Thursday, May 12, 2005

Making work exciting, rewarding and enjoyable: "Bakke says selecting a mission, or purpose, is crucial because it becomes an organization's definition of success. He told the audience that he was often asked about the differences between AES and competitor Enron. With that in mind, he asked them to ponder, 'Would Enron have been a different place if it had had a different purpose?'

"Bakke explained that while Enron hired the best and brightest employees, their mission was to conquer the world. He said AES hired bright people too but had a much different goal, focusing on serving the world. 'And that made all the difference,' he said.

"Bakke said most people hate their jobs, mainly because they lack freedom. 'We have political freedom. We have market freedom. But when it comes to jobs, almost always people are told what to do, when to do it and how to do it,' he said. 'It doesn't have to be that way.'"

"'It isn't about winning,' he said. 'Winning is not the key to a joyous workplace. It's having a chance to use your skills to make a difference in your organization.'"

"In his struggle to give up power, Bakke looked to his Harvard days for a system to 'give others the ball.' He realized only one thing would work. 'As the boss and leader, I had to change.' Bosses have fun because they have the ball all the time, but me having the ball at all the important times kept everyone else from having a chance.'

"Bakke even went so far as to limit himself to one significant decision a year. He doesn't believe in management of people, but management of systems.

"His grassroots effort to start a revolution 'may even start here at Ross,' he said. His goal is to not only create joy in organizations, but humility in the top executives who run them.

It's that humility, along with love, that Bakke says are the two most significant characteristics of leaders. 'Bosses need to love the people they lead so much that they're willing to give up their own joy and power in order to see other people act as human beings,' he said.

"'Every person is a thinking, creative person who wants to make a difference in the world. As leaders, if we find a place where we can think, reason, take action, make decisions that affect the outcome and hold ourselves responsible for that outcome, it's absolute joy. That's the revolution I'd like to start.'"

"Bakke also said that people are people, and people need to be led. 'I hope you aspire to be a leader, not a manager,' he said."

Bakke "is currently president and CEO of Imagine Schools, a company that operates elementary and secondary charter schools in 10 states."

No comments: