your passion to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary...
3, Issue 3 :: June 2008
Dear Friend of Fred:
and advocates make writing this
ezine too easy. I just listen to the stories you tell about the
impact that The Fred
Factor has had in your work and life and I report
month is no different with 3 great articles on Fred's impact at a
Federal credit union in Maryland, in a pain institute in Arizona and --
in Fred Sightings -- as
the basis for a church based adult education class as well as a cure
for job boredom.
As always, thanks to all who share the Fred's in their lives and I
encourage you to share
your stories of Fred as well; when you do, we all benefit!
- It's my birthday!
And it's one of those ones that get you thinking. I thought I'd like to
pass on a few of the best lessons I've learned over the years to my
sons and I also thought I'd like to offer them to you as a gift on my
birthday. You can download
50 Best Lessons from 50 Years of Living
blog and, while you're there, please use the comment box to share your
best life lessons as well.
Shaved Head for Fred
Bruce Ervin Wood, PCC, SPHR
the VP of Human Resources for NIH Federal Credit Union in Rockville,
MD, helping to boost value and service to our Members (customers) adds
value to their lives and to the Credit Union. In 2007, reading The Fred
Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary
the extraordinary by Mark Sanborn opened a new opportunity to encourage
our Associates (employees) to provide exceptional service to our
The Fred Factor Teacher's
Guide – Bringing the Fred Factor Message to Kids
your child the tools they need to be successful at school and in life.
Fred Factor Teacher's Guide
was developed as a way to demonstrate the importance of character in
our daily lives. It is important for educators and parents to teach our
young people that ability may take you to the top but
character will keep you there. Character, and the work ethic
that is essential in developing good character, is a necessary
ingredient to a fulfilling life.
guide provides an important resource to help teachers develop and
deliver an exceptional, character-based
curriculum in the classroom that will benefit our students well beyond
by noted educator, Nannette Johnston, Superintendent of the Harlin
County School District, The Fred Factor Teacher's Guide
is available at no charge through the Sanborn Store at MarkSanborn.com.
believe that what we
pay attention to, we empower. So, we challenged
our teams to pay attention to the often small and sometimes
extraordinary acts that go beyond what’s in a job description with the
aim of improving how we show up for each other and for our Members.
Our HR Team presented the idea as part of an incentive proposal to our
Benefits Committee (made up of Associates). They were doubtful about
the prospects, but endorsed our aims. Later, unsure that the program
would be approved and having doubts about reaching our goal, we
presented this idea as 5% of our 2007 Incentive Plan to Board
Volunteers on our HR Committee. They were initially skeptical of what
appeared to be a ‘fluffy’ idea. Even so, they appreciated that, unlike
Return on Assets or other traditional financial measures, each
Associate could see how their individual performance would directly
contribute to reaching our goal. The Board approved the Plan.
To make our achievements measurable, our Learning Leader Lakeshia
Dorsey and Information Technology used a survey function on our
Intranet to allow Managers and all other Associates to nominate
co-workers for their exceptional acts (we called them “Exceps”) or to
log their own. We used the honor system. Associates judged what was or
was not exceptional. One point for recording your own Excep and five
points for nominating a co-worker or getting a kudo from a Member.
Ophelia Acolatse, Branch Manager, noted the value to our Members,
saying, “Exceps although different, are yet similar. When it
comes to the service that we provide to our Members and co-workers no
exceptional act outweighs the other!”
Our goal was to reach 12,500 points from May 1 to December 31 – about
half a point per Associate per work day. We rolled out the program in a
series of meetings and sent out email reminders. Unfortunately, it was
clear from the start that even though Exceps were part of the Incentive
Plan, only a few Associates got around to logging Exceps. By the end of
September, we lagged a woeful 6,000 points behind the pace needed to
reach our December goal.
No way we’d reach our goal unless we figured out how to energize the
program. I asked Lakeshia if she thought my getting a buzz hair cut if
we reached our goal would boost our results. At the next series of
Associate training sessions, she put the hair cut idea out there (using
a picture of the bald Doctor Evil from the Austin Powers movies).
A few taunting emails from me bragged there was absolutely no way
make up the gap and reach our goal, and that Associates might as well
not bother logging any more Exceps. More quietly, we sent individual
emails sharing the Exceps that Associates received and who logged them.
