The Fred Factor Ezine: Difference Makers
Harness your passion to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary...
Volume 2, Issue 3 :: May 2007
In this issue...
Article: Got Freds? Here’s How to Have More
Fred @ Work
Nominate a Fred
Fred Stuff
Fred Sightings

Dear Friend of Fred:

This month's feature article is titled, Got Freds? Here’s How to Have More. In it I challenge you to not only hire Freds but to support their development using the principles of The Fred Factor and to set an expectation for your employees to not just meet the requirements of their position but to challenge them to be extraordinary.

A tall order? Certainly. But to build extraordinary organizations you, as a leader, need to develop yourselves and your employees to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

I also share a number of examples in Fred@Work of individuals and organizations who are transcending the ordinary with their extraordinary actions.

Best Always,


Got Freds? Here’s How to Have More

Who wouldn't want to have a "Fred" as a service provider, coworker or employee?
The only people I've encountered who don't like Fred-like behavior are the "Derfs" (the opposite of a Fred). They know that Freds make them look bad.

Lately I've been getting questions about how to have more Freds within an organization. While there is a chapter in The Fred Factor that deals with this topic, in this article I'll provide some additional ideas you can use to develop Fred-like behavior in those with whom you work and live.

Praise for You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader

The Fred Factor eCoach now available"...I call his book a "little" book only because of its size... In reality, it is a very big book, full of big ideas that are worth reading..." David Mercer - Mercer Capital

Purchase You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader at the Sanborn Store.

Invite. In my latest book, You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader, I define leadership as an invitation to greatness we extend to others. If we have accepted that invitation ourselves, then our job is to extend it to others.

One of my mentors, Dr. Earl Kantner, spent 21 years in the Ohio Department of Education developing young people. He said, "My goal was to develop them to better quality than they ever thought they could be and by golly they achieved that. They were just tickled—they never knew they could be that type of individual, so as you can imagine that was inspiring."

Showing people how to be more than they thought they could be is one of the highest callings of leadership.

Expect. When employees are hired, and the hiring is done well, expectations are made clear. We should always expect an employee to do a good job, but why not raise the bar and expect the extraordinary whenever possible? Not many employers aim that high. There is no reason why you can't.

Teach. Make sure you give people the training and tools they need to successfully meet the expectations. I can expect you to run a marathon, but if I don't have you train and prepare, the odds are greatly diminished that you'll finish the race.

Do you have ongoing training programs around the principles of The Fred Factor? Since there are four principles, it would be easy to integrate a teaching or reinforcement session into a staff meeting once each quarter. Are you looking for and sharing examples of Fred-like behavior, both within and outside your organization? Do you use bulletin boards or email to distribute these examples?

Unblock. Begin by removing barriers that prevent Fred-like performance: silly rules, regulations and policies and limited time and other resources are examples. Ask employees, “What do you need to perform more like Fred more often?” That's a quick way to find out what is holding people back.

Recognize and Reward. Behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated. Put the spotlight on Fred-like behavior whenever you see it. Use both formal and informal recognition, and include both customers and colleagues to recognize those in your team who have been "Freds".

Recognize little successes with verbal praise, and big accomplishments with tangible rewards commensurate with the results. Consider giving employees note cards that say “Thanks for being a “Fred”!" that they can pass on to those within the organization they appreciate.

Insincere or shallow recognition programs will fail. People don't want gratuitous praise. They want to be acknowledged for legitimate accomplishment. Cutesy or cursory attempts to reward and recognize will waste your time and annoy employees.

Appreciate. Appreciate people not just for the successes they achieve, but for the attempts that they make as well. It takes an observant person to recognize someone who did his or her best to be Fred-like, even if the attempt failed. We need to remember that the path to learning is paved with attempts and failures.

Relax. Someone recently asked how they could achieve Fred-like performance without creating stress. If your attempts to encourage extraordinary performance are stressful, you're not doing something right. Freds don't work harder to do better because they have to, but because they want to. Leaders create want to. The process should be fun. I know that using phrases like “be a Fred” or “Fred-like behavior” can be seen as corny. I am less concerned with the language used than the intent, and much of the language I use in my books is meant to make learning easier and more enjoyable.

So relax. Aim for developing more Freds and for becoming a better Fred yourself. But don't let it stress you out. That's just not the spirit of Fred.

© 2007. Mark Sanborn. All rights reserved. Please contact us if you'd like to reprint this article.

Are you interested in going beyond The Fred Factor book to create an "Army of Freds" in your organization? Then you might want to consider the following Fred Factor training resources:

The Fred Factor DVD Training KitThe Fred Factor DVD Training Curriculum

Bring Fred to your staff. In his video training program Mark Sanborn teaches, in greater detail, the key principles from The Fred Factor. Taped in front of a live audience, you'll bring The Fred Factor buzz to your staff, when Mark shows you how to become a Fred with a special appearance from Fred himself. Mark demonstrates first hand, in his trademark style and humor, what being a Fred is really all about.

Each kit contains 4 - DVDs covering 8 training sessions and 1 bonus session which features Mark interviewing the original Fred, Fred Shea. The Video sessions are supported by 1 facilitator's guide and 1 participant's guide.

Order The Fred Factor Training Kit online or call Maritza at 1-800-650-3343 with questions or for bulk order discounts.

The Fred Factor eCoachThe Fred Factor eCoach

Create an Army of Freds in your organization with The Fred Factor eCoach. Using the latest in online training technology, Sanborn & Associates in conjunction with Asset Learning - the creator of the Dale Carnegie online sales training system - is pleased to offer a state-of-the-art, internet-based training system that will help transform your staff into an Army of Freds. Participants will receive 20 jam-packed lessons complete with detailed action plans that will teach them how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The program provides an optional coaching component which allows you to track student progress while providing feedback and encouragement to participants.

