Summary of When Fish Fly

Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace - From the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market

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When Fish Fly book summary
There's nothing fishy about developing people as the Fish Market does: with listening, caring and years of commitment.


6 Overall

7 Applicability

5 Innovation

6 Style


Author John Yokoyama, owner of Seattle's World Famous Pike Place Fish Market, explains how he changed his attitude toward his employees, embraced a new way of treating people, led his employees in a fundamental directional shift and built a widespread reputation. This isn't a business "cookbook" that tells you step by step what to do. As Yokoyama insists, you can't just copy someone else's success. You must be an individual. However, the story of his turnaround and triumph at World Famous Pike Place Fish Market is a good read that illuminates the need for leaders to treat their employees, as he says, as people, not as human resources. Although the Market is getting to be as overexposed as a fish left out in the sun, welcomes this first person exposition from the owner. After numerous published accounts about the Market, the saga of how Yokoyama empowered employees, promoted his business and changed his style comes through best in his own words.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to help your business by changing your attitude and developing your staff;
  • Why new hires should undergo pre-employment; and
  • How John Yokoyama and his World Famous Pike Place Fish Market team create a vital workplace.


To Change Your Business, Change Yourself First
The first step in changing your business isn't changing your employees. It is changing yourself, your attitude, your way of thinking and your way of interacting. Do you have preconceived ideas about people or misconceptions that hinder your...
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About the Authors

John Yokoyama is the owner of the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington. Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., is a business and management consultant and the author of Humor, Play and Laughter.

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