Emails also thanked those who logged the Exceps. Somewhere in the mean
time, it was suggested that the hair cut take place at our January 12
the brooms carrying water in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene from the
Disney movie Fantasia,
the pace of Exceps logged became a flood! Susan
King in Marketing noted, “I appreciated having the opportunity to thank
the people that I work with for the small but important things they do
for me each day…The grand prize of the head-shave was fun but I most
enjoyed acknowledging my coworkers.” Chiquita Williams, ATM
Specialist put it this way, “I loved the idea of the buzz cut so I made
it my business to acknowledge every helpful thought I saw or have
By the end of October, we not only closed the September gap, we were on
pace to reach our goal. With false, counter-bravado, I acknowledged the
achievement, and restated my confidence that it made no difference and
that my hair was safe. Visits to most of our branches gave folks a
chance to see what they were aiming to cut.
Cynthia Thompson, NIHFCU’s Loan Servicing Manager observed, “…Every
week you heard Associates counting the number of EXCEPTS they could
record. The people were really discussing would he, or
wouldn’t he let someone cut all of his hair off. It became a
company wide challenge, that most enjoyed…”
By November’s end, we were well ahead of pace, and in early December,
we exceeded our goal! Not only that, our Work Climate Survey showed
significant improvement in Associates’ feelings of being appreciated,
our Member service scores improved slightly, and we had more people
attend our holiday party than ever before. Most importantly, we
reminded ourselves that we are EXCEPTIONAL. Our accomplishment reminded
us that we have a choice about what we pay attention to, the failures
of life or the opportunities to go beyond what is expected.
At the January 12 party, CU President/CEO Lindsay Alexander said, “No
way!” would there be a Presidential pardon or reprieve from
the Governor, despite my feigned entreaties. In fact, Lindsay
said “Bruce, you made a bet with the staff, challenged them, and they
achieved great things…There will be no reprieves from me!” The haircut
was on and all seven inches of my hair was coming off! Kathy Johnston
from our Mortgage Team had the most Exceps and won the honor of being
took a seat before the group in my NIHFCU windbreaker. The DJ cued up
the Darth Vader Theme from Star Wars and camera flashes lit up the
night! With the first swipe of the clippers, the music changed to the
“I’m too sexy for my hair” song, and joy and disbelief filled the air.
Ms. Thompson noted, “…the first sweep of the clipper and the crowd
broke into cheers. I got the feeling that single act generated warm
feelings about the company and between the Associates...”
soooo cool! Joy and laughter beamed from people’s hearts. With
the fall of the follicle, my wife smile told me she loved me
- even without hair. (Later, my 17-year old daughter was stunned to see
me hairless for the first time in her life. Truthfully, first seeing
the reflected glow off my naked noggin caught me by surprise.)
According to Ralph Vallone, Lending Manager, “The Exceps program is
unique…A peer-to peer thank you, such as an Excep, improves morale and
the cohesiveness of a team.” It was worth it. Some folks believe I lost
a bet and my hair. The truth is that every Associate and Member of
National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union are winners –
including our presently very bald (and very proud) VP of HR.
can 'enjoy' the video of Bruce getting his hair cut on YouTube. It is
truly a raucous experience!
Even if you haven't shaved your head for Fred we want to hear about
your Fred Factor experiences. You can
use the convenient “Fred
Award” nomination process on our website. Follow the link to
find out how you can nominate a Fred and
share your Fred stories with us today!
2008. Mark Sanborn. All rights reserved. Please
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
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
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 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.
find more information here with a special video overview by Mark
at Asset Learning - 248-822-2868 - for licensing details and
greater discounts on quantity purchases. Corey is also available to
provide a detailed walk-through of the training and administrative and
Consultant Turns Her Co-Workers on to Fred
first read The Fred
Factor, she felt an immediate
connection to the principals and ideas presented. After passing Fred
along to her colleagues, she saw how it proved to be effective in
Kitty’s office environment office as well as in the lives of her
co-workers and even their clients.
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!
A marketing consultant for Desert
Pain Institute (DPI) in Mesa,
Arizona, Kitty’s work focuses on promoting the comprehensive pain
center and its mission to treat the whole person, relieve pain, and
The five year-old business employs around 100 staff members, including
seven fellowship trained/board certified pain medical doctors. Staff
members and clients alike enjoy the impressive facility, which features
a medical office, ambulatory surgery center, and rehabilitation/aquatic
center. DPI also offers pain support groups for its many clients from
people with back or neck pain to people facing cancer pain, age-related
disorders spinal conditions and much more.
“It is an awesome facility with staff and doctors who really care,”
said Kitty. “I’ve loved working with this group in marketing; it’s been
an easy place to talk to the community about because they back it up
with being good at what they do.”
One of the nurse practitioners on staff shared The Fred Factor with
Kitty and she knew it was something that would resonate with her fellow
DPI co-workers. As an expert in training and relationship marketing and
founder of her own business—Winds
of Change Consulting—Kitty
works as a motivational speaker and professional trainer, so she knows
how to spot unique resources that can make a positive impact on a
business and its staff.
