Pikes Place Fish -Revisted

FISH! Recently I had a light bulb suddenly pop on in the dark recesses of my mind. It burned away a few cobwebs that lit up a vision of the past. As the light grew brighter, it now provided greater clarity.  My revelation was that some of the inspirational tools used for improving behavior and attitudes from the 80’s & 90’s have been lying dormant for many years, but are still very relevant today. One, maybe two generations are not even aware these proven tools exist. Today I am reintroducing the FISH! philosophy of a positive attitude and productive behavior based on 4 simple principles.

  1. playing at work, – Find a way to have fun at work
  2. making someone’s day – Engage your customers, make them feel appreciated
  3. being present – Be engaged with the present
  4. choosing one’s attitude – Only you can decide to have a good attitude

These principles are best described in the short video provided at the end of this article that i strongly urge you to watch.. The FISH! philosophy has been very productive for many individuals and teams around the world. Organizational success is through the empowerment of individuals based on the 4 principles. I believe it will be beneficial and productive for those who take the time to engage in learning the  Fish! process. For some it will relight the fire that was dimmed awhile back, for others it will provide a new found resource for positively engaging in work and play. While the message in this video is good for everyone to take the time to mentally engage with, I believe that my fellow Fire & EMS providers would especially  benefit if they enacted these practices. I urge you all to take the time after you watch this 8:31 minute story, take a piece of paper and write down at least 3 ways you can engage each of the 4 principles in this video in your own life. I’ve already done this  and will reveal my list later.

Accomplishing these principles is not easy. Pikes Peak Fish Market put in many hours and much interaction with their employees to make it work for them. They still work at it everyday to keep it going in the right direction. The road to enacting these principles will be strewn with regression and stubborn obstacles that will try your patience to it’s limit. However you can choose how you will address the 4 principles on your own, in your world and in a positive manner. You have that control. As you will see in the video those who  are successful carrying out these principles of FISH! have 3 common denominators; 1. They have the spirit, 2. They are committed, 3. They have energy to be successful. This post isn’t just for the new guys & gals, it’s for all; including mid-level leaders and chiefs.  We have Emergency Services Evangelists who travel around country and pop in to your town for 8 hours prompting us to be engaged, combat, ready, aware, don’t be complacent, to make every day a training day, etc. I would ask you to add these 4 principles to the practices they recommend. You will see they fit in nicely.

 I ask you to be brave and come back to my blog and post at least 1 thing you did under each principle to be a better human, a better family person and better co-worker. I’ll share them here, on my Twitter and Facebook pages for others to benefit from and hopefully be inspired. Or you can enter 1 challenge you hope to overcome and see if others can provide some support for you.

So as in the words of the Nace Brothers song, “Quit Yer Bitchin” and go with Arlo Guthrie’s commentary in Alice’s Restaurant;

“…And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said . Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.” It’s time for a new and positive movement. Go FISH! for it.

Now click the link below and tune in and turn on. Hope to hear from you afterwards


More information on FISH! training & products: www.fishphilosophy.com




  1. The following is a discussion related to this article that is in the Bugles group of Lindkedin.
    Robert Isbell
    Robert Isbell
    Fire Chief for the City of Midland, Texas

    This is a story that never gets old. I would ask you how you see these concepts fitting in to the fire service? How do we get the guys/gals to “choose their attitude?”

    Thanks for sharing…
    Like Reply privately Flag as inappropriate 1 day ago
    Tony Correia
    Tony Correia
    Trainer / consultant at On Scene Training Associates

    Robert I was hoping for a few more comments before I jumped in, but it didn’t happen, so I’ll continue the conversation.
    Having worked and volunteered in emergency services for over 37 years I have seen people having bad attitudes and poor behavior blamed on something or someone else. It my experience that those who take responsibility for their actions and come to work with the attitude I’m going to make the best of what I have control over are the people, are the people you want to be around, and the most and usually the most productive. As you know Viktor Frankl wrote while he was interned in a Nazi Concentration Camp, not knowing if he was going to live or die. While in these camps he wrote that while the nazi’s could control many things in his life, they couldn’t control his thoughts and attitude. If Frankl could do it, certainly the rest of can. it starts when you apply for a job and that means volunteer also. You should have a clear understanding of what you are getting into and if what they are offering and the work environment match your interest and expectations. Usually thats where the mismatch occurs. For those going in expecting fire and trauma everyday, well your sadly mistaken and you’re going to be disappointed with your career choice. 2. when you come to work you need to be ready, able and prepared to be engaged in work. If you’re hungover, tired from staying up to late or already thinking about the PIA you’re going to be working with today; you’re not ready to go to work. 3. Look for opportunities to have fun and be successful. it could be by yourself or with co-workers. When the environment turns negative, look at them as challenging opportunities to better yourself. I’ve definitely found, ( Usually much later) that the obstacles and challenges in my life are what made me stronger, a better person and more willing to look on the bright side of life. Just look at the survivors of the Boston Marathon a year later. If we lower our expectations and raise the bar on working harder to have a better day, to look where your can help someone else, as opposed to believing others should make your life easier, your world would be much more fulfilling. I will end this by saying besides watching the FISH! video and incorporating the principles in your life, that you should also read Frankl and learn what the power of the human spirit is and what you can do with it. No where am I saying it;’s easy and it’s not work every day; but when you do it and succeed life is much more enjoyable and rewarding. I will leave any of you that read this with this clip to give another view on these perspectives’ on life.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Wx230gYJw

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