When Fish Fly
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"John Yokoyama and Joseph Michelli explain the secrets to making the success of the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market come alive in your work and life.  These are principles that work.  You can energize your employees and delight your customers by modeling the fabulous ideas that come from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market."

— Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager

"For some managers and business owners, leadership amounts to little more than trying to change others.  John Yokoyama did the opposite.  he decided who he wanted to 'be' and modeled his vision with great intention.  Instead of demanding results, he invited and inspired his employees--and the transformation of Pike Place Fish was more powerful and enduring as a result.  Johnny is a great leader with an important message"

— John Christensen, CEO, ChartHouse Learning, and Co-Author of FISH!

From Publishers Weekly

By empowering his employees, helping them buy in to his business vision and encouraging an intense commitment to customer service, Yokoyama turned a struggling Seattle fish market—with many unhappy employees—into the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market. Now "it would be difficult to find any retail store in America that makes more money per square foot of retail space," Yokoyama writes; "we haven’t had a full-time employee leave within the past five years." In this volume, which liberally employs fishing metaphors, Yokoyama and Michelli (Humor, Play and Laughter) share lessons and concepts that apply to a wide variety of business ventures. They offer advice for instilling passion in employees, thinking outside the profit box and striving to reach out to the community and customers, solving problems effectively and with a view to improvement, and realizing as goals are achieved, that "the process never ends. The game is simply played at a higher level with time." Well-placed quotes from such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and Woodrow Wilson enhance the book’s inspirational, if idealistic, messages.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Yokoyama is the owner of Pike Place Fish in Seattle's Pike Place Market, a historic, open-air market located in the heart of Seattle, Washington. Crowds gather daily to see the crew of fishmongers throwing fish and interacting with customers, and also to purchase some of the freshest fish in the country. The stand wasn't always as successful as it is today, however. Yokoyama's attitudes were shaped from his childhood experience of being imprisoned in World War II Japanese-American internment camps, as well as by his overbearing father. Prone to outbursts of anger, his strict, closed-minded management style wasn't working. Through much personal work he became aware of the effects that negative dialog, both internal and external, were having on his crew. Once he made a conscious decision to take a personal interest in his employees and created a vision of becoming a "world famous" fish market, the business really took off. He now shares his powerful insights as a consultant on the creation of dynamic business cultures for corporations around the world. David Siegfried
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Audio Book News Service

Customer service and employee morale are the two main messages from this interesting audio book. Yokoyama explains in his own words how he turned around a struggling Seattle fish market and developed loyalty from his employees, helping them develop vision and commitment. Having never had a full-time employee leave within the past five years, Yokoyama offers advice for encouraging passion in employees, teaching them to overcome the daily frustrations and setbacks that are part of the job. The audio describes how crowds gather daily to see the crew throwing fish and interacting with customers, and also to purchase some of the freshest fish in the country. Yokoyama's attitudes were shaped partly from his childhood experience of being imprisoned in World War II Japanese-American internment camp.

 

Media Attention for "When Fish Fly"

National Federation of Independent Business

Gibbons Peck

The Florence Citizen

Innsbruck Today

Fort Frances Times

Colorado Springs Gazette

Mercer Island Reporter