Click here for more information and to watch a video preview presented by Mark Sanborn.

Call Corey Perlman at Asset Learning - 248-822-2868 - for licensing details and even greater discounts on quantity purchases. Corey is also available to provide a detailed walk-through of the training and administrative and coaching functions.


Fred @ Work
Multiple Freds

Nominate a Fred

Help us acknowledge the Freds that we all encounter on a daily basis whether through work or in our lives outside of work. Please use the nomination form found here to tell us your Fred's story. And please, tell a story not just, "I nominate Joe because he's a great guy," but tell us what actions of Joe's make him a Fred. This kind of information will help us all become more Fred-like by providing us specific ideas and actions that we can model in our own lives. It's a Fred-like activity in and of itself!

Editor's Note: We are excited to offer three great examples of Freds in action in this month's issue.

Fred Focus

I met Jerrod Sessler, the founder of Handyman Services, Inc a few years ago and was impressed by his professionalism and enthusiasm for The Fred Factor philosophy. Jerrod founded his company with a mission: to transform the Construction industry from one shrouded in suspicion and laziness into one marked by value and integrity. How would he do it? Embody the very standards that he, himself, believed so wholeheartedly in: a fair wage for an honest day’s work, respect for the customer and giving 110% into each job. How does he implement these ideas in his company? By teaching the philosophies found in “The Fred Factor”.

Here’s what Jerrod shared with me recently:

At HomeTask, “Fred Factor” is required reading for all potential handymen wishing to purchase a Franchise with this revolutionary organization….and it shows. HomeTask Handymen are noted for going above and beyond “good service” and pride themselves on going that extra mile to make every customer a raving fan.

Has it worked? Here are some recent customer comments:

“Paul was wonderful - our pool house roof was replaced in the pouring rain. Excellent job & workmanship!!”

“Both times that Robbie has been to my home he has arrived early, after checking with me to make sure it was ok. What a pleasant surprise when so many service people arrive late. Robbie has been friendly, funny, informative, and a fabulous worker. He identified problems I didn't know existed, explained them to me in lay terms and outlined what would be necessary to correct the problem. Once that was established, Robbie did the work quickly and efficiently.”

“After several years of bad contractors & damage, it is refreshing to find a company like yours.  I scheduled Robbie to come and do work. WOW!  We were even shocked to see that he moved heavy furniture away from the wall.  He is doing an absolutely beautiful, professional job.  I'm just so excited, I want to dance. Robbie really is true to his word of turning lemons into lemonade.”

Congratulations to Jerrod Sessler and the team at Handyman Services!

'Fred' at the Door

Hi Mark,

My name is David Gray ... I wanted to take a moment to tell you about an individual named Kenneth Jackson. Kenneth is an excellent example of a Fred. Kenneth is the main "door man" at the Oakland (CA) Marriott City Center. I have been going there weekly on business over the past 5 months and everytime I see him he makes a point of greeting me with energy, professionalism, positiveness, and a smile. He makes the experience second to none, and conducts himself in the same manner across the board regardless of social status.

An example of this, one day I watched Kenneth walk over to a lady in her mid 90's, who looked tired and about to fall from exhaustion. She was walking by the hotel, a mile back to her residence. He asked her where her kids were and why she was walking all alone. She told him her kids had passed away prior to her, and it's just her now. He brought her over, called a taxi, and paid for her to get home. Kenneth is a leader by example, and could care less about a title. He comes daily with his "A-Game" making all those who come in contact with him better for the experience ...

Thanks Mark.

David Gray

Fred the Postman, Part II

PrideStaff's Home Office is very lucky to have our very own FRED as a postman. We receive such exceptional service from Jeff that I wanted to share this story with you.

He said: “I noticed these stacks of postcards were mailed out with too much postage on them. I checked with my supervisor and found out it’s possible to get you a refund for the incorrect postage, less a 10% processing fee. I’ve completed the refund request for you. I’ll just need someone to sign and date this form. Please copy the post cards so you know who to mail new postcards to. I will need these back, so when you are ready, give me back all the postcards and the refund form and I’ll get them submitted for you. You will receive a refund check in 6 to 8 weeks.”

He saved us over $800.00 without ever being asked…..THAT'S A FRED!

Jackie Ferrell
Franchise Coordinator

Editor's Note: PrideStaff is a big fan of Fred. If you want to see how one company promotes the principles of The Fred Factor across their organization just check out the PrideStaff website.

Here's an idea to recognize your Freds; purchase our Fred Factor certificates or, if you don't mind doing the printing yourself, download our fr*ee version online. It can be filled out and printed from within Adobe Acrobat or the Acrobat Reader.

Fred Stuff

Spread Fred with these great Fred Factor products from the Sanborn Store.

Bestselling The Fred Factor
Introducing The Fred Factor Audio Book read by Mark Sanborn
Fred Factor Mem-Cards
Fred Certificate
The best selling book that started it all. The Fred Factor Audio book, read by Mark Sanborn, is now available.

Listen to an excerpt.
The Fred Factor Mem-Cards® is a 27 playing card-sized deck of pure inspiration from the bestselling book. The perfect companion to The Fred Factor. The Recognition Certificate is professionally printed and suitable for framing; recognize your Freds with this high quality award.
These and other great Fred products are available in The Sanborn Store.

Bonus Materials

Fred Sightings

Some nice Fred 'citings' this month on the web...

If you see items about Fred or simply see Fred-like 'citings' in your local news, please send them our way. Thanks.