The FISH! Philosophy

FISH!I was recently going through my library of business books and came across the book Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. I must admit that the first time I read FISH! I was a bit skeptical of its simplicity and applicability in business (I'm sure others have had the same skepticism regarding my book Lessons From the Mouse).

Going through the book again, however, I'm convinced that the book's strength is its simplicity and I'm also convinced that the book's principles are applicable to any job. Imagine if every employee in your organization lived by the following tenets:

  • Play - "Play is not just an activity; it's a state of mind that brings new energy and sparks creativity."
  • Make Their Day - "The world becomes a better place the moment you act on an intention to serve another."
  • Be There - "You can multi-task with ‘stuff,' but you need to ‘be there' for people."
  • Choose Your Attitude - "The attitude you have right now is the one you are choosing. Is it the one you want?"

Yes, it's simple stuff, but the book provides a guide for doing a great job, no matter what the job is.

I've had the opportunity to visit the subject of the book, Pike Place Fish market in Seattle, and they truly live what's described in the book. Every employee I observed played, made their day, was there, and chose a positive attitude. How do I know? It was evident in their behaviors.

The primary thought I had as I observed the operation was, "If employees selling fish can demonstrate such energy and passion, there's no reason employees in any organization can't do the same." I think the whole thing starts with the fourth principle of the FISH! Philosophy, "Choose Your Attitude." Taking responsibility for our own attitude is the determining factor in how we approach anything we do. No one can successfully delegate their attitude.

If you haven't read the book, I encourage you to pick up a copy and share the principles with your team. Let go of any skepticism you might have because of the book's simplicity and put these profound ideas to work.

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