Free Book Summary – Fish! Catch the Energy and Release the Potential by Stephen Lundin
There are 8,760 hours in one year. An average working year consists of 2,500 hours. You sleep an average 2,950 hours per year. Thus you spend 62% of your time at work or asleep. Unfortunately, work is a “have to” for most people. How do we make a work fun and enjoyable? In this book, the authors tackle the subject through a parable and a real world example of “Pike Place Fish Market.”
Why is this important to me? I want to make sure that you guys watching this video get something out of it. I try to put myself in your shoes, thus I need to answer this question. Sometimes we need to ask additional questions. Do you hate your job? Does your team hate their jobs? This is a common theme in America right now. This is the summer of 2011 and unemployment is high and people are just holding on to their jobs. If you have dealt with any customer service departments in the last 6 months then you have probably experienced the answer to these questions personally. Based on the bad service you know that people hate their jobs. This is bad news if you have to deal with that particular company or it is really good news if they are your competitor. This book flushes out the crap and helps you to build a culture of fun at work while cementing customer loyalty.
Before I dive into the four things that will help change a lack luster culture, let me define the problem. Most companies have to deal with negative attitudes. One negative employee can bring down a whole department. This spreads worse than cancer. Words like unresponsive, entitlement, zombie, unpleasant, slow, and negative. These words are poison to an organization and yourself if you work in the environment.
1. Attitude – Choose your attitude. There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself. If you are a team leader in your organization then help your people grow. Yogi Berra said “I am convinced that most people enjoy learning and growing, at any time in their life.”
2. Play – As a kid we learn a ton simply through the art of playing. In business, you need to make a profit to stay in business. This does not mean that it can’t be fun. Give some thought to how work can become play. In the software game, you see this all the time. Look at the Google campus and it looks like Romper Room. This is a good thing. Google allows their team members 20% time. This means 8 hours of every 40, they can work on whatever idea they want. Some really cool stuff came out of this. GMAIL was created from the 20% time. Give some thought to how Play can be incorporated and good things will happen.
3. Make their day – Remember that attitudes spread faster than the CLAP. When you make the customer’s day through engagement and a pleasant attitude then this will spread to your co-workers and they will do the same.
4. Be Present – This one eludes most people at some point. I have been guilty of this many times. Think about it. You’re on the phone talking with somebody while you’re checking email. You think you are being a good multi-tasker while in reality your just pissing the other person off because you are listening with a half ear. This is even worse with text messaging. Look around the next time you are in restaurant and take notice on how many people are texting while they are with their group. We have the attention span of ants these days because it is so easy to connect via digital devices. Being Present is a huge competitive advantage if you can ingrain it in your organization.
Fish is a great parable and should be read by any person that hates their job. This short book is packed with great lessons and I encourage you to read it.
I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days.
One thing you can take away from this book is be present. I picked this one because it is the easiest to correct. Do me a favor and focus on this for one week and make a mental note of the reactions you get utilizing active listening. I think you will be shocked. If you want to see the excitement of the real fish market then go to YouTube and search “Pike Place Fish”