BOOK REVIEW: The Decision Maker by Dennis Bakke

This post contains affiliate links.

BOOK REVIEW: The Decision Maker
by Dennis Bakke


ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Who makes the important decisions in your organization? Strategy, product development, budgeting, compensation—such key decisions typically are made by company leaders. That’s what bosses are for, right? But maybe the boss isn’t the best person to make the call.

That’s the conclusion Dennis Bakke came to, and he used it to build AES into a Fortune 200 global power company with 27,000 people in 27 countries. He used it again to create Imagine Schools, the largest non-profit charter-school network in the U.S.

As a student at Harvard Business School, Bakke made hundreds of decisions using the case-study method. He realized two things: decision-making is the best way to develop people; and that shouldn’t stop at business school. So Bakke spread decision-making throughout his organizations, fully engaging people at all levels. Today, Bakke has given thousands of people the freedom and responsibility to make decisions that matter.

In The Decision Maker, a leadership fable loosely based on Bakke’s experience, the New York Times bestselling author shows us how giving decisions to the people closest to the action can transform any organization.

The idea is simple.

The results are powerful.

When leaders put real control into the hands of their people, they tap incalculable potential. The Decision Maker, destined to be a business classic, holds the key to unlocking the potential of every person in your organization.


What would happen within an organization if the employees were empowered to make important decisions?  Dennis Bakke explores this idea with a business fable, The Decision Maker.  If you’re used to working within an extremely hierarchical organization, the results may surprise you.  Sure it’s fiction, but the message is clear, powerful and undeniable. 

  • Would decisions be made faster? Yes.
  • Would employees be happier and more engaged? Yes.
  • Would shifting to this process be a little scary (with lots of learning opportunities along the way)? Yes!
  • Would the entire organization crumble and fall apart?  NO!

The Decision Maker is a MUST-READ for anyone in management.  It only takes a couple of hours to read, so you don’t have the excuse that you don’t have time to read it.  Think of it this way, the health and future of your organization may depend on it, so what do you have to lose?  

(The staff at Buffer highly recommend this book.  If you’re on Pinterest and you enjoy business books, follow the Buffer Books Board for ongoing reading recommendations:  They do pin more than just business books, but I’ve found a lot of great business and personal development books on their Board.)

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: