7 Slices
Medium 9781576753231

6. Problems are a Good Thing

Cyndi Crother Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

99

At Pike Place Fish, the fishmongers view problems, conflict, or differences as a good thing. Creative conflict and problems are an opportunity for learning, growth, and transformation. It would be foolish to think that conflict does not occur at Pike Place Fish—it comes up every day, just as it occurs in every other company. The difference is the fishmongers’ commitment.

Each fishmonger at Pike Place Fish is committed to every other fishmonger’s greatness. Imagine how it would look if you knew the people in your life were committed to your success. How would things be different from how they are now? On the other hand, if all the people in your life knew that you were committed to their success, would anything change?

Problems force the fishmongers to deal with things out in the open, when they occur. The process allows them to solve a problem or to effectively deal with a situation. Coaching is one method the fishmongers use to communicate and solve problems. Their commitment to one another’s greatness alters the language they use and the tone of their voice when coaching, as well as the methods they use to convey information. Through coaching and problem-solving opportunities, the fishmongers recognize that they are each a part of something bigger, collectively, than each person is individually. These opportunities help the fishmongers stay on track toward accomplishing both personal goals and the collective goals of Pike Place Fish, as seen in Anders’s story.

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1. A Day in the Life of World Famous Pike Place Fish

Cyndi Crother Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

3

Throughout this book, you will be reading stories from each of the fishmongers, so it might help to know a little bit about them. Johnny Yokoyama purchased Pike Place Fish in 1965 and used to work at the Market with the guys. These days the fishmongers pretty much keep the fish flying on their own; however, Johnny remains actively involved in coaching the crew and in leading them into an exciting and inspiring future.

Dicky Yokoyama, Johnny’s brother, started working at Pike Place Fish over twenty years ago and is presently one of the managers. Samuel “Sammy” Samson is the other manager, but you usually can’t see him because he’s moving so darn fast! Keith Bish, otherwise known as “Bear,” was the driver and utility person for years; now you can find him working at the king salmon display. Justin Hall has been working at Pike Place Fish since he was thirteen years old. He has been there for thirteen years, and his claim to fame is being in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most fish thrown in a minute.

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3. Intention and Commitment

Cyndi Crother Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

35

Have you ever thought about your intention in life? If you knew that a commitment to your intention would affect all of the relationships in your life, wouldn’t you take some time to think about it? One of the steps on the path to greatness is to live with a conscious purpose or intention. Unless you have been living your life with a conscious purpose or intention, you have to assume that, up to this point, your experiences are the result of an unconscious intention.

The fishmongers have each developed personal as well as collective intentions and commitments. We invite you to take a moment and think about the following questions:

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At Pike Place Fish, the fishmongers foster a collective intention to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and they are committed to one another’s greatness. Their commitment allows each fishmonger the opportunity to be great and to do amazing things. When you allow the people around you to know your intention and commitment, they will be equally committed to you—possibly even more committed. Intention and commitment often go hand in hand, as Andy’s story indicates.

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5. Shaping Your Reality

Cyndi Crother Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

75

The fishmongers’ thoughts, words, and actions reflect the way they see the world and their reality. Language is the mechanism that the fishmongers use to connect them to their customers and to one another. Language is generally considered just a tool to communicate with others, but in a more powerful way, language connects you to your reality through your thought processes.

“Thinking” is how we talk to ourselves. The function of your mind is to process bits of information into other bits. It is like an internal feedback system, and things such as self-confidence, motivation, self-esteem, attitude, and achievement are internally based and are within each person’s own control. How you connect to your internal feedback system is through your thinking.

Pike Place Fish is no different from any other place when it comes to the concept of thinking. What is different is the awareness of thinking that goes along with the normal operations and physical aspects of their work. The fishmongers have realized that their personal thoughts and opinions shape the way they respond to everything in life; it also shapes how they see other people and how they think others see them. Thoughts and language shape how people view change and all of the opportunities and adversities that come with change.

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4. Opportunities and Transformation

Cyndi Crother Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

57

The individuals that comprise Pike Place Fish’s world famous crew stand for and inspire the greatness of one another. Collectively, the crewmembers look each day for opportunities to make a powerful and positive difference in the lives of their customers. It is possible for one person to influence the way other people experience life. Collectively, that opens the door to many possibilities to make a difference. This is their commitment.

At various moments in all of the fishmongers’ careers, each has faced conflict, confrontation, an experience with an unhappy customer, or problems with a coworker. In those moments, the fishmongers have an opportunity to choose how they are going to participate in and experience the situation. The outcome is a direct result of the choices they make along the way. The good news is that at every moment there is an opportunity to change the course of the situation, and each situation is made up of hundreds or thousands of such opportunities.

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In the following story, Bugge faces an unhappy customer named Sarah. There are several times during Bugge’s story that could have gone many different directions. Because of his commitment to making a difference, however, Bugge chose to make this a positive and powerful experience. As you read his story, remember the fishmongers’ underlying belief that “it’s all over here.” Watch how that belief, combined with Bugge’s intention and commitment, affected the outcome of this situation.

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