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...
  • Reading in Black & White
    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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Tyrkysová Knihovnička
    Když vás neodradí trochu dětinské pojetí obálky a název knihy, opravdu se dozvíte pár zajímavých tipů na to, jak své zaměstnance (nebo kolegy) vhodně motivovat a naladit na tu správnou vlnu. Nalaďte své zaměstnance (nebo sebe a kolegy) pozitivně, naučte je milovat svou práci a být na ni hrdí. Celý článek zde :)
  • 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!
  • Janelle Franco
    Good ideology, horribly written.
  • Manuel Melendez
    Quick to read and the concepts are simple, but powerful in practice! I can’t wait to actually implement these techniques with my team.
  • Stephanie
    This was required reading for a staff meeting at work, but I'm glad I read it and found it to be mostly enjoyable. It was quick and easy reading with a good message. There was also a fictional storyline presenting the lessons which made it more interesting and engaging. I enjoyed the story aspect and thought it was kind of cute. All in all, the book was a little cheesy and I don't think it will change my life, but it was worth the little bit of t...
  • 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...
  • 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,...
  • Academic Eric
    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 PresentIt seemed a little too simple and easy though - a little too gimmicky. I've been involved in a workp...
  • Brendan Miller
    Started fair, mildly believable, even. Around half-way through the book becomes a cheesy super-dramatic 80's sitcom learning-lesson. The author(s) treat you like a child the entire way.Here's an actual excerpt:"I was living a busy life... trying to make ends meet and working both sides against the middle. One day my daughter asked me to go to the park. I told her it was a wonderful idea but I had a lot to do at that moment. I said she should wait...
  • Deborah Pickstone
    Sounds wonderful! The film they made was also....well, if every workplace was like this, how happy we would all be! It's just......It wouldn't work. I mean it really wouldn't work. I tried applying it to my workplace and as far as I can see everyone thinks that theoretically this is great long as it doesn't involve them. Making the effort, that is. Accommodating the people they work with that they don't like. Doing the tasks no-one reli...