Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fishing for Excellence Within the Workplace!



The book of the week was Fish! by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen. It was brought to my attention by my Mom and I'm glad she told me about it. The book was a inspirational story with 4 very simple ideas that make worlds of a difference in the workplace!

The book is based around the story of a lady named Mary Jane. Mary Jane and her husband move to Seattle together with their two kids. Some time after moving to Seattle her husband passes away unexpectedly. This puts a lot of pressure on her personal life, as she is now a single mother and all financial burdens have been placed on her. She works at a First Guarantee and had developed the reputation as the "can-do" supervisor. Mary Jane was offered a promotion, but she was hesitant to take it because it was to supervise the third floor. The third floor of First Guarantee was a "toxic energy dump"- meaning that everyone there was a drain on moral, enthusiasm, and overall energy. Mary Jane took the position even with her hesitance because ultimately she needed the money to support her family now. Mary Jane struggled for a little while at this new position, she knew she needed to change the mentality of this department, but didn't know how. One day she took a different route on her lunch break and ended up at Pike's Fish Market. She couldn't believe how much energy was created at this fish market and how everyone seemed happy about what they were doing. She needed to create an atmosphere like that on the third floor at First Guarantee. She was noticed by one of the employees at Pike's named Lonnie. Lonnie helped talk her through her problem department and gave several suggestions on how to improve it. After field trips and many meetings the department was changed with these four ideas:

"Choose Your Attitude"- Everyone should realize that they can choose their mood every second of every day. When you go into work in the morning you can choose to be mad, sad, and upset, or you can choose to be happy, excited, and enthusiastic. When you choose one of the latter emotions, you become contagious and those emotions spread about the office or where ever you are like wild fire.

"Play"- Don't think about work being "work." Everything is what you make it and along with choosing your attitude, you can choose to be playful at work. Just have fun with what you are doing. Think of it as a playful challenge, you can create a challenge for yourself... become faster, more efficient, all around better. And don't think that you can't be playful and also be professional. Whoever said the two are mutually exclusive is completely wrong.

"Make Their Day"- This is a very important one! This is about making your customer's day. This is what will drive your customers to the next level and create an epidemic of a company. Compliment them, include them in jokes, and remember their names if you can. All of these things are what make people come back for more and also tell their friends. Several companies have created an empire by focusing on customer service... see what you can do!

"Be Present"- This means not just showing up, but really being there. If you are present then you are there to play with the customers, scan what is going on around you, and really interact with everyone around you. What happens too often is day-dreaming, boredom, just keeping the status quo. Being present is what gets you noticed... by recruiters, your boss, your professors... whatever the case might be... be present and get ahead!

The four tips in this book are relatively simple all you have to do is be conscious of them. It is very important not to let any environment you work in to become a "toxic energy dump." If you lead the people around you and make the changes outlined in this book, you'll make a name for yourself and really make people's lives better! I think this book is a great, easy read for anybody, but would be especially helpful for anyone that is or aspires to manage people. If you have any questions on the book don't hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to help anyone that wants it.

Amazon link to buy Fish!

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