Praise for Joy at Work
"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
"Joy at Work is a major breakthrough in corporate decision making, which is buttressed by actual practice. It is right in principle, persuasively argued, and reader-friendly, as well as pioneering in its potential to revolutionize the cultures of corporations and most other organizations in society."
— Joel L. Fleishman, professor of law and public policy studies, Duke University
"For too long, our nation"s laws and regulations have stifled our workplaces. Dennis Bakke holds fast to the belief that when American workers are given freedom and responsibility, they are more productive, creative, loyal, and joyful. He wonderfully details the creation of an organization that recognizes the shared values of all the stakeholders"owners, management, employees, and the community."
— U.S. Senator Don Nickles
"Work fun, exciting, stimulating, and totally enjoyable is this a dream come true Bakke could be way ahead of today's corporate leaders thinking."
— Peter Woicke, executive vice president, International Finance Corporation
"For 20 years, as co-founder, president, then chief executive officer, Dennis Bakke rode hard that great thoroughbred of American corporations, AES. And then she stumbled. To see her at her best, to see her down, was in fact to see the same animal"the most originally wired, finely wrought athlete to run the distance. Joy at Work is Dennis Bakke's brilliant making of the beast."
— David Bradley, chairman and owner of Atlantic Media
"Can a corporation do God's work for its employees, its customers, and for society and still make a profit Dennis Bakke showed as a CEO that it definitely can and, in this compelling book, he shows how every company might."
— Morton Kondracke, executive editor of Roll Call and Fox News contributor
"Joy at Work is a remarkable book about a remarkable company told by a remarkable man. For almost 20 years, AES defied most conventional management wisdom as it built a culture in which people were treated as adults, leaders were truly servant leaders, and fun was a core value that became actualized in the day-to-day lives of AES people, not something just hung on the wall to be talked about. The lessons of this journey are captured by Dennis Bakke in a brilliantly written, frank, and honest account of the ups and the downs. In a world in which fear often seems to have replaced fun, the search for profits has replaced the pursuit of purpose; conformity and following the crowd have replaced the courage to do the right thing and live by principles; and widespread corruption has replaced the conviction of ideals, this book offers both the recipe for a better way of organizing and being in an organization and the inspiration to try. Never has a book such as this been more needed, more important, or more welcome."
— Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business
"The idea of creating a workplace in which everyone maximizes 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
"All leaders and aspiring leaders"should read this provocative book. Writing from his own experience, Dennis Bakke turns conventional management thinking on its head. He"s big on accountability, but his unorthodox views will shock most of today's corporate-governance gurus. And when did you last hear a CEO give himself less than straight A's on his published report card Bakke is a committed Christian, but you don"t have to share his religious views to appreciate his vision of leadership. Joy at Work is a joy to read."
— Lynn Sharp Paine, John G. McLean Professor, Harvard Business School
"Dennis Bakke is one of the best examples of postmodern management, illustrating that the best way to do business is to create an organization in which both labor and management become joyfully self-actualized human beings. In this book he proves that it works. If you're looking for a model in which labor and management reach a respect and make work a fulfilling experience, look no further."
— Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology, Eastern University
"Dennis Bakke is widely known as an innovator in business and in the development of the people who make up the firm. In this book, he shares both the joys and some of the difficulties of walking the talk in the real world of the marketplace. It's a book that every leader in business should read."
— C. William Pollard, chairman emeritus, ServiceMaster
"Dennis Bakke gives a riveting account, warts and all, of how he tried to practice what he preached. Anyone who believes that values are relevant to a publicly traded company will find this book provocative, challenging, and stimulating."
— Lord Brian Griffiths of Fforestfach, vice chairman, Goldman Sachs International
"Finally! Here"s a truth-telling CEO, with years of in-the-trenches experience, who practices what he preaches. Dennis Bakke thoughtfully dispels popular business myths, and he'll persuade you to think differently about your workplace. People are not "our most important asset." (People are people, not assets.) Customers are not always No. 1. (It's not that simple.) Gutsy CEOs will buy Joy at Work for every co-worker, and feed a revolution of joy in the workplace. Managers who thrive on power, prestige, and phony empowerment will hate this book. I hope Joy at Work becomes a movement."
— John Pearson, president and CEO, Christian Management Association
"Dennis Bakke's exciting and provocative approach may be the answer. Getting extraordinary performance from 'ordinary' people has the potential to change organizations and even, perhaps, our society. It is worth pondering."
— Walter Scott, professor of management, Kellogg School of Business
"I have espoused for many years that you should "love your job," but Joy at Work takes this concept much deeper. This book challenges the traditional organizational structure and the purpose of the organization. It's a must-read and will also challenge your thinking about better ways to run a business."
— Roger Eigsti, former CEO and chairman, Safeco Corporation
"Not surprisingly, Dennis Bakke vaporizes the wall between 'secular' and sacred. His vision of leadership, hammered on the anvil of the highest level of corporate experience, is radically right for the church and the nonprofit world as well."
— John Yates, rector, The Falls Church
"Dennis Bakke's Joy at Work presents us the high vision of our daily work as a joyous sacred calling. You will find his remarkable story inspiring, and fascinating!"
— Howard E. Butt, Jr., vice chairman, HE Butt Grocery Company
"The beauty of Dennis Bakke's philosophy and approach is its humane simplicity. Joy at Work does not espouse some set of hopeful theories or represent just another one of the latest jargon-filled management fads. Dennis's fun and practical insights into creating and sustaining a joy-filled workplace come from his personal and shared journey of over 20 years of hard-fought incubation and nurturing, trial and error, frustration and exhilaration, and ultimately failure and success at AES, in short, life. By sharing some of that journey, I felt the power and excitement of Joy at Work."
— Barry Sharp, chief financial officer, AES
"Dennis Bakke has written a totally helpful book and not only for business types. As a Pastor I was deeply challenged by the holy realism and enduring hope in spite of human setbacks. The principles approach is as wise as it is concrete. I recommend this book."
— Earl F. Palmer, senior pastor, University Presybterian Church
"In Joy at Work, Dennis Bakke walks us through the tough, real-time dilemmas of a large, complex international business. It should be required reading for younger executives striving to balances success and significance."
— J. McDonald Williams, chairman emeritus, Trammell Crow Company
"Dennis Bakke reminds us that no matter the role, whether it be manager or employee, coach, star, or backup, it is getting to make decisions that makes work fun! Out of all the books I"ve read on leadership, few have been as powerful as Joy at Work."
— Trent Dilfer, Super Bowl champion quarterback