Pikes Place Fish Market-Revisted

Pikes Peak Fish -Revisted. via Pikes Peak Fish -Revisted.


This is a great story about the Seattle-based “Pikes Place Fish Market” and their philosophy of having a good attitude and fun at work with great customer service.  My question this morning is; How can we use this in the fire service today? without compromising compassion and customer service.  Please chime in with your thoughts and/or other ideas to raise our profession to a new level of customer service through great attitudes.


Thanks Tony for the article;


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How to Be


Do you ever wonder how some leaders just “get it”? Like they were born with super-leadership abilities. These are the ones we study and probe to see if the secret ingredient can be duplicated. It never fails, that once we get close enough to really know them, we find out that they’re as normal as everyone else in the world. No super-leadership abilities, just a consistent way of seeing the world around them. A consistent walk that reflects that outlook.

Consistency is related to a great deal of leadership traits; trust, ethics, sincerity. It is also maintaining a theme of what you believe in and how your actions are aligned with what you espouse as  a leader.  The dots have to connect.

A very impressive leader, that I’ve been blessed to know, teaches that the foundation of leading others simply lies in being who you are. Another famous leadership sage, Frances Hesselbein, espouses “leadership is how to be, not how to do”.

Although I recommend that you are well versed in the leadership styles and legacies of all the greats, like Drucker, Collins, and Bennis, you also need to be cognizant of human psychology and current social trends. More than both of these, you need to know who you are, and how you are perceived. The hard part when this is known, is to remember to “be yourself”. Be genuine and embrace what makes you, you.

Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.
Warren G. Bennis

StrengthsFinder 2.0 out of Gallup is a great starting point in this discovery. It will also be a resource to learn about those around you and what makes them tic. If you really live within your strengths, you will be genuine, happy and an influencer of others, as long as you remember to consider the you impact on your potential followers.


How do you think others perceive you?  Think of a close professional relationship and then ask yourself, “would their impression of themselves match your impression of them”?


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Stop Talking Start Communicating

Stop Talking Start Communicating http://tumlin.com/book/

Please check out Dr. Tumlin’s book. There is no better advice in life or business than this book. Should be a mandatory read.

Who’s driving?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” -Dr. Seuss

Are you a follower or a leader? A watcher or a performer? Who did you influence today?  I believe we all fall into both titles to varying degrees every day, but when you reflect on your day, which one will you be remembered for?

There are no jerks, just different personalities.

Research shows we are quick to attribute someone’s “different” actions/words to a persons controlled attitude or behavior. When the shoe is on the other foot, we believe our own actions/words are a result of our situation or environment. Surely we can’t be the same as the jerk? -Right?-  Wrong!

We are all the same with some varying hard-wired circuitry in our brains that form our personality preferences. If you are right-handed and try to write with your left hand, it is very awkward.  The comfort of writing with a familiar hand is the same comfort we feel when acting/talking through the day. Whether or not you are an extrovert or introvert or you are more of a judger or perceiver, you are who you are.  Everyone else is actually like – no one else. Most importantly those others, are really not jerks, they are just who their personality preference shapes them to be.

The co-worker who is the downer or the one that questions everything you do is really not a bad person, they may be more comfortable within the frame of questioning or diligent oversight of tasks. When you understand it is usually not malicious, you can serve their individual personality comforts with what makes them tick (details, vision and clarity).  Usually the friction between people is really just misunderstood personality traits.

Personality isn’t something you can just change; it is more efficient to understand who you are and play to your strengths.  There are no “bad” personality preferences.  I’ll say this again, “there are no bad personality preferences”…  People will have varying degrees of personal strengths based on their brain circuitry. Personality will shine based on situation, degree of preference and the synergistic effect of another person’s personality. Understanding this is why people do and say what they do, should alleviate frustrations.  Rather than trying to convince someone you’re right they’re not, look at it from their personality and then re-think your approach, or maybe be open to the other side.

Communications is much more than just speaking or listening.  It is also reading the personality preferences of those around you and adjusting your message so that they understand you better.  It also helps if you can explain the whole personality type phenomenon to those close to you so they might understand you rather than thinking you’re the jerk….

Parting shot: Would love to hear your thoughts about the guy/gal who has always been “that” way. I would wager that’s just their comfort zone shining through and the perception you may hold could be the other side.  What do you think they would say about you?

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Are you aware of…. you?

What do you see?

Authentic leadership evasively hides, getting harder and harder to find everyday.  So many so-called leaders just manage day-to-day expecting great results to fall into their laps.  If you “lead” in any fashion you need to evaluate your interaction and influence. You alone possess the power to make people feel worth while in their jobs. Even if you do not have direct oversight, your daily interaction will exert influence in your co-workers.

Awareness of your presence and impact is necessary. (me)

Can you change processes or procedures that have become so integrated in the daily grind they are never evaluated? It becomes easy and somewhat habitual to go to work and do the same thing over and over. Read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business You will discover we are controlled by our daily habits and environment. Small changes reinforce huge shifts in our lives and the lives of our co-workers and friends.

Next question, what have you done recently to improve your professional abilities? Are you really done learning your job?  A true professional practices and works to get better at their craft every day. Just like the center on a football team (American NFL) who will snap the ball over and over and over again each and every day; you too should consider perfecting the small skills that make you a professional. Take a class, attend a seminar, read a book, teach a class, or just practice. No one knows it all or performs flawlessly without practice.

The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.
(Vince Lombardi)

The only way to get better is to objectively look at your performance and seek outside evaluation for how you’re doing.  We use 360 degree surveys that are unfiltered, raw unloading of the department’s observations as they see them.  These evaluations are truly anonymous and sometimes brutal in content. Really good stuff. The results then can be categorized to look for trends and even be used to personally self-evaluate how you are perceived. CAUTION: Use these with care. Learn how to take raw feedback..

If you are not passionate about your work, read the book Turning Pro and evaluate your path.  If you are just in a rut, look for ways to break the habits around you that are pulling you down. If you are passionate, then look for ways to communicate that passion to those around you so that they understand. Everyone hears the message differently thus personalities abound with diverse opinions.  Craft your passion into a message that is personal to each one of your co-workers.  Talk their language and see if your passion is contagious.

Change is not as difficult as we all think. It is as easy as changing simple mundane habits and embracing our passion. Also remember to be personal with those around you as the message you speak may be in a foreign tongue if not delivered in their native personality.

Parting Shot: Be vain, look into the mirror often enough to know how others see you.