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The Fred Factor Ezine: Difference Makers
Harness your passion to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary...
Volume 2, Issue 4 :: July 2007
In this issue...
Article: Fred-like Habits
Fred @ Work
Nominate a Fred
Fred Stuff
Fred Sightings

Dear Friend of Fred:

This month's issue talks about two great Freds in the feature article and Fred @ Work. We also feature several fresh Fred sightings - is it any surprise that two of them describe the impact Fred is having in our schools? Finally, we introduce a fantastic new product–a Video DVD of my keynote presentation relating the story and the principles on which The Fred Factor is based.

Work Like You're Showing Off by Joe CallowayBefore you get to all this Fred-tastic content I'd like to take a minute of your time and encourage you to purchase Joe Calloway's new book, Work Like You're Showing Off.

-skip & go to content-

As Joe says, "if you’re not showing off, why show up?"  He challenges you to get out of your rut (even if it’s a very comfortable rut) and dare to put more joy, jazz, and kick into your work and your life.  Learn about the power of grand stupidity and absurd bravery…why you need to just get in the damn boat and go…past success is a trap…the next best idea for your success is everywhere…innovate inside the box…your biggest opportunities come from letting go.

Whether you feel like you’re on top of the world or absolutely stuck, this book will jump start you to the next level of success. Get one copy for yourself and one for a friend who needs a kick in the attitude.

It gets better ... if you order Work Like You’re Showing Off! on Amazon on July 17 (today), you will receive access to “Success Ideas” from some of America’s top success experts including me, Mark Sanborn, and some of the most successful people I know like Larry Winget, Eric Chester, Vince Poscente, Randy Gage, Marsha Petrie Sue and many more! Joe asked each of us for our best idea for success, and put them all together in one collection.

To claim your bonus of “Success Ideas” follow this simple process:

  1. Order Joe’s booktoday—then...
  2. Forward the email receipt you receive from Amazon confirming your purchase to proofofpurchase@joecalloway.com. You will receive a link by return email that provides you access to your collection of “Success Ideas” from the top Success Experts in America.

Best Always,


Fred-like Habits

Some “Freds” don’t intentionally set out each day to be Fred-like.  It’s just a natural part of who they are and what they do.  Such is the case with Kelly Wilkerson, who daily goes above and beyond her formal responsibilities as an early morning opener for the local YMCA in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

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.

Wilkerson’s position requires unlocking the building each weekday at 5:00am and then welcoming YMCA members as they arrive for their early morning workouts.  But this dedicated employee doesn’t stop there.  She makes coffee, brings in breakfast on Fridays, mends clothing in need of repair, bandages fingers, and more.

“To me, it’s just how I fulfill my job responsibilities,” said Wilkerson.  “I learn about each customer so that I can make them feel personally welcome.”

Wilkerson views it as her responsibility as a morning opener to build members’ motivation to keep coming in and to remind them of why they chose the YMCA.

That’s why she gives cards of encouragement to members who have an upcoming test or deadline, researches pertinent details for a member’s errands for the day, and remembers to ask about spouses or children who have been ill recently.  She has even gone so far as to prepare an entire meal for an older member who hadn’t been able to make it into the Y for a couple weeks and personally take it to his home.  She’s also delivered a young man’s baseball uniform that was forgotten at the Y directly to the game field so he wouldn’t have to sit out of the game for lack of a team uniform.

So what motivates someone who serves such as this?  Wilkerson says she simply wants to see others happy.  “I’m the first person many of them see each day, so I want to make a positive influence on their day.”

Wilkerson has definitely made an impact on those people with whom she interacts at the YMCA.  Says Jason Andrews, a Lakewood Ranch YMCA member, “Kelly is one of those rare individuals who really makes a difference in your daily life.  Starting the day off with her always smiling face, perky attitude, and sincere personality really points everyone in the right direction.  She makes the YMCA what it was supposed to be all along.  She gives people a reason to come and motivation to stay.”

Wilkerson says it’s the little things that make the difference.  She asks for feedback on whether the coffee is too weak or too strong and provides a jar of inspirational quotes for visitors to draw from.

Wilkerson works at community positions and volunteers in part, she says, because it teaches her so much.  She began volunteering in high school at her mother’s prompting, but has kept at it for the last decade because she enjoys helping others.  But don’t think that she works part-time at the YMCA because she has extra free time.  Wilkerson also has a full-time professional career in the major league baseball industry.  Opening at the YMCA is an addition to her other career responsibilities.

Wilkerson exemplifies the Fred principles.  She knows that her small tasks each morning make a significant difference for each person she encounters at the YMCA.  She seeks out a relationship with each member by being interested in and helpful to each of them.  She adds value to her YMCA duties simply by fulfilling them with a sincere, enthusiastic personality.

Do the Fred principles come naturally to you?  Or must you intentionally focus on achieving Fred-like behavior?  If you still need to remind yourself to greet your colleagues with sincerity, to notice the difference your demeanor makes to your child during their early morning moments, or to recognize opportunities to create value for your associates, you’re probably not practicing Fred-like behavior on a frequent enough basis to develop the “habit”.

Experts tell us that habits are formed after three to four weeks of consistent behavior.  Perhaps it’s worth focusing on one Fred-like action that you’d like to possess for the next month.  Before you know it, you’ll be doing it out of habit.

