Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin


Here's another management parable that draws its lesson from an unlikely source--this time it's the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle's Pike Place Market. In Fish! the heroine, Mary Jane Ramirez, recently widowed and mother of two, is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company's troubled operations department, a group that authors Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen describe as a "toxic energy dump." Most reasonable heads would cu...

Details Fish!

Release DateMar 8th, 2000
PublisherHachette Books
GenreBusiness, Nonfiction, Leadership, Self Help, Management

Reviews Fish!

  • 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 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 ea...
  • 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 su...
  • 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 o...
  • 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.Summarised1. Choose your attitude2. Play/Have fun (They threw fish around at the markets)3. Be present (for customers and others generally)4. Make their day3 stars
  • Eli
    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, fo...
  • 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 m...
  • 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 "...
  • 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 fro...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 wor...
  • Tiffany Reads
    This has a few ideas that I'll definitely implement at work. It's a nice, quick read that I would recommend to anyone that is looking to change the culture at their workplace.
  • Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
    Super quick read, and TOTALLY worth every second!Easy to understand, and an engaging story!This is a philosophy I will take to my new job & implement even more in my life!Ill be recommending this to everyone now!5/5 stars! Super quick read, and TOTALLY worth every second!Easy to understand, and an engaging story!This is a philosophy I will take to my new job & implement even more in my life!I’ll be recommending this to everyone now!5/5 stars!...
  • Mindy Reads
    We had to read this book for work. Although some of the ideology in this "self help" book could be useful (mainly to the companies who want to get the most out of their employees), it is extremely disheartening to read this book as someone who has suffers from mental health issues and who also tends to get wrapped up in work. My main issue with this book is that it presumes that anyone who isn't a go getter, isn't happy all the time, isn't 100% d...
  • Ron
    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 "d...
  • 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 di...
  • Ashish
    I don't want to be too critical of this book. After all, it's just a damn parable. I was surprised that this book was actually recommended by entrepreneurs and bosses to boost their employees' morale. HAHA! The way this book delivers its message is tad unrealistic, even for a parable. I understand the message that the book was trying to deliver was a noble one; get rid of "toxic energy" in the workplace. To achieve that purpose, the main characte...
  • Lisa
    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 a...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Avery
    The book I read was Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin. This book is about the fundamentals of boosting your team's morale. The main topic of this book is there in a business, and the dump is the work level that has all the older adults. It is a very dull place and not a lot is accomplished. Many ideas are brought up in this book about ways to improve morale. She tries to create a book structure where...
  • Laurie
    I read this tiny book for work as most other reviewers did. In my case, it wasn't required reading but a suggestion from our CEO who loves motivational types of books, speeches, etc. The ideas that the fictional company adopts as a way to get rid of their "toxic dump" mentality are sound. Choosing your attitude, play (making work more fun), being present, and making someone's day are all worthy goals that will probably help any organization be a ...
  • Teena in Toronto
    I've read this book a couple times over the years ... the last time was in 2006. Gord and I were talking about Pike Place Fish Market a couple days ago for some reason (he hadn't heard of it) and it inspired me to read the book again.Mary Jane is a widow with two young children. She recently got promoted to manage a department in the company she works for which is known as a toxic energy dump. She can't afford to quit her job and her manager thre...
  • Jennie Damron
    My CEO asked my coworker and I to read this book. At first I was like, really, I have to read a morale book for the office?!? But, I am so glad I read this book. I loved the concept of choosing your attitude and being there. So many times I feel my choices are robbed from me, but that is not the case. I can choose my response and in turn how I treat people in my day to day life. Yeah this book is for the work place, but I can apply this to my eve...
  • Jo Jackson
    I have had this book in my to read pile for a little while after having it referred to me on a course last year. I borrowed it from my work library and was able to dedicate time to sit down and read it cove to cover today.What a great story with a very happy ending and some great, easy and positive outcomes from some people making the effort to think not just about themselves but those who they impact each day at work.I wrote some notes that I ca...
  • Amanda
    It feels like cheating somehow sometimes when I listen to a book instead of a book; this time didn't feel like cheating. I felt cheated at the end when the author threw in (view spoiler)[the romance angle...blech! Contrived much? (hide spoiler)] I would rather a straight-up book about business and managerial principles stay straight-up.
  • Cheryl Durham
    Loved. Loved. Loved.. Who Moved My Cheese was a great fable to address change. Fish went a step further. Mr. Lundin helped us to see that boosting morale can be done in such a fun loving and remarkable manner. Moving on to Gung Ho. Getting better....means doing all!
  • Srikanth Palaparthy
    Great book. This is my second time reading. Great practices to be fully present at work and life. These practices should be thought to children from very young age. Also this book is for all ages. Thanks For the book. Now I am re-energised.
  • Ankur Chaudhary
    A good a light read with some concepts on how to keep people motivated and energetic at the workplace. It is a thin book which could be read in one sitting.
  • Janelle Franco
    Good ideology, horribly written.
  • Manuel Melendez
    Quick to read and the concepts are simple, but powerful in practice! I cant wait to actually implement these techniques with my team. Quick to read and the concepts are simple, but powerful in practice! I can’t wait to actually implement these techniques with my team.