After reading The Fred
Factor for herself, Kitty was inspired and sent
the following e-mail to her DPI co-workers:
story of Fred the Postman that everyone loves to hear, you
want to know why? It reminds us all of not only of what's possible, but
our potential as well. Excellence, wisdom, and dedication are all
functioning parts of Fred's world.
remind us that we can
choose the right role models. Freds set an
inspiring example for their companies and organizations, teammates,
customers, friends, and families. When others see the infinite ways to
create excellence and "wow" in their work, they, too, will want to
become Freds. Something wonderful will happen. The energy they once had
will be restored. Enthusiasm will replace cynicism, and action will
overcome complacency. The feedback, recognition, and satisfaction that
come from being a Fred will fuel ongoing, quality efforts.
from The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. A little book, but a great read).
Fred was this guy's postman who always saw the person he was
delivering mail to as a person, just not his client. "He went the extra
mile to see deep and ask, ‘How may I make your life a bit
easier?’ It wasn't just the job he had, it was the life
excellence he created by making a great job out of what he had.
creative way today can you be a Fred and look deep into your
co-worker, your patient, your family member - how can you get your
energy and enthusiasm back for life?
Do look out
around you today and see where you can extend YOUR
POTENTIAL to the world.
for being the best of who you are and making Desert Pain
Institute a great place to come to. Blessings to each of you.
Kitty’s enthusiasm and desire to improve the lives of the people around
her are qualities that benefit the Desert Pain Institute’s staff and,
in turn, make the clients’ experiences even more positive.
Whether it is through her career as marketing consultant or through her
personal interactions Kitty Wiemelt
is indeed a Fred.
an idea to recognize your own Freds; purchase
our Fred Factor certificates or, if you don't mind doing the printing
our fr*ee version online.
It can be filled out and printed from within Adobe Acrobat or the
Acrobat Reader. While you're recognizing them don't forget to give
us a chance to recognize them too!
Fred with these
great Fred Factor products from the Sanborn Store.
selling book that started it all.
Also Available -
The Fred Factor Audio bookread by Mark
Listen to an excerpt.
Fred Factor Mem-Cards® are the perfect way to reinforce The
Fred Factor principles each day. These flash card-sized
learning tools give you easy access to the key principles and concepts
of The Fred Factor along with motivational quotes
from Mark and others.
and listen to Mark Sanborn live, on stage, as he relates the
story and discusses the four principles
of The Fred Factor in this 20 minute video DVD. A great
companion to his bestselling book.
Fred Factor Recognition
Certificate is professionally printed and suitable for
framing; recognize your Freds with this high quality award.
great Fred web sightings this month...
Heartlight website published an article
by Steve Higginbotham on his use of The Fred Factor in his
adult education classes....
too long ago, I read a book by Mark Sanborn entitled, "The Fred
The book is about a mailman who took his job seriously, and
consistently went above and beyond the call of duty in performing it.
While the book is not a "religious" book, the spiritual and biblical
applications are everywhere.
I have been teaching a Wednesday night adult class on the biblical
principles contained in the "Fred Factor," and I have been challenging
people to go out and be a "Fred." It has been interesting to see how
much excitement this class has generated. People have taken up the
challenge of being a "Fred" (translated — a disciple of Jesus) and
going the second mile with people. I would heartily recommend the book
to you. It is an easy read, being only 112 pages long.
allow me to share a close encounter I had
with being a "Fred" this past week...."
In a follow up email, Mark
asked Steve how his class would summarize the message of The Fred
Factor. Steve replied:
In response to your request to
ask my class how they would summarize the message of the “Fred Factor,”
I share the following results…
- The Fred Factor is about
practicing the “Golden Rule” – do unto others as you would have them do
- The Fred Factor is about going
the second mile.
- The Fred Factor is about
ordinary people doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.
- The Fred Factor is about doing
your very best, not matter what the job may be.
- The Fred Factor is about simply
going about, doing good.
- The Fred Factor is about the
difference everyone can make in the lives of others if one chooses to
- The Fred Factor teaches us that
“value” is not determined by what you do in life, but how you do
Mark, these were the top
answers given by the class...
Thanks Steve and please thank your class for sharing their insights!
AND DALE Report Fred Fights
J.T. and Dale, in an article in the June 10, 2008 edition of the
Warrenton (MO) Journal titled, "Bored with your job? It was created
that way: But you can make it more interesting", cites The
as one prescription for job boredom...
book called "The Fred Factor," by
Mark Sanborn, that does a nice job of explaining how to love what you
do, no matter what it is..."
sure to read JT & Dale's entire article for more great
advice on battling job boredom.
2008 Sanborn & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
us if you are interested in reprinting all or part of this