Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin


“Fish!” by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen is a motivational business parable that explores the power of enthusiasm, teamwork, and positive attitude in the workplace. Set against the backdrop of Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market, the book follows the story of a disillusioned manager named Mary Jane who is tasked with turning around a department suffering from low morale, high turnover, and poor performance.

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During a visit to the renowned fish market, Mary Jane encounters the vibrant and energetic atmosphere created by the fishmongers, who approach their work with passion and joy. Inspired by their contagious enthusiasm, Mary Jane learns four key principles – known as the “Fish Philosophy” – that transform her approach to leadership and ignite a positive change in her team.

The four principles of the Fish Philosophy are:

  1. Choose Your Attitude: Recognizing that attitude is a choice, individuals can consciously choose to approach their work with positivity and optimism, regardless of external circumstances.
  2. Play: Embracing a playful mindset fosters creativity, innovation, and a sense of enjoyment in the workplace. By infusing tasks with a spirit of playfulness, individuals can overcome challenges and engage more fully in their work.
  3. Make Their Day: Acts of kindness, appreciation, and service create meaningful connections and enrich the lives of both customers and colleagues. By focusing on making a positive impact on others, individuals can cultivate a culture of care and support.
  4. Be Present: Being fully present and engaged in the moment enhances communication, collaboration, and productivity. By practicing mindfulness and active listening, individuals can deepen relationships and achieve greater effectiveness in their interactions.

Through engaging storytelling and practical insights, “Fish!” illustrates how these principles can be applied to any work environment to inspire a culture of excellence, passion, and fulfillment. The book encourages readers to reevaluate their approach to work, embrace a more positive mindset, and unleash their potential to make a meaningful difference in their organizations and communities.