The Remi Book Club is back again and with a review of Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen. The first time I read this book was back in 2006. Since then, quite a few things have changed in life, history, technology, politics, etc. However, one thing has remained the same…the simple, yet powerful message in the still-popular book.
The Fish Philosophy was born from a phenomenon Christensen noticed happening at the world famous Pike Fish Market in Seattle, WA. The fishmongers work at the market is often tedious, smelly, and cold. However, collectively, they chose to come to work with a positive attitude every day and engage their customers in meaningful ways and it changed the feel of their environment completely even though the actual work remained the same.
From there, Christensen, Lundin, and Paul went on to write Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, along with three follow-up books to complete the series, Fish! Sticks, Fish! Tales, and Fish! For Life; all of which can be found on Amazon. There are countless videos on the Fish Philosophy, but there’s one from John Christensen himself that I enjoyed watching; you can check it out on YouTube.
The Fish Philosophy is based on the notion that, “When we choose to love the work we do, we can catch our limit of happiness, meaning, and fulfillment every day.” as suggested in the book. Fish! discusses four lessons that can transform a “toxic energy dump” or metaphoric “prison” into a positive, satisfying work environment.
The first lesson, which is also my favorite, is that you can choose the attitude you have every day, regardless of the work to be done or despite what’s been done to you in the past or happening to you in the present. The book continues on to talk about the other three lessons: play, make their day, and be present. Each one briefly covers how the fishmongers made it work for them, in addition to how a widowed, middle-aged, single mother working at a bank made it work for her team that was otherwise known as the “last stage of decline.”
Amazon reviews give Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results 4 out of 5 stars. One 5-star review by tfhawkins states “Fish motivated me! The simple steps are the simple truths here. Taught in an engaging and meaningful way. I'll never forget this book!” and I couldn’t agree more. I rarely read books twice, but this was an exception. It was even better the second time, perhaps because I am older and wiser, in a new career, or just because it’s a great book with a life-changing message that’s relatable to almost every situation. Have you read the book or others in the series? How many stars would you give it and why? Share your thoughts with us – we’d love to hear from you!