Stephen Lundin

Stephen Lundin

  • Author of Fish! and other bestsellers on workplace productivity and morale
  • Dynamic, humorous and relevant keynote speaker
  • Producer of two best-selling films

Travels from Fort Pierce, Florida

Keynote Fee: Contact Forte Speakers


Dr. Stephen Lundin is a writer, entrepreneur and filmmaker with a rich history as a graduate level business school professor and dean.

After finishing a film shoot on Whidby Island, a colleague and fellow filmmaker, John Christensen, decided to see the sights of downtown Seattle. So it was as a tourist that he encountered the most wholehearted and energetic workplace he had ever experienced: The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market. Two best-selling films and two best-selling books (titled Fish! of course) later, we have come to realize how deeply the work world longed for an image of a place where fun, joy, energy, productivity and incredible teamwork drive out stress, boredom, toxic energy and burnout.

When he entered the fish market, he tried to capture on film what the fishmongers did naturally. Two films later they had an exciting formula that would allow any team to create the incredible atmosphere they discovered in Seattle. They call it the Fish! Philosophy.

Lundin has written a number of books including the multimillion copy bestselling FISH! and the bestselling FISH! Tales, FISH! Sticks and FISH! for Life. His book Top Performer, A Bold Approach to Sales and Service was published in January 2007 and has been adopted by a major hotel chain. CATS: The Nine Levels of Innovation was published in January of 2009 and was quickly adopted by a medical products company. Loops: Success in Small Business is All about Closing Loops was published in April of 2009 and Ubuntu: Ancient African Wisdom for Today’s Leaders published by Random House in the spring of 2010.

During the last decade, Lundin has worked with hundreds of organizations in 40 countries. Lundin’s clients include: the government of Abu Dhabi, the largest builder in Dubai, nursing homes in New Zealand, banking systems in Africa, Australia and Malaysia, a shipping company in Singapore, Singapore and Australian Management Institutes, and health club chains in Sweden and Portugal.


The Fish! Philosophy

When Stephen and fellow film makers entered the fish market, they tried to capture on film what the fishmongers did naturally. Two films later they had an exciting formula that would allow any team to create the incredible atmosphere we discovered in Seattle. They call it the Fish! Philosophy and the following are the four guiding principles.

The fishmongers of Pike Place Fish Market are known around the world for throwing and catching large slippery fish, to the delight of their customers. It is one of the many ways they play. You and I might do serious work and we take that work seriously, but we can choose not to take ourselves too seriously. An advanced team understands how to harness the power of fun to lighten the atmosphere and create an environment that nurtures innovation.

On entering the market you could think you were just being entertained. Wrong. The fishmongers are dedicated to making your visit memorable, and they do that by finding ways of making the customer’s day. You may find yourself catching a fish or being involved in a harmless practical joke. Our work days are full of opportunities for making the day of our customers and our fellow team members; a small kindness or remembering a name; a word of support during difficult times. When you “make someone’s day” you are focused on serving another. An advanced team has a bond that can be created only by serving customers and one another.

Choose Your Attitude!

At the market there is a great deal of discussion about choice – a reminder of what the fishmongers have discovered: you choose your attitude. If you find yourself with an attitude you don’t want, you can choose another. Team members discuss the notion that each member has the power to choose his or her attitude, and that each is responsible for that choice.

Be There!

The fishmongers have discovered the power of focusing on one person and one thing at a time. The antidote to burnout is not necessarily rest – it is wholeheartedness. It is the halfhearted things you do while juggling other things that wear you out. When advanced team members interact they are not just physically present, they are wholeheartedly present.

CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation

We have all heard that curiosity killed a cat. Have you ever seen a cat killed by curiosity? How often do you think it actually happens? By dogs and trucks, yes… but curiosity? Stephen believes sayings like this one are born out of fear, not experience. He believes the origin of the statement, “curiosity killed a cat” is to create fear in others, to prevent change and all sorts of other weird and uncomfortable new ideas. What if curiosity was in fact the key to creativity? The Nine Lives of Innovation provides a basic structure and ingredients to encourage curiosity and promote innovation.   CATS was a best seller in Australia immediately following its release in 2007.

Top Performer: Finding the Energy You Need To Be Your Best

We all sell something for a living — whether it’s a brand, a vision, an education, a direction, or a service. We might even be selling a set of numbers to a board meeting, learning to a student, or cereal to an infant. This eye-opening parable is about harnessing natural energy — yours and that of those around you — in order to take your sales, and your satisfaction to the next level of success.


“As a national speaker and trainer involved with helping companies and business professionals get to the next level, I am highly impressed with Dr. Lundin’s treatment of innovation. His grasp of what fuels and throttles creativity and innovation is insightful and provocative. You will find his “Cat Pauses” and “Cat Nips” worthwhile exercises for building your business and inspiring your employees.” Len ElderSenior Instructor & Director of Curriculum Development at Superior School of Real Estate

“Stephen was one of the top keynotes that we ever brought in to the FranklinCovey Annual International Syposium. The audience loved him. He is funny, relevant and he really knows workplace issues. He’s outstanding.” Carol Fetzer, former Director, FranklinCovey Client Service Support and FranklinCovey International Symposium