Something about cold weather sends me for a soft, warm comforter and a good book. I know we all have page turners we love, but I’d like to encourage you to adopt a little 2021 plan of self-improvement. Read some books this January aimed at making you a better employee, a better person. To that end, I want to make some suggestions.
My most basic first read for self-improvement, and I read it once a year, is Fish! It’s based on the now famous philosophy embraced by the iconic Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. It centers on the four principles employed to skyrocket their impact, transcending selling smelly fish into a way of life.
- Play. Make your work fun for yourself and others.
- Make Their Day. Leave a lasting impact on all you meet.
- Be There. Focus on others.
- Choose Your Attitude. You get to decide how you feel.
If you’ve never had a chance to visit the market (and I used to live in Seattle, so I’ve enjoyed being there multiple times), the fishmongers holler out each person’s order and flip the fish over heads from one employee to another. They make loud jokes and folks will stand there for an hour just to see what happens next. Yes, they do a thriving business and their process has won acclaim…but it’s not one that needs to be reserved for a fish market.
These are not revolutionary concepts and they may be employed by anyone. They just feel crazy new when you’ve been immersed into a culture of entitlement and felt victimized by your own position. It’s time to re-create yourself! You get to decide on who you are and how you project yourself. In the process, others will react to you and your circumstances may well change.
It’s not as hard as you think. When you get an assignment to help a company get their product out there, you aren’t re-inventing the wheel. You are told just what to do. What you are changing is your attitude about what you’re doing. You are interacting with the product in a new way within your own mind. You are noticing the people around you, smiling, responding to them. You are an emissary for the brand, not a lowly stocker. See the difference?
When you take these concepts into your everyday life, the change is even more dramatic. Make life fun for those around you. Do something that makes the day of a family member, neighbor or roommate. Really listen to what others are saying. Focus on their needs, not your own. Let your insecurities take a backseat for a change. Choose to make a good attitude your defining characteristic for 2021.
A series of books have been developed on this theme: Fish! Tales, Fish! Sticks and Fish! For Life. The same basic concepts are applied in various ways to make them come alive for readers. Take the time to immerse yourself in that mindset, and I promise you, you’ll relate to life in a whole new way. As your attitude subtly changes, your circumstances will change. Friends, it’s time to cut bait and Fish!