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The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change Hardcover – September 22, 2009


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The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change + The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy + The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity
Price for all three: $38.19

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Boost Your Positive Energy
Author Jon Gordon shares his top tips for staying positive during challenging times or while job hunting.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470503602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470503607
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An illustrated business fable that gives you the faith, courage and confidence to win in today's tough economic climate

Fear and uncertainty are staples of daily life in today's struggling economy. As bad as things can be, economic downturns also lead to new opportunities. It's easy to worry, give up and let fear paralyze you. However, you have more control than you think you do and how you handle adversity is your choice-and the only choice that matters. In fact, study history and you'll find that a lot of people and organizations made a name for themselves and grew their businesses during recessions and downturns. These successful people and organizations all shared similar characteristics and took similar actions to thrive while others merely tried to survive. You can do the same.

In The Shark and the Goldfish, Jon Gordon shares an inspiring fable about Gordy, a pampered goldfish who gets swept out to sea. Desperate for food, Gordy meets a kind shark who teaches him the ultimate lesson-Goldfish wait to be fed. Sharks go find food. Gordy also learns that the difference between a full and empty stomach is our faith, beliefs and actions. In the face of adversity and lean times, this is a business fable that reinforces a proven truth: You can't control the events in your life. But you can control how you respond and in turn this determines the outcome.

  • A business fable that teaches valuable lessons on the importance of working hard, maintaining a locus of control and focusing on positive choices instead of negative voices,
  • Written by Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus and The No Complaining Rule
  • Reveals how change is inevitable-but that you can make it your friend or foe.
  • Provides an action plan filled with tips and strategies to thrive during change and adversity

If you're facing tough economic times, The Shark and the Goldfish will motivate you, inspire you, and give you the confidence you need to thrive during changing times.

5 Ways to Stay Positive During Changing Times
Amazon-exclusive content from author Jon Gordon

1. Tell Yourself a Positive Story—Life is a story, and the story we tell ourselves and the role we play determines the quality and direction of our life. The most successful people are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim, they see themselves as a fighter and over-comer. Those who are able to thrive during tough times have what’s called a "locus of control", which means that while they can’t control the market conditions, through their positive attitude, faith and actions, they believe they have an influence on the outcome of their story…and as a result they do.

2. Model Success—Whenever I speak to a company, I always interview the leadership team and ask them if there are people who are succeeding during this challenging time. The answer is always "yes". I then interview these people who are succeeding and share their habits with the audience (with their approval of course). You can do the same. Find out who in your market is thriving, ask to meet with them, learn from them and model their attitude and actions. If they can do it, so can you.

3. Zoom Focus—Now is the time to tune out the negative voices and focus on your choices. All that matters is the choices you make and the actions you take each day to grow yourself, your team and your business. Your job every day is to stay positive and take positive action. Be like the real estate agent who told me that she doesn't focus on the negative things the other agents in her office say. She doesn’t focus on the negativity in the media. She focuses on what she can do every day to be successful. She focuses on marketing her business, taking care of her clients, and building loyal relationships. To help you "Zoom Focus", ask yourself this question each morning, “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then, each day, take action on those three things.

4. Post a Sign “No Energy Vampires Allowed”—Post this sign in your mind and in your office. Gandhi said “I will not allow anyone to walk through my mind with their dirty feet,” and neither should you. This sign will signal to others that you are staying positive and you expect people to interact with you in a positive way. Don't buy into the pessimism of others. Instead, invite your team on your bus for a positive ride.

5. Turn Negative Energy into Positive Solutions—Invoke The No Complaining Rule and practice it yourself. Utilize your own complaining as a catalyst for positive change and positive action. Let your complaints help you identify what you don’t want so you can focus on what you do want. The key is to turn complaints into solutions.

