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Fish! – Book Review

A quick read parable about how an insightful manager took an emotionally toxic work environment and turned it into an award winning team of motivated employees. Fish! is a small book about leadership, motivation and team building – all vital elements to a healthy happy work environment.

Fish! Book Cover

If you enjoy reading parables such as “Who Moved My Cheese” or “Whale Done,” then you will thoroughly enjoy this quick read tale of a fish market, a new manager and a department of disinterested employees. Fish! is a little book filled with big leadership lessons.

Fish! is the story of Mary Jane, a new manager of disinterested and disenchanted employees. In fact, her department on the third floor is known throughout the company as the “toxic waste dump.” The third floor staff are a negative and unmotivated group of people who put in their time to receive a paycheck and nothing more.

I’ve never been to the Pike Street Fish Market in Seattle Washington but the authors paint a vivid and exciting picture of a fun place to buy fish and watch the employees interacting with their customers. Mary Jane is befriended by one of the fishmongers who offers to teach her how to create a productive work environment, even out of a toxic waste dump.

I read this book in two hours. It is easy to read, understand and gets the point across quickly in a fun way. The main point I gathered was: A powerful leader understands that she must empower, improve and lead herself first, before she can empower and lead others.

According to the authors, there are four main principles for building a motivated team. Fish! takes you through each one of their team building principles step-by-step. There are leadership lessons here for every businesswoman whether you are in network marketing, the corporate world or running a home-based business. As it states on the book cover: “A remarkable way to boost morale and improve results.”

Fish! is definitely worth the read. Even though it was written in 2000 you’ll still find it available in your local bookstore, on Amazon.com and in the library. If you have a team, this would be a great book to read and discuss together.
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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Deborah October 10, 2013, 6:36 am

    I love this book! You never know where you’re going to see great leadership being expressed.

    • sharonmichaels October 10, 2013, 6:53 am

      I agree with you! I also liked the fact that I could read it in one evening.

  • Tricia October 10, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Fish is a wonderful book. It reminds me of Robert Greenleaf’s, Servant Leadership. Anyone in a leadership role (even parents) does well to strive to bring out the best in others; to inspire. Not to control or dictate. I’ve loved work environments under positive and validating transformational leadership.

    • sharonmichaels October 11, 2013, 9:20 am

      I’m all for leadership by inspiration – it’s all about walking your talk!!!
      Thank you for sharing.

  • Marilyn Sarno October 12, 2013, 1:03 pm


    Thanks for review. It motivated me to read the book because you stated
    how long it took to read. I have the book sitting on my bedside table so
    I read it. Loved it and the messages it contained.
    I need to work on the present moment that they talked about
    and also having more fun with my work.
    Love the book recs and reviews. Marilyn from Phila.

    • sharonmichaels October 12, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Thanks Marilyn

      It’s an easy book to read and yet, it contains great information.
      That’s why it is one of my all time favorites!!!

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