By Stephen C Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen

There certainly is no shortage of self-help books. Thousands of them are available and new ones appear every day and it can be difficult to know what’s worthwhile buying, downloading, or leaving.

I love continuing learning but have an extremely short attention span and on top of that I also switch off easily if the author isn’t taking me with them. I need self-help, business motivational books or whatever you want to call them to be to the point, told in way I can imagine/visualize but more importantly a book that keeps me engaged. I find a lot of them are all about promoting the authors ego, how good they are and how much money they make. That’s just my view!

This book is not like that at all. It’s called Fish.

This book was given to me by an Area Manager who had taken over the area I was a Manager in. Inside the dust jacket they wrote “Mike I look forward to working together and making 2002 a great year”

Being given that book was a very powerful way and clever way to start our working relationship. If I am honest with you, although I hadn’t worked with this person before, I didn’t rate them and wasn’t enthusiastic about being managed by them – to put it politely. Giving me the book was a smart move and made me doubt my earlier thoughts!

I learnt two lessons. The first being flattery gets your everywhere and second always trust your gut instinct!

Fish is a management parable that draws its lesson from the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the States.

The heroine, Mary Jane Ramirez, recently widowed and mother of two, is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company’s troubled operations department, described as a ” energy dump.” Most Managers would cut their losses and quit. Why waste your time and energy with a bunch of losers?

Mary Jane instead decides to sort out the mess with the help of head fishmonger Lonnie, who she had watched working in Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market. The book is based on the bestselling corporate education video, Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace.

The Fish philosophy

Be there: Be emotionally present for people. It’s a powerful message of respect that improves communication and strengthens relationships.

Play: Tap into your natural way of being creative, enthusiastic, and having fun. Play is the spirit that drives the curious mind, as in “Let’s play with that idea!” You can bring this mindset to everything you do.

Make their day: Find simple ways to serve or delight people in a meaningful, memorable way. It’s about contributing to someone else’s life—not because you want something, but because that’s the person you want to be.

Choose your attitude: Take responsibility for how you respond to what life throws at you. Your choice affects others. Ask yourself: “Is my attitude helping my team or my customers? Is it helping me to be the person I want to be?”

Fish is a quick an easy read, that will keep your engaged right to the end and the philosophy is something that could easily be weaved into either your personal or business life.

Mike Jack is the Director of The One Consultancy