The Fred Factor - How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

I recently read an article about how a flight attendant for Delta Airlines provided extraordinary service to a young unattended minor who is deaf. I have the privilege to work with a number of people who are consistently going beyond their job expectations to provide great service to our clients and to each other. Every time I go Into a Chick-fil-a, I am greeted with a smile and focused attention. These are just a few examples of people who have a passion for their work and life. Can you think of some others that you have experienced?

In The Fred Factor, the reader is introduced to a USPS postal carrier by the name of Fred Shea. Fred is portrayed in the book as a someone who take great pleasure and pride in his work. He cares for the people he serves. He knows how to develop friendship and seeks to provide service that is beyond the scope of his job. Fred notices the little things and does something to make a big difference. One example that Mark Sanborn provides is that Fred will pay attention to when a mailbox is filling up, and will note that a resident must be out of town. Fred will then bundle up the existing mail and hold new mail, until the resident has returned home. This way it is less evident that the person has a vacant home, making it less vulnerable to theft.

It does not take an exceptional amount of effort to do the little things which make a big difference. How tough is it to have a brief, friendly chat just before starting a meeting? Have you noticed the affect you can have on others if you seek to just listen to them and not focus on preparing you rebuttal? When you make it a practice to hold the door for others, have you notice that can often elicit a smile and words of “thank you”? Seeking to provide extraordinary service at work, in the community, or at home does not need to take great effort, but rather to have simple habits of showing your care for others in little ways.

This book is geared towards working professionals, but The Fred Factor concepts apply to everything in life. It is not a complex book, but if you put the ideas into action it will have a profound influence on your life and the effect you have on those around you.