|April 2008 Leadership Lessons ezine by Mark Sanborn
Wow! This is a great issue. Not because I had anything to do with it but because of the inspiring stories shared by Fred advocates about the impact that The Fred Factor is having at a 52,000 student virtual school in Florida, in the corridors of one of our largest corporations, and as atraining tool for community leaders in a small midwestern city. I hope you gain as much from this issue as I did – great lessons on applying the principles of The Fred Factor at work and in life.We’re also thrilled to announce the availability of a brand, new Fred Factor resource for teachers. So if you feel strongly about The Fred Factor and you think it conveys a message that our children will benefit from learning then you’ll be interested in the information below.As always, I encourage you to share your stories of Fred; when you do, we all benefit!
PS – Last week we sent out an announcement regarding the release of Dr. Ken Blanchard and co-author Don Hutson’s book, The One Minute Entrepreneur. Ken and Don have put together a special offer for the book and a One Minute Entrepreneur Home Study program. You can participate by going to www.marksanborn.com/ome.
Perkins is an Instructional Leader with Florida Virtual School (FLVS), a state-run online middle and high school in its eleventh year of operation. FLVS serves a wide range of students—rural, urban, and home-schooled. Approximately 75% of the students who take a class through FLVS do so because of scheduling conflicts in their home school.
FLVS employs more than 400 full-time teachers, serving over 52,000 students during the 2006-2007 school year. With so many students and no physical classrooms, it would be easy to imagine students “falling through the cracks”. However, that is not the case due to the efforts of staff members like Perkins.
Perkins leads a group of 100 teachers who all work from home. On a trip to the bookstore last year, he was browsing the business book section when he noticed The Fred Factor.
“The title drew me in, it was very intriguing,” said Perkins. “I actually read the entire book right there in the bookstore.”
Perkins then went on to ship The Fred Factor to each and every one of his teachers.
Making a Difference
Perkins is quick to describe his work in customer service terms: “Our students are our clients and our product is knowledge. Every day, we compete against the best we could possibly be that day.”
FLVS staff spur on that service attitude by sharing the successes they witness and experience up, down, and across the entire organization. They have found their students to be very open with feedback and have utilized those ideas in continuing to make the best difference possible.
“Our teachers develop more meaningful relationships with our students even though we’re not interacting with them on a daily basis in a classroom,” explains Perkins. “Our work begins and ends with relationships.”
Relationships are built between teachers and their students, the families they serve, and other teachers in their peer group. Working in hundreds of individual locations, everything is built on relationships.
FLVS teachers make welcome calls to each new student upon their enrollment. They spend time one-on-one with students via email and phone working through course concepts and challenges. Because of that individual attention, teachers can build better relationships than what is possible through traditional classroom instruction.
A culture focused on customer service is the norm at FLVS. Said Perkins, “We’re working to identify needs that the client doesn’t even know exists yet.”
That sort of diligence to customer service drives the advancements that FLVS is making. All academic content is assessed for rigor and relevance. Additional online seminars are offered that bring the world to students.
FLVS and Rick Perkins are changing the way Floridians think about education. Students can enroll in courses online and chat with instructors via phone, email, online chats, and discussion forums—all with the rigor and integrity that you might not even find in the classroom.
FLVS is now licensing content for outside states and accepting out-of-state students through tuition-based enrollment. It is even training school districts, states, and administrators how to “deliver a sound, accountable, and successful online learning experience.”
Said Perkins, “I think of ourselves as ‘Freducators.’ We’re changing education one student at a time.”
Living the four Fred Factor principles isn’t limited to traditional settings in our offices, home, and communities. Realizing the extraordinary in your life can be a goal of every individual, no matter what position they hold, place they live, sector they work in, or background they have. What kind of difference do you make? What relationships do you build? What value do you create for your clients, your family, your community? What are you reinventing?
Note: Rick Perkins and his story came to our attention through the “Fred Award” nomination process on our website. Follow the link to find out how you can nominate a Fred and share a Fred story with us.
© 2008. 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 CurriculumBring 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||
The Fred Factor eCoachCreate an Army of Freds in your organization withThe 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 componentwhich allows you to track student progress while providing feedback and encouragement to participants.You’ll find more information here with a special video overview 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.