5 Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Search
Amazon-exclusive content from author Jon Gordon

1. Say to yourself, “I have a dream.” Then start working to achieve it. Having studied many successful people, I found that they all can pinpoint the moment where they decided what they truly wanted to achieve in life. It’s a practice that should be required for all of us. After all, if you know what you truly want out of life then you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Obvious as this may sound, many people never take the time to discover it. They live on autopilot, letting circumstances shape their days and months and years and decades. When I lost my job years ago, I realized that though I was initially sad to lose it I hadn’t been truly happy. So, I took a moment and asked myself what I truly wanted to do with my life. What was I born to do? I asked. ‘Why am I here?’ After a few days of thinking, the idea to open a franchise restaurant, which would hopefully allow me time to write, popped in my head. And off I went toward achieving my dream.

2. Choose to have faith in what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Try out this riddle: What do fear and faith have in common? The answer: A future that hasn’t happened yet. So why would you choose to paint that future bleak and empty, when you could paint it vibrant and fulfilling and fun? Fear believes in a negative future while faith believes in a positive future. Even if you’re not a spiritual person, why would you choose to believe the worst is going to happen? It just feels better to look to the positive future.

3. Start each day with “three questions.” When you get up each morning, ask yourself this one question, "What are the 3 things I need to do today that will help me find the job and create the success that I desire?" Then, take action on those 3 things every day until you’ve achieved them. This is a great way to keep feeding your positive energy.

4. Take on a “glass 92 percent full” approach to the recession. Today’s employment-related statistics can be hard to get out of your head when you’re searching for a job. But unlike the pundits on TV who seem all too pleased to focus on the most negative numbers available, you can choose to focus on the flip side. Rather than fixating on 10 percent unemployment, focus on 90 percent employment. Dwelling on the higher number will likely be better for maintaining a positive state of mind during your job search. Always remember, the choice is yours.

5. Choose to be humble and hungry. Be humble. Know that you don’t have all the answers and can learn something from everyone. Know that there are always new ways to learn, improve, and get better. Be open to advice. Be open to learning a new skill and trying a job you haven’t thought of before. Also, be hungry. Seek out a mentor, take him to lunch and model his success. Think of his life as a blueprint you can follow. Continuously improve and seek out new ideas and new strategies. By remaining humble and hungry after my job loss, I was able to focus on and learn the things that made it possible for me to run a restaurant, write and speak. In short, being humble and hungry helped me achieve another great H-word: happiness!

From the Inside Flap

Now more than ever, fear and uncertainty are becoming staples of daily life. During changing times, it's easy to worry, give up, and let fear paralyze you. However, you have more control than you think you do, and how you handle adversity is your choice—the only choice that matters.

Many successful people and businesses have grown to prominence during even the worst recessions and downturns. These successful people and organizations all shared similar characteristics and took similar actions to thrive while others merely tried to survive. You can do the same.

In The Shark and the Goldfish, bestselling author Jon Gordon shares an inspiring fable about a goldfish who has always been fed, a nice shark who teaches him to find food, and a wave of change that brings them together. In the process of finding food the shark teaches the goldfish the ultimate lesson—that the difference between a full belly and an empty stomach depends solely on your faith, beliefs, and actions.

In the face of adversity, this is a simple fable that reinforces a proven truth—you can't control the events in your life. But you can control how you respond to them. You can allow the waves of change to crush you, or you can learn to ride them to a successful future. Delightfully illustrated and packed with tips and strategies for thriving during tough times, The Shark and the Goldfish is a quick read that will have a lifelong impact.


More About the Author

Jon Gordon's best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. He is the author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller "The Energy Bus," "The No Complaining Rule," "Training Camp," "The Shark" and "The Goldfish," "Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture," and his latest book "The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work."

Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Novartis, Bayer and more.

When he's not running through airports or speaking to businesses, hospitals or school leaders, you can find him playing tennis or lacrosse with his wife and two "high energy" children.

