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Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
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Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  13,799 ratings  ·  597 reviews
Over 5 Million Copies Sold! Imagine a workplace where everyone chooses to bring energy, passion, and a positive attitude to the job every day.

A powerful parable that will help you see your life and work in a new way.
It's a rainy day in Seattle, and on the third floor of First Guarantee Financial, people have stopped believing they can make a difference. To new manager Mar
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published March 8th 2000 by Hachette Books (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Our company is using Fish! philosophy. I have been working for the past 27 years and all my previous three or four employers did not allow any of these: Halloween area decorations contest, global festival contest, monthly birthday celebrants dinner with the general manager, santacruzan (based on catholic religious festival), interest clubs (book club is one of these and I am one of the members and I will use Goodreads), etc. Honestly, I am not sure if they add value to the business (including th ...more
Trisha
Suckiest book ever! This was an obligatory "work read". It was the classic corporate mumbo jumbo. Imagine a sucky group of employees with bad attitudes...in walks this great boss. With only the tap of a wand and a field trip to a local fish market she transforms this group of losers into productive happy cogs. With really clever phrases like "choose your attitude" this sage was able to get her team back on track and loving their jobs, life and eachother. Wow! Not once did they explore what made ...more
David Sven
Read this for work. Easy and quick to read.

The Fish philosophy is modelled on the work culture of a fishmonger's at Seattle's Pike Place Markets.

Summarised
1. Choose your attitude
2. Play/Have fun (They threw fish around at the markets)
3. Be present (for customers and others generally)
4. Make their day


3 stars

Nicholas Karpuk
I don't know if I've ever heard so much negative feedback on a book that no one's actually read.

A coworker cleaning out his desk handed me this slim hardback volume along with "Leadership and the One Minute Manager," both of which he received at some sort of managerial seminar. I'm usually up to give read just about anything, and neither volume extended much beyond 100 pages. When I asked him about fish, he casually explained that it was a book on how to brainwash your employees.

Not sure he read
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Evan
A GR friend listed this, which reminded me that I "owned" a copy at one time. Actually what happened was this: My former employer was sending us office peons to a motivational retreat out in the country, which happened every other year or so to our great collective dread. Much forced teamwork joviality and irritating group exercises and presentations that reminded me of kindergarten ensued. The latest management fad of the week that was used to "theme" and structure one of these particular retre ...more
Kristen
My boss gave me this book to read and tell her what I thought. My review here will be essentially what I told her.

The FISH concept is exactly that, a concept that has been heard before from countless speakers at every business conference you have attended. Chose your attitude, have some fun at work, pay attention to people, and be focused on the present. None of these are breakthrough concepts. The book itself is a quick read; I finished it on my lunch break after she gave it to me. Large font,
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Adriana
Fish is a business book written as a parable. Its purpose is coach its readers into a new way of carrying out their business environment in order to make employees more productive. It does so by enlightening us with less conventional methods of expressing ourselves at work.

In order for employees to be more productive, they need not experience work as a hum-drum experience. After all, who gives their all when they are bored and disengaged? Cliche as this may sound, Fish claims that passion in wha
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Eli
Apr 01, 2015 Eli rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: 2008
I gave this book one star only because Good Reads won't let me give it half a star. It was a work assignment. How do I loathe it, let me count the ways:

1. Abysmal writing. Fish was apparently written in a land where contractions seldom happen, and the dialogue reads like a 1950s industrial about the perils of poor hygiene.

2. The "story." Lundin et. al. felt the need to tack a "plot" onto their corporate philosophy book: a plot that was thin, forced, and, with the implausible love story stuck i
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Danelley
I got called in as a temp today, and inbetween breaks of answering phones, I noticed this book sitting in the office and I picked it up and read it. It's short and sweet and to the point, and a REALLY good book. It reminded me a lot of Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Happiness, how even when our freedoms are taken away, we always have the freedom to choose our attitude toward things and events. This applies the choice of attitude to the workplace. Maybe you have a job that really sucks. Th ...more
Trudy
I know it is a matter of perspective certainly, but I think a one star rating is missing the point of this book... It is absolutely not going to be winning any writing awards, but it contains lessons that I think we all need to be reminded of periodically. I always feel better when I read it and I always take something away from it. Quick read... an hour tops! Buy it for yourself, buy it for friends, buy it for coworkers... We can all benefit from the Fish philosophy!

