In leadership class we received a book Fred Factor. The whole book was based off an idea of being a Fred, which was based off a mailman named Fred. Fred is an average guy who works for the postal service, but he goes out of his way to make this world a better place no matter the circumstances. Fred always goes the extra mile, and if a mailman can make a difference in the world, that means everyone in this world can make an impact no matter what you are doing. There are four principles of being a Fred: 1. Everyone makes a difference, 2. Everything is built on relationships, 3. You must continually create value for others, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny, and 4. You can reinvent yourself regularly. Then after we learned what being a Fred meant, we were challenged to spread the idea of being a Fred in some way or form. My Fred Factor group decided to do this project on a personal level. We decided to read the book ourselves, then pass it down to someone that is a Fred in our lives. My group felt strongly about #2. Relationships are important to build, and you can always continue to make a relationship stronger. So I choose to give my book to my father. My dad is someone very important in my life, and I view him as a Fred. He has always been a Fred in my life, and continues to be an inspiring human being. I am not just saying that because he is my dad. My dad continues to make sacrifices for others and does make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. And my dad actually relates to this book very well, he too is a mailman. Which I believe he does outstanding at his job. He never settles for less than perfect, and always lends a helping hand. When I read the book every sentence and example made me think of my dad. When I presented my Fred Factor project to my class I stated that my dad is my Fred and told a personal story behind it. I sent the book to my dad through mail with a letter stating what he means to me and that I challenge him to be a Fred.
My dad wrote back an email stating this:
The Fred Factor really gave me lot to think about, while also inspiring me to challenge myself to do more. When I began reading this book, it was obviously very relatable, since I am also a mailman. But it was also nice to consider ways this book could influence all working people, especially whose work is in customer service. Really, I feel the most important point or aspect of this book is how success is built from relationships. And I feel everything is built off that point. So that’s my first thing I need to build on and grow in my daily work. I have already done that on a smaller level. I gave one of my customers, a jewelry store owner, and my personal cell number. It was simply because of the importance of some of the packages she receives on a regular basis. Wedding rings for example, and it gave her the chance to contact me personally if she was looking for such a package. But she was so appreciative of this seemingly small gesture. It makes me want to expand on this, with all my customers. I won’t necessarily give my number out to the city. But, trying to build a personal relationship with them whenever possible. Doing the small things, knowing there schedules, there typical delivery patterns, and always looking for the opportunity to help. That alone should hopefully be the beginning of a rewarding relationship of all parties involved.
I’m passing this book on to a fellow letter carrier who works in my office. He is rural carrier, and somewhat new to the postal service. But I believe he possess the same desire to improve customer service. And I’m excited to see what he does with the lessons within this book. I’m sure he will pass the book on to someone else in the office. And maybe, in the future, we will have an office full of “Fred’s”.
My dad and I even built a stronger relationship over this activity, and I can feel our relationship to continue to grow stronger. My dads and I relationship will always be a strong bond and I am truly thankful for that. My dad is my Fred.