Business and leadership lessons from Alaska – part 1

Went to Alaska.  It was beautiful.  That’s not what I want to talk about.

What I’d rather talk about are the three valuable lessons I learned while on vacation.  I know, I am supposed to be on vacation, but I can’t help it!

So here they are: Be honest.  Give great value.  Tell a story.

Let me start with the last one first (parts 2 & 3 will cover the others).

Tell a story

So this first one actually comes from Seattle, but this was on our way to Alaska.

Many people have heard about the Fish motivational video.  It stars fish mongers from Pike Place Market in Seattle, and tells the story about how they turned a dirty, stinky job into something fun and energizing.  They throw fish, sing songs, and choose to have a good time all day long.  Oh, and they sell lots of fish.

Now, if you haven’t been to Pike Place, you might think by the video and the buzz around these guys that they are the only game in town.  You’d be wrong.  There are a number of other fish vendors at the market, and from I could tell, their fish was just as fresh and stinky as these guys.  Here is the difference.

When you walk by the “world famous” fish guys, they greet you like an old friend, invite you into their world, have some fun with you, pose for pictures, and throw a fish or two.  You smile, laugh, giggle, take a picture, and go home and tell your friends.  You may not buy a thing, but you talked about them.

Contrast that with one of the other fish vendors, literally within 100 yards of the world famous guys whose spiel includes, “We’ve got fresh Alaskan salmon, on sale today, we can ship it anywhere.”  Snooze.

Who do you remember and talk about (unless you are blogging)?  Right. The people who have chosen to act world famous so they become world famous!

So what do you and your employees think about your business?  I guarantee that has an impact on the way you do business.

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3!

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