1) Choose the attitude you b
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Jacqueline Koyanagi
This was required reading for my day job. While I appreciate what the folks at my job are attempting to do, and am always on board for being as positive and present-minded as one is capable of being, therein lies the rub--this book did not account for individual variation in ability whatsoever. I wasn't surprised in the least to find that a book used as corporate motivation would be extremely ableist, erasing the reality of physical and mental disabilities as an involuntary factor in whether a p ...more
Aaron A.
Oct 01, 2011 Aaron A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young professionals, new managers
I really liked this book when I first bought it, in 2001. Back then, I was a young and idealistic 23-year-old, so I pretty much assumed that a corporate culture could be changed by smiling and being nice to the customers. Of course, I've since learned that it's not nearly that easy. The book's message is simple enough; it's a cross between the Serenity Prayer (don't dwell on what you can't change) and the Franklin or Eleanor Roosevelt quote to "do what you can with what you have where you are."

T
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Scott Smith
I've been dipping into some management books with the new job and since this one has been on my shelf forever (and it's short) I gave it a read. It's a little simplistic (and honestly reads a little too much like a kids' book at times), but the maxims it uses (Choose Your Attitude, Be Present, Make Their Day, Play) are smart. Of course, figuring out how to implement them is the hard part, and the book doesn't offer much in the way of guiding you on that score.
ReGina
So, the reason this book gets a four instead of a five is because Mary Jane (the central figure in the book) doesn't encounter any serious pushback of any kind as she tries to turn around a toxic work environment. Unfortunately, there are some creatures that thrive in toxic environments and will fight to the death to keep it that way. That being said, this is a terrific book about the four basic principles of making a workplace more enjoyable - choose your attitude, make their day, play, and be ...more
Rickey
These basic principles of high performance and high morale took on new life in this story based upon the Pike Place Fish Market. Crafted into a fictional story by people who were not directly involved in creating that World Famous fish market, the authors still had some helpful principles to share:

Choose Your Attitude,
Play,
Make Their Day,
Be Present

It seemed a little too simple and easy though - a little too gimmicky. I've been involved in a workplace that had the video and didn't really integrat
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Jeffrey Jose
Another business parable/fable book in an easy to digest format. The book doesnt convey anything earth-shattering, takes a simple enough story and tries to get across a simple concept - What would it take a dull, inefficient team in a fictional company back up running.

The story involves our main character Mary Jane Ramirez, who has gone through a fair share of troubles with her personal life, with her husband dying all of a sudden from a disease, given responsibility of "third floor" of the comp
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Jennifer
The writers of this book are responsible for the documentary about Seattle's world famous Pike Place fish market, whose employees' enthusiasm and playfulness have become a model for businessess of all types and also schools. Since it's not practical for the small family run business I work for to rent the film for $500, I decided to read this slim inexpensive book instead. The Fish philosophy revolves around four key ideas: Choose the attitude you go to work with each day, be playful, make the c ...more
Sofiar
Jan 10, 2014 Sofiar added it
To be surrounded by such negative air and energy at her job, Mary Jane decides to get advice from a fishmonger in Pike Place Fish Market where their clients always enjoy to go shopping for some seafood and a good laugh. The place was once filled with negative energy, but is now oozing in positivity. Mary Jane has just been switched to a different floor in at her job.She discovers that her new floor is full of...plain nothing. Everyone in the company complains about that floor and their work ethi ...more
Lisa
Aug 27, 2009 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teenagers and bright eight-year-olds.
Shelves: business
Fish! A simplistic yet overbearing, cloying, smiley-fish face concept guaranteed to annoy, yet not challenge, any employee forced to read it. And there's absolutely no getting around the immediate reaction to all things Fish: is this about Jesus Christ? It isn't, it's about soulful fish-flingers from Seattle leading lives of great fulfillment that we should all envy. Why? Because they choose happiness. Like we all should. All of us. People from all walks of life. From the humble to the mighty. I ...more
Lauren Head
With a forward by a respected Author such as Ken Blanchard you know that the book is going to be good, but this book is great and it's one of my favorite books that I have reported on for my company's BetterBookClub.com program!

In a world where 99% of people have smart phones I feel that the Fish! Principle of "being present" is the most important take away from this book. Being present is more than being physically in a certain location. It means that you will need to be an active participant i
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Darrenwong
The “Toxic Energy Dump”
Do you really like your job? Actually many people don’t, but they have to do their job, because they have a family to support. Lack of willingness to work among the employees is the major cause of “toxic energy dumps”, which means unresponsive, negative, and slow departments. Managers like Mary Jane had little to do to deal with these dumps, until she went to the Fish Market.

