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Free Book Summary – Fish! Catch the Energy and Release the Potential by Stephen Lundin
There are 8,760 hours in a year. An average work year is 2,500 hours. You sleep an average of 2,950 hours per year. So you spend 62% of your time at work or sleeping. Unfortunately, work is a “must” for most people. How do you make work fun and enjoyable? In this book, the authors approach the subject through a parable and a concrete example of the “Pike Place Fish Market”.
Why is this important to me? I want to make sure that you who watch this video get something out of it. I’m trying to put myself in your shoes, so I have to answer this question. Sometimes we have to ask additional questions. Do you hate your job? Does your team hate their job? It’s a common theme in America right now. It’s the summer of 2011, unemployment is high and people are clinging to their jobs. If you’ve dealt with customer service in the last 6 months, you’ve probably personally encountered the answer to these questions. Based on bad service, you know people hate their jobs. It’s bad news if you have to deal with this particular company or it’s very good news if it’s your competitor. This book flushes out the crap and helps you build a culture of fun at work while building customer loyalty.
Before we dive into the four things that will help change a culture of lackluster, let me define the problem. Most companies have to deal with negative attitudes. One negative employee can bring down an entire department. It spreads worse than cancer. Words like callous, straight, zombie, obnoxious, slow and negative. These words are poison for an organization and for yourself if you work in the environment.
1. Attitude – Choose your attitude. There is always a choice about how you do your job, even if there is no choice about the job itself. If you are a team leader in your organization, help your employees grow. Yogi Berra said “I am convinced that most people enjoy learning and growing, at any time in their lives.”
2. Play – As children, we learn a ton simply through the art of play. In business, you need to make a profit to stay in business. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Think about how work can become play. In software gaming, you see this all the time. Look at Google’s campus and it looks like Romper Room. This is a good thing. Google grants 20% of time to its team members. That means 8 hours out of 40 they can work on whatever idea they want. Some really cool stuff came out of it. GMAIL was created from the 20% time. Think about how Play can be integrated and good things will happen.
3. Make their day – Remember that attitudes spread faster than CLAP. When you make the customer’s day through commitment and a nice attitude, it will spread to your colleagues and they will do the same.
4. Be Present – This one eludes most people at some point. I have been guilty of this several times. Think about it. You’re on the phone talking with someone while you check your email. You think you’re a good multi-tasker when in reality you’re just annoying the other person because you’re listening with half an ear. It’s even worse with text messaging. Look around the next time you go to a restaurant and notice how many people are texting while they are with their group. We have ant attention spans these days because it’s so easy to connect through digital devices. Being present is a huge competitive advantage if you can build it into your organization.
The Fish is a great parable and should be read by anyone who hates their job. This little book is filled 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 incorporate it into your daily routine until it becomes a habit. Habits are formed in as little as 21 days.
One thing you can take away from this book is to be present. I picked this one because it’s the easiest to fix. Do me a favor and focus on this for a week and mentally note the reactions you get using active listening. I think you will be shocked. If you want to see the excitement of the real fish market, go to YouTube and search for “Pike Place Fish”
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