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Customer Reviews

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This is a great book that is quick and easy to read.
Tim
This one can easily be digested in about an hour, so it perfect for non-readers to get them on the right track and create a positive change for them.
Monty Rainey
The end result is a wonderfully inspirational message that even the most pessimistic naysayer will surely enjoy.
Larry Underwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on September 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We all face set-backs in life at one time or another. Whether it be an economic downturn, new and greater competition, negative associations, you name it, life is full of challenges. We all face them, and we all must decide on how to face them. That is the crucial part. In Jon Gordon's little parable, THE SHARK AND THE GOLDFISH, we learn about Gordy, the goldfish. In a sudden series of events, Gordy finds himself no longer in the comfortable confines of his fishbowl, but loose in a vast ocean of uncertainty. Luckily for Gordy, he finds a mentor in Sammy the Shark.

Gordy learns lessons from Sammy we all need to learn and apply to our everyday lives, both personal and professional. Author Jon Gordon does a terrific job of presenting valuable lessons in an entertaining way. For me, the part I liked most was a short but concise lesson on the commonalities and differences in faith and fear, the effects of each, and how to leave fear behind and replace it with faith. This little lesson alone is more than worth the price of this little book.

I'm looking forward to introducing this story at my next meeting. There are some great training tools here on positive ways to not only face change (in an ever changing world) but how to come out on top of change and make that change work to your benefit.

If you're looking for a quick and easy read that will change focus and outlook, this is it. I have several employees who all but refuse to read. This one can easily be digested in about an hour, so it perfect for non-readers to get them on the right track and create a positive change for them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Yackel on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have become hooked on Jon Gordon's writing style this year having read 4 of his books since January, 2009. The Shark and the Goldfish continued to deliver the quality,usable information that I have come to expect from Jon. Jon is great about getting us to think about how we can control our own situation, that we are in charge, and that if things are not the way we want we have the power to change them. I also really appreciate the way that Jon address the theory of abundance. There are plenty of opportunities in the world, we just have to find those opportunities that will work for us and meet our needs.

The Shark and the Goldfish is a quick read that could be read at the start of each week to keep your spirits up, keep your ability to seek out new opportunities honed, an to serve to uplift your spirits to conquer any challenge you face.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Don Snyder on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Phenomenal book!
I'm a little hesitant of the "business fable" books (never really understood the hullabaloo regarding "Who Moved My Cheese") but The Shark and The Goldfish is on my personal list of favorite books of the year. There's nothing outrageously original about the message, but isn't that true of all universal messages? The story was engaging and the important themes weren't lost in the fable. Buy copies of this book for your entire team -- they should sell them in groups (Groupers?) so you can gift them to your entire "school" of Goldfish friends!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vickie Hopkins on November 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly easy book to read but has so much great information! Loved all the insights and coorelations to "real" life...Thank you Jon Gordon for reminding us of the realities we all face and how to use obstacles as opportunities!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DVD buyer on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife bought me this book since I'm in the process of opening up my own PT clinic. It helped give me a perspective of how and why I was opening up the clinic for as well as the strength and support I needed at the time. A great book to visit once a year to make sure you don't lose your outlook on life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Harris on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What do you want to be? A Shark or a Goldfish? Jon Gordon uses this simple story of Gordy the Goldfish and Sammy the Shark to remind us of important lessons which we all can use to ride the waves of change. The story is a quick read which can be finished in one sitting, but the lessons will last for a while.

Staying positive, staying humble and hungry, working hard, and other points guide the reader to a position of thriving instead of merely surviving during waves of change. We can sit back and wait to be fed by others and simply survive, or instead, we can thrive by going out and searching for our own food.

As is often said, good things come in small packages. This short story of Gordy and Sammy will have a huge impact on how you respond to life's events and challenges.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Donald on January 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is good but cost too much. You can read whole book in less than an hour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Kelly on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the shortest book Jon Gordon has written in his series. Not as good as training camp, but this book still has great insights you can apply to your life immediatley. it is a great book to get yourself re motivated when someone knocks you off your path.
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