Lessons learned from the Fish Market
1. Change your attitude: be positive and aggressive
Do you remem
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Aaron
This was a book that made the round in the RI library community a few years back after it was part of the RI Library Association's annual conference. I never got around to reading it then, but it sort of came to mind after talking with a friend who is going through a difficult time at her workplace. There is currently a lot of stress and the teamwork approach has been crumbling.

What was weird was that I ran across the book after going through some old boxes with stuff from the previous director
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Ramsden H
Nov 03, 2014 Ramsden H added it
Shelves: 2013-14
As I found the book to be a quick and easy read, there were some good key lessens I learned from this book. The first being choosing your attitude. I never really thought about how much I choose how my day went. Before choosing my attitude, I would be dreading any class I wouldn't like, and be okay in classes I did like. Now when I choose my attitude, I have a better day overall and not dread going to school everyday. In the book when Mary Jane told her employees about choosing your attitude, it ...more
Glimmerfee
Mary Jane bekommt nach dem Tod ihres Mannes, die Chance eine Abteilung zu übernehmen. Beklommenen Herzens nimmt sie die Aufgabe an, ist doch diese Abteilung in der Firma als ‚Giftmülldeponie‘ bekannt. Wie um Himmels willen, soll sie diesen Haufen lethargischer Mitarbeiter motivieren? Da kommt Ihr der Zufall in Gestalt des Pike Place Fischmarktes (gibt es wirklich) zur Hilfe…

Die Autoren haben hier Motivationswissen in eine kleine Geschichte gepackt, um das Lesen auch für Sachbuch-Muffel attraktiv
...more
Andrej
Mary Jane je prispodoba za vsakega izmed nas, ki se srečujemo z – vsaj tako se nam zdi – monotonim delom in vedno istimi težavami: delo nam ni v zabavo, čeprav mu posvetimo vsaj tretjino delovnega dneva. [Drugo tretjino spimo (da se regeneriramo), preostane nam prosti čas, ki ga pogosto namenjamo mislim na službo.]

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1) IZBERI SVOJ ODNOS: »Sami l
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Anna Piranha
Could have been a pamphlet. I was conscripted to read this for work some time ago. Essentially, the 'author' advises that if you hate your job, well you should just stop doing that. O RLY? Be present, play, something something. I never thought anything could suck the joy out of reading for me. Reading self help business books full of oversimplified advice has actually done what even Jude The Obscure with miserable love and suicidal children could not. KUDOS, sanctimonious buttmunch!
Karthik D.R
A must read, A must share among fellow employees.
This book is based on the assumption: "The staff had always been capable of much more."

This might sound too optimistic. But, I feel 'solution finding should always start with optimism'!

A little book with the powerful story of Pike Place Fish Market. I like the 4 take-aways of the book:
1. Choose the attitude you bring to your work
2. Play - Be serious about Business, but have fun in doing it.
3. Make some one's day
4. Be there - Presence


Few other
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Elizabeth Escobar
I didn't like this book. From the beginning I was never pulled into the book. Maybe it just wasn't my genre but reading "fish" was a struggle. the only reason i was able to finish was because it was very short. I didn't like the main character. She seemed like someone I would not get along with. I found it rude how she and the other workers talked behind the other workers back. Maybe this is because I felt like I myself would have been part of the workers that the other departments complained ab ...more
Nicholas Galiardo
Definitely not what I was expecting, but was pleasantly surprised. When I first picked up the book, I was anticipating the typical managerial/employee motivational book with an outlined structure on how to achieve success in your teams. Instead, what I got, was an historical narrative of a former manager for First Guarantee Bank, and her chance encounter with the fishmongers at the world famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, and how her interactions helped to not only re-find purpose in her ...more
Krishna Kumar
Oh, oh! The problem with books like these is how the authors manipulate a story to suit their conclusions. For example, in this book, the author use the mechanism of a widowed manager and inject a lot of melodrama and emotion. Where is the supporting research to prove that their ideas work? Where are the arguments for and against the proposed initiatives? Unfortunately, the book is so easy to read that it is easily accessible to anyone, unlike a more meaningful business book which may need great ...more
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“As you enter this place of work please choose to make today a great day. Your colleagues, customers, team members, and you yourself will be thankful. Find ways to play. We can be serious about our work without being serious about ourselves. Stay focused in order to be present when your customers and team mebers most need you. And should you feel your enegery lapsing, try this surefire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, or a good ear - and make their day.” 7 likes
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