Many of the clients at our Farmingdale Boot Camp have asked “What is this Fred of the Month” thing? Hopefully this article will explain why we choose an individual to be honored as our “Fred” for the month in each newsletter. At both our Farmingdale and Babylon Boot Camp, we have a number of core values that we strive to live by, one of them is to pursue growth and learning. The team has a book club where a new book is chosen, we all read it, and then discuss what we have learned from the material and how we can use it to make ourselves better. The first book we read was “The Fred Factor” by Mark Sanborn. This book is geared towards individuals in leadership roles but I found it to be a great read for anyone. Its basically about how striving for excellence in anything and everything you do will help you as well as the people around you. Being mediocre is not the way to go through life. A lot of the book is common sense, about how simple, little things we do each day can make a great impact. We forget this sometimes, but the author really brings this back into perspective.
“Fred”, the man this book was inspired by, was a postman that did little things in his everyday tasks that made him extraordinary. The people on his route loved him for it, and although he did not have the most glamorous job in the world, he was happy and fulfilled in his life and career. Fred would do little things such as moving the mail inside the screen door when his clients were out of town so no one would notice the build up. Or just chatting with the people on his route and asking how their family was. Does your postman ask how your daughter is doing in college? Does your postman even know you have a daughter? The point is that little extra things can make a huge difference.
The main principles on being a Fred are simplistic but commonly overlooked by the average person.
• Everyone makes a difference – Whether you are the CEO or the receptionist, every job in an organization is important. You should not only look at your job as important and try to do the best you can at it but also remember others around you and give them the respect they deserve. Appreciate their role and how their duties allow you to perform better.
• Success is built on relationships – When you get to know someone as an individual, you can better understand their personal needs and from there you can deliver better service by using that information. My 7-11 guy knows I buy lottery tickets every Friday morning and he has them ready for me when I get to the counter. This is going the extra mile on his part and why I will continue to go to that particular 7-11 instead of another one.
• You must continuously create value for others, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny -By using creativity instead of money you can become more valuable to your vocation. Instead of spending exuberant amounts of cash on a Christmas gift, think of a more personal one, the receiver will be happier that you spent your time thinking about them instead of just shoveling out a bunch of cash.
• You can reinvent yourself regularly – Don’t fall into a rut and do the same thing day in and day out. Think of how you can do whatever it is you are doing better and change it. This will keep you excited and fulfilled in your career and your employer/clients happy as well.
As previously mentioned, this book is somewhat geared towards career advancement but all of the principles discussed can also be used for personal relationships and goals. Doing just a little bit extra in all aspects of life can reap so many rewards. Doing things for others ultimately benefits you! Think about how good it makes you feel when you’ve made someone else happy. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything huge, just a smile can make someones day that much better! If you’re looking to make some positive changes for the new year, I recommend giving this book a read. It brings to light some important points that we all seem to forget all too often.
After we read this book, we decided to pick one person a month that reflects the “Fred” aspect in our environment. We have a lot of Fred’s at our Farmingdale Boot Camp (hope to have just as many at our Babylon Boot Camp) and thought it would be nice to point out the great things our members are doing. We may choose a Fred because they go out of their way for other members; maybe they introduced a new client to some of the other members or shared their equipment, perhaps they just smiled when they came in the door and said hello. You may not realize the little things you do really can alter another persons whole day. For instance, just think about the parking lot on a Thursday night, you get really annoyed when someone takes up two parking spots and you have to park in the street. Now, imagine that person parked correctly, you would be totally psyched that you got a spot. In both situations, your mood was altered by what someone else did. Get my point on it’s the little things?!? We may also honor a “Fred” because they have done some amazing things and refused to be mediocre. We see it and want to make sure everyone else does too. Whether you ran your first marathon or did your first push up from the toes, we know it’s a goal you worked hard to reach and we are so proud you did! So, be sure to give a big high five to the “Fred of the Month” and keep striving for excellence in anything and everything; remember it’s the little things that get you there!