981 and was its president and CEO from 1994 to 2002. This memoir-cum-inspirational business book has an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feel; in relaxed, roundabout prose, Bakke tells of his first work experience (chasing cows to the barn for milking at age five), his schooling, his friendships and partnerships, and how it all coalesced into a philosophy of work that puts employee satisfaction ahead of profit as a company's goalAa frightening thing for most managers. Bakke believes worker autonomy and self-determination to be the straightest path to success. Most of the book takes AES as a case study; his matter-of-fact descriptions of the Houston power plant's experience with "honeycombing"Aor transition to egalitarian, collective self-supervision, including spendingAor of humility as a managerial necessity, are genuinely inspiring, though job elimination is involved in the transitions he proposes. Bakke argues that his values and techniques did, in fact, lead to profit (until, he says, the energy industry scandals of the past few years), but that profit is not the point of work. While most managers would not dream of experimenting with Bakke's ideas, they will find it difficult to deny their potential. 22-city author tour. (Mar. 8) FYI: PVG is a Seattle press founded in 2004 by Mark Pearson; Joy at Work is his second title. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A timely and inspiring book that challenges us to rethink the purpose of business in society. It is all the more important because Dennis Bakke's personal life mirrors the principles he advocates." - President Bill Clinton "A must-read book for anyone who wants to make work fun, fulfilling, and financially rewarding." - Jack Kemp, former HUD secretary and vice presidential candidate "Joy at Work is simply the best book I have ever read about integrating human values and economic success. Bakke has changed the nature of the game of business forever. The book is an answer to our cynicism and materialism and to the loss of faith in our leaders. It is required reading for all who are in a leadership position, are studying leadership, or know someone who is doing either." - Peter Block, author of Stewardship and The Answer to How Is Yes "Dennis Bakke's book is a 'coaching manual' on how to make fun and success synonymous in the workplace." - Mike Holmgren, coach of the Seattle Seahawks

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