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The Pleasures And Sorrows Of Work

If there is a flaw in this book, it is the insistent dwelling on the negative. De Botton finds many sorrows in the workplace, but few pleasures, and little joy. This flows partly from the fact that most workplaces today are not happy places and in part from his own mental framework of someone who is skeptical of any apparent pleasure. De Botton is always the external observer, looking at people ensnared in mostly rotten jobs. He does nevertheless manage to find several people who passionately enjoy their work: a painter, an electrical engineer and a biscuit factory manager..

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work


I help leaders use hybrid work to improve productivity and retention while cutting costs as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. My expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting for Fortune 500 companies ranging from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a professor in behavioral and cognitive science at UNC-Chapel Hill and at Ohio State, where I published dozens of peer-reviewed articles. A best-selling author of 7 books, I am most well-known for my global best-seller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters. My newest book is Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage. My writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, and French. A proud Ukrainian, I live in Columbus, Ohio. Contact me at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com and register for my newsletter at

I am a seasoned global business operations and investment executive and board director currently counseling and working hand-in-hand with C-suite executives and boards of directors of multinational corporations, private equity firms, pension funds, institutional investors, and sovereign wealth funds.

My expertise lies in: (i) global business growth and corporate finance operations and strategy; (ii) structuring complex international investment and trade transactions (M/A, JVs and PPPs), including cross-border supply chain management and logistics; (iii) designing and executing company-wide sustainability, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, and assessing attainment of ESG objectives; (iv) antitrust and competition policy, (v) innovation, R&D investment, and protection of intellectual property; (vi) compliance with anti-corruption and cybersecurity protocols; and (viii) navigating national security regulation of inbound foreign investment (CFIUS) as well as international and domestic economic regulation of services and utilities industries. Apart from all of the advanced countries, I've worked on the ground in 85+ emerging markets across 5 continents, especially in China, India, Russia/CIS, the Balkans, much of Africa and East Asia, and parts of the Middle East and LATAM.

I am a professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University and have been an Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford University for over 20 years. Before that I was on the Oxford University faculty from 1995 to 2000. I have also taught on executive education and MBA programs at Stanford, Harvard Business School, IMD, LBS, INSEAD, Oxford, McGill, USC, Duke, Darden, and Cambridge. I have authored 28 refereed journal articles, 10 books, and have over 3,600 Google Scholar citations. For the last 20 years I have worked with Henry Mintzberg. teaching on and running leadership programs.

Combining narrative virtuosity, a scholar's grasp of history, an intellectual intrepidness, and a dazzling ability to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary (and vice versa), Alain de Botton has created his own ever-surprising genre into which The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work fits brilliantly. In this tantalizing new book, Alain de Botton takes on an activity common to us all—the activity in which most of us spend the majority of our time, but which rarely gets serious attention beyond the realm of cartoons and television sitcoms. With his signature élan and expansive curiosity, de Botton explores a diversity of occupations—from accountant to aircraft salesman, painter to power-station designer, career counselor to cookie manufacturer—and the vast diversity of locations where these occupations are undertaken. Peering closely at details of the workday and workplace that we tend to overlook, and asking questions that we hesitate to ask ourselves (To what end do we exhaust ourselves on a daily basis? What makes work pleasurable? Why isn’t it pleasurable when it isn't?), de Botton gets at the whys and wherefores of routine, practice, and process, focusing a new and unexpectedly revealing light on the essential meaning of work in our lives.

If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question we must look into our evolutionary past, argues prominent psychologist David M. Buss. Based one of the largest studies of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from 37 cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first work to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. 041b061a72


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