So this weekend, I read The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. It was a very interesting book, deductively written (he tells you what he’s going to tell you, he tells you, & then he encourages you to tell others), so you generally know what’s coming after the second chapter (so if you are pushed for time, just read the second chapter or this blog post or go to his Fred Factor website for a synopsisl; it’s basically chapter 2). However, the material was good, and unlike many deductive books I read, it was not repetitive. He taught his point expanding it each page, each chapter, and each section. Here are what Mark Sanborn calls the Fred Principles (with some subsequent quotes from Chapter 2):
- Everyone makes a difference. “Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional” (9) “People give work dignity. There are no unimportant jobs, just people who feel unimportant doing their jobs” (10).
- Success is built on relationships. “Relationship building is the most important objective because the quality of the relationship determines the quality of the product or service” (11).
- You must continually create value for others (without spending any money). “Refocus their attention from being employed to being ’emploable'” (13). “The trick is to replace money with imagination, to substitute creativity for capital…Sanborn’s Maxim says that the faster you try to solve a problem with money, the less likely it will be the best solution” (13). “There is another less observable competitor: the job we could have done. That competitor is mediocrity, a willingness to just enough and nothing more to get by. And while mediocrity will not beat you out for a job promotion or take away corporate market whare; med will just as surely diminish the quality of your performance and the meaning you derive from it” (14).
- You can reinvent yourself regularly. “You can make your business, as well as your life, anything you choose it to be. That’s what I call the Fred Factor” (15).
After visualizing a few Freds at the end of the first section, in Section 2, he discusses each of these principles in more detail giving practical guides and steps to accomplish these principles (33-75). In Section 3, he writes how to Develop other Freds (76-98), and finally in Section 4, Sanborn encourages and motivates his reader to follow and spread the Fred Spirit (99-108).
I highly encourage people that want to learn more about servant leadership and good customer service to read this book!