4 “Secrets” to Energize & Motivate

. at . 2 comments

 This Book, Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and improve Results, shares four secrets to revitalizing any workplace. These secrets also translate well into improving one’s personal life.  

I call the following concepts secrets because while they are simple concepts, they seem to have escaped the notice and implementation of many people.

These 4 secrets may seem obvious. But implementing them forms the foundation for a successful, productive, and more enjoyable work- and personal-life.

  • Choose your attitude.
  • Play.
  • Make their day.
  • Be present.

I read this book while in college and recently came across my notes. Below are my thoughts on these four secrets.

1. “Choose your attitude” is the first secret. Simply put this means people have a choice about how they will think and act in the workplace. In the Forward Ken Blanchard states, “75% of our time is spent doing work-related activities” (9-10). So why not choose to have a good attitude about it?

According to the authors, the benefit of choosing to love our work extends beyond being happy at work. It also means “we can catch our limit of happiness, meaning, and fulfilment every day, [every where]”(9). The practices of the other secrets are also needed to fully experience a transformed work and life experience, but it all starts with our attitude.

Choosing to have a good attitude is what made a difference for me at one of my former jobs. After reading this book, I decided to consciously enjoy each aspect of my job. I realized that while the job itself wasn’t important, each person I came into contact with was important.

I decided to stop playing victim to my insecurities and doubts about my job performance. I took to heart verses from Joshua about being strong, courageous, and not dismayed. This attitude choosing worked!

One night  my boss, Pete, told me he had been watching me with the customers and said he was very pleased with my interaction. Pete went on to say, “I think you should do an in-service training on this!” I was the last hired, had never been in that type of job before, and had not attended any training seminars. The difference, I believe, had been my attitude.

2. The second secret has to do with “Play.” Blanchard says that working in a playful atmosphere “will prevent [employee] burnout and keep the job excitement alive” (10). Lonnie, a person in the book, adds several other benefits: low turnover, camaraderie amongst work mates, personal and team pride (64).

Several characters in the book noted that any job could be boring. Besides choosing a positive attitude it is necessary to do the work in an interesting manner. Lonnie tells Mary Jane, “We discovered we could be serious about business and still have fun with the way we conducted business…having a good time, but doing it in a respectful manner” (63).

I am not naturally a “playful” type of person. So, I have difficulty with putting this into practice or even seeing what I could do to be “respectfully” playful. The one thing I tried to do was not be so serious and uptight about my job performance.

3. The third secret centers onMake their day.” Lonnie says this involves making great memories for the customer (66). The Make Their Day Team took this one step further by giving specific examples of customer service to make customers feel important. These examples include the following . . .

  • Have the customer be part of the feedback process.
  • Set up the environment to make it easier for the customer.
  • Have the workers exhibit efficiency and a caring attitude.
  • Find ways to play along side the customer.
  • Make great service a priority of the company.

I personally tried to extend great service to each customer. I looked them in the eye and really listened after I asked if there is anything else I may help them with. When I was on the floor, I “played” by helping customers find the necessary product to make the end result something “they” were pleased with. Evidently my approach was working since my boss commented on it.

4. The final secret is “Be present.” In Mary Jane’s journal these ideas were presented as no daydreaming, or doing unnecessary things, and being on the look out for interacting with the customers (70-71). It is easy in any job to get distracted, so having this reminder to stay focused on the present was a needed one.

Sometimes I had trouble (and still do) with looking for ways to interact with customers. If I was involved with a project. I tend to be task-oriented and like to finish the task before moving on to another task or interacting with people. Evidently when I am in task-mode, I get a look that says, “I am busy. Don’t talk to me.” This is not a good look when you are supposed to be also doing customer service.

I’d like to reread this book. I want to see if/how I could implement these 4 secrets in my current place of employment. I especially would like ideas on how to “Make their day” and on “Play.” Any suggestions?

Your Turn . . . 

  1. Have you read this book? If yes, what were your take-away points?
  2. What secrets were easy?
  3. Which ones were harder to implement?
  4. Do you have another example for how one (or more) of the secrets can be carried out?
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Entry filed under: Books, Main. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. claudiawjohnson  |  . at .

    I haven’t read this book and don’t know this author, but I really love the books I’ve read by Blanchard. It sounds great.


  • 2. susan2009  |  . at .

    It was a great read, Claudia.

    And it was fun the way the authors (Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul (Author), and John Christensen) used this imagined company and characters to highlight their 4 secrets. Made me wish I was more like one of the transformed workers.



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