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The Fred Factor

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I read this great book by Mark Sanborn titled The Fred Factor.  It was a book about the author’s mailman, named Fred, and how he always did his best.  The author looked at Fred and tried to identify all the ways that Fred was great at being a postman, resulting in four principles.  Take a look at these four principles and see how you can implement the Fred Factor in your life.

Principle 1:  Everyone Makes a Difference

It doesn’t matter how large or how small a business or organization is, everyone has the power to make a difference.  An employee can make a difference by simply choosing to do his or her job in some extraordinary way.  As an employee, ask yourself if you add to or take away from the experiences of your customers and co-workers?  Do you help the business grow and reach its goals?  Do you see your work as an opportunity to make a difference or simply a “run out the clock situation?”  

You can choose to do your job normally or be exceptional.  You can choose to be exceptional and no one can stop you.  All jobs are important.  There are no unimportant jobs, just people who feel unimportant doing their jobs.  Although your position in the business never determines your performance, your performance determines can determine your position.  This is not only in your work but in your entire life.  The more value you can create for people, the more value that will come back to you.  It seems like this “value” thing keeps coming up!!!

Principle 2:  Success Is Built On Relationships

Service becomes personalized when a relationship exists between the customer and the provider.  The quality of the relationship determines the quality of what is being provided.  This is why:

  • Leaders succeed when they understand that their employees are human;
  • Technology succeeds when it understands its users are human;
  • Employees succeed when they understand their work involves interacting with humans.

The Fred Factor talks about the Seven Bs of Building a Relationship:

1.  Be Real — be yourself.  Don’t pretend to be someone else;

2.  Be Interested — interesting people attract attention., but interested people attract appreciation;

3.  Be a Better Listener — gather information by listening to people to see where you can add value;

4.  Be Empathetic — show people empathy;

5.  Be Honest — say what you’ll do and do what you say.  Don’t make empty promises;

6.  Be Helpful — lots of small things add up to a huge difference;

7.  Be Prompt — help people you are dealing with to save time.  Be on time and efficient.

Principle 3:  Continually Create Value for Others

If you are a Fred, you continuously create more value or add value to anything you do.  Try to take something that is ordinary and make it extraordinary.  Here are 10 ways to become a person of incredible value:

1.  Tell the Truth — this should be your standard, not a value add;

2.  Practice Personality Power — always be genuine and enthusiastic;

3.  Attract Through Artistry — make things aesthetically pleasing with some artistic flourish;

4.  Meet Needs in Advance — anticipate how you can be of service and deliver before even being asked;

5.  Add “Good Stuff” — add enjoyment, enthusiasm, and humor to someone’s day;

6.  Subtract “Bad Stuff” — remove anything that irritates people;

7.  Simplify — make it easier for people to get what they need from you;

8.  Improve — always look for ways to include the quality of what you are delivering;

9.  Surprise Others — a thoughtful gesture can totally surprise someone and lift their spirits;

10. Entertain Others — people love to be entertained so add some pizazz to what you do.

Principle 4:  Reinvent Yourself Regularly

You can make your business and your life anything you want it to be.  Though not all change is good, staying the same always a good thing either.  There is an old saying, “The only difference between a rut and a grave, is the depth.”  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  Get out of that rut by:

1.  Becoming a sponge for ideas;

2.  Reflecting on your past and make positive changes for your future;

3.  Implementing good ideas.  Don’t let a lack of action kill your ideas;

4.  Writing down your good ideas and adding them to your ToDo list;

5.  Trying to make an extraordinary act a day.  ex.  A thoughtful remark to a loved one.

Final Thoughts:

This book was a great read.  It was short, easy to understand, and packed with ways to become a Fred and add value to others.  You can take these principles and apply them to your position no matter what your job is.  Whether you are the newest employee to a job or the boss, these principles can change who you are, what you deliver, and how you are seen.  Don’t drag yourself through your day wishing it was over.  Spend that time trying to find ways to implement the Fred Factor and watch how the value you create brings value back to you!!!

If you want to read this great book, you can get it on Amazon via my affiliate link:

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