Editors note: Do you think that The Fred Factor doesn’t stand a chance in your big company, dog-eat-dog environment. ADP, an $8 billion behemoth with over 45,000 employees begs to differ. We truly appreciate that they’ve allowed us to share their Fred story.
The “FRED” of Business
|Nominate a FredHelp 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!|
How does a large, longstanding company focus its culture on both numbers AND people? Just ask Julie Marks Miller, Vice President of Training and Development for ADP, one of the world’s largest providers of business solutions, where she’s working to continually transform awareness into action.
Is ADP concerned about getting results? Of course it is. But the company understands that those results are accomplished through people and so the first concern is people, quite a non-traditional perspective on ROI.
Miller has taken a “Developing Freds” program throughout the organization. “The goal was to have every associate participate in a Fred Factor training,” she said. “It gives us a common language to use and a way to recognize individuals. Fred personifies the concepts.”
She explained further, “The Fred Factor principles really helped move our organizational culture to focusing on both people and numbers and to eliminate the approach that it had to be either or.”
Miller described the difference that this shift in focus has made, saying that it has resulted in a sort of “pay it forward” mentality among employees. The Fred Factor is now recommended reading for all new associates of the company.
ADP has over 45,000 associates, all of whom Miller believes have the power to make a positive difference. There is a perseverance to integrate individual passions into workplace successes. She knows that leveraging an individual’s skills to maximize their talent is a positive approach to bringing the right priorities into focus.
ADP is creating value for its customers by paying attention to what matters – people. This notion has also caused the company to spend energy on developing its own people. Miller explained that since tenure at the company is so strong, reinventing oneself is a necessity in order to maintain a fresh, innovative perspective.
But what Miller thinks is most valuable is how The Fred Factor principles transcend the workplace. “The principles are even more powerful on a personal level. These concepts are a tool that you can utilize each day in your personal life.”
Whether in or out of the workplace, Julie Marks Miller is working to bring The Fred Factorprinciples to life. What principles are you living? Don’t let the size, scope, or traditions of your work, your company, or your personal responsibilities keep you from injecting passion into your work and life.
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!
- Listen to Mark’s interview on The Fred Factor with noted Atlanta Sportscaster, Bob Rathbun. (Listed as Audio Lesson)
- Recognize the Fred’s in your life with our downloadable, and F*ree, Fred Factor Recognition Certificate (PDF). Or, you can purchase high quality, suitable for framing certificates from the Sanborn Store.
Luke Vernon, VP of Operations with Eco-Products, shared his company’s Fred experience with Mark…“…(Eco-Products has) a brand of biodegradable foodservice products … and about 9 months ago, I purchased a copy of The Fred Factor for every employee (15 at the time and we now have 45!). We read it as a company with weekly chapter discussions and now every new employee reads when they start here. I can honestly say that it has changed the way we operate. Employees have fallen in love with Fred and his philosophy of life.Since we read your book, we’ve incorporated “Fred” into everything we do – when we sell, when we resolve customer complaints, when we handle accounting issues, when we deliver products, and more. We have “Fred Awards” in which employees nominate their coworkers and we present those awards every week in front of the company. Recipients hang the certificates on their office walls or cubicles and it’s a pretty cool sight to walk around our office and see the pride that people take in their Fred Awards. In fact, The Fred Factor was such a success at our company that we created a “Super Fred” award that employees voted on and we presented to an employee at our annual company party…”
Thanks Luke and thank you to all the dedicated Freds of Eco-Products!
LEAD Class learns to be Freds…
Let’s see … you have a gaggle of geese, a shrewdness of apes, a pride of lions and now a festival of Freds. This is a great article about how The Fred Factor was incorporated into the recent LEAD class sponsored by Clermont 20/20 – a community serving organization in Clermont, OH. We’re very pleased that they’ve involved The Fred Factor in making a difference in their community. That is truly the spirit of Fred. Thank you!
Our thanks to Brad Toft of Kinker-Eveleigh Insurance Agency in Cincinnati for bringing this item to our attention. Brad mentioned that LEAD alumni include a current Ohio Senator, state legislators, numerous local and county officials, CEOs and many more who contribute much to their communities.
If you see items about Fred or simply see Fred-like ‘citings’ in your local news, please send them our way. Thanks.