We’ve all been there.  We read a book, hear a speaker, or see someone else’s actions and wistfully think to ourselves, “I should really start doing that” or “I need to start doing more of that.”  Instead of imagining the difference that action could make, start doing it!  Too often we let those nice thoughts become stale before they can begin to influence our behavior.  Any true change requires focus on the behavior, not just for one day or one week, but long enough to form a habit, a natural course of how you interact with the world and others.

So what behavior are you going to focus on?  What action will you intentionally carry out each day?  Before long, you’ll be like Fred – and Kelly Wilkerson.

Note:  Kelly Wilkerson and her story came to our attention through the “Fred Award” nomination process on our website.  She received not one, but two, nominations from Lakewood Ranch YMCA members. Find out how you can nominate a Fred and share a Fred story with us.

© 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
A Lion of a Fred

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: Vanessa Emerson, Business Manager for Katherine Eitel and Associates, forwarded us a letter recently acknowledging a "Fred" that Katherine met in the course of her travels. We thought it was well worth including in whole. Thanks Vanessa, thanks Katherine and kudos to a true Fred, Bruce Mosley!

June 11, 2007

Joe Gianelli, Food & Beverage Director
Safety Harbor Resort and Spa
105 N. Bayshore Drive
Safety Harbor, FL 34695

Dear Joe:

You have a "Fred" that works for you ... and his name is Bruce Mosley. Permit me to explain:

Mark Sanborn, customer service expert and past president of the National Speaker's Association, tells a classic story he has dubbed as The Fred Factor. He also authored a book by the same name about an extraordinary customer service event he experienced with a Postman named Fred Shea. Hence, many of us who are interested in helping others understand and exemplify superior levels of customer service refer to those who do as being a "Fred."

Last week, I was hired by Coast Dental Services to teach a group of 30 office managers a two-day workshop we call The Lioness Principle which helps these managers access their own instinctive greatness and become better leaders and teachers for those who work for them. I utilize African Safari music, decorate with Lioness photos, and utilize video of Lionesses teaching their cubs to hunt to help transfer my message to the group. From the A/V manager to our meeting planner, every person at Safety Harbor Spa and Resort was attentive, friendly, and helpful. My course requires special lighting and seating arrangements to create the proper learning environment and the team at Safety Harbor Resort was committed to doing whatever it took to make sure I had every detail just as I needed. This is not at all our normal hotel experience...so we were already impressed.

Early the first morning, Bruce must have checked in on us when the course was in full swing and noticed our Lioness theme. Somewhere between that moment and lunch, Bruce took it upon himself to transform the room where lunch would be served into an African Jungle! At the door, our group was greeted with palm trees where monkeys were swinging from the branches, giraffes and gorillas sat amongst the animal print fabric on the floor ...grouped around a sign that said "Welcome Lions and Lionesses"! African music played from the speakers. Our entire lunch buffet sat among animal print fabric with other African animals scattered around including an enormous Lioness in the center of the main table. On individual tables were centerpieces with mounted African masks and artifacts. And it gets even better......

On the second day, as we walked in to our previously decorated lunch room...... they had added an enormous TV screen on which the movie, The Lion King, was playing for our entertainment during lunch!

I asked who was responsible for of this and when Bruce was brought out to meet us so that we could thank and honor him, he was so humble and almost embarrassed at the applause the group gave for his magnificent effort in making our event so special and perfect.

There are a shortage of Bruce's and Fred's in the world today. It is a shame really that we are so amazed with experiences like this because they occur so infrequently. However, equally rare is the proper recognition of the "Bruce's" in this world and my sincere hope is that Harbor Resort will indeed reward Bruce for his intention to make this event extraordinary and the swift action he took to do so. I hope you will pass along the enclosed copy of "The Fred Factor" we have signed for Bruce as a small, but heartfelt, token of our deep appreciation, acknowledgement, and respect for his service. I encourage you to showcase Bruce to current and future employees as a living example of the difference one "Fred" can make. Because of Bruce, if we ever hold a future event in Tampa, FL ... it will be at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.

Thank you, Bruce. All our best wishes for a happy life and fulfilling career,

Katherine Eitel
Creator of The Lioness Principle
President of Lioness Learning

Here's an idea to recognize your own 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. While you're recognizing them don't forget to give us a chance to recognize them too!

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.
Watch 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. 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...

  • Energizer Bunny or bestselling phenomenon? The Fred Factor has returned to the BusinessWeek best-seller list making it a total of 22 months that Fred has resided on this prestigious list. In fact, Fred has accumulated more time on this list than Blanchard and Johnson's classic One Minute Manager...
  • Wesley Fryer, in his Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog, relates that the Trussville, Alabama schools are having teachers read The Fred Factor as part of their "technology teacher leader" program. Training Freds to train Freds! We love it!
  • Hardin County Superintendent Nannette Johnston is drawing on The Fred Factor for inspiration in charting the direction of the Hardin County Schools District in Elizabethtown, KY. In a story that ran in The News-Enterprise, Ms. Johnston says, "She ... has taken ideas from ... “The Fred Factor” about taking the extra step to make “the ordinary extraordinary,” she said. According to the article, "Her personal copy is filled with Post-It notes sticking between the pages." If you're relying on Fred to guide you, Superintendent Hardin, we're pretty sure you're headed in the right direction!
  • Jamie Minton of the Executive Learning Network alerted us to a powerful message by Brigadier General Leo Brooks talking about what it takes to be a leader in the 21rst century. General Brooks is introduced by Mark - while this isn't Fred-related it's a message well worth hearing. Thanks Jamie!

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