"Freds" are odd ducks. See the definition of
"The Fred Factor".
They're larger than life, unexpected, quirky, startlingly honest,
open, sincere and helpful.
They love to do favors for people, and they thrive on appreciation.
They revel in doing goofy things like:
- Live cheap to have excess capacity to help others
- Help friends move furniture and households for
the free exercise
- Shovel neighbors driveways for the sheer joy of being outside
in the fresh air
- Mentor teens at work camp projects to rebuild houses for poor people
- Teach friends and family about computers, people and life
- Form companies w/mottos like "Glad to be of service!"
- Nurse dying family members in their home or in his own home
- Set nieces and nephews in races to grow their college funds
- Donate thousands of hours per year to worthwhile organizations
- Talk fearlessly to all parties (worker bees, managers, CEOs, chairman
of the board) to benefit a project
- Explain to managers that they necessarily have "Manager's Disease"
(ask me sometime) and what to do about it
- Coach people looking for work, reviewing their resumes and helping
them build skills
- Connect employers with potential employees and consultants
- Tell people "You don't really have to pay me. I'll do it
for free if I feel appreciated enough."
- Leave a 30-100% tip for waiters just to make their day
- Donate $100 or $1,000 when asked for $10
- Mail out daily tips and techniques
- Write a "Fred User Guide", providing
to the kingdom"
-- how best to take full advantage of a Fred
Extraordinary is fun. Ordinary is boring. Expected is downright
So how do you maximize the benefits of the "Fred Factor"?
- Allow Fred to be extraordinary and exceed expectations
- Never try to force Fred to be ordinary. It won't work. Freds
don't have much ordinary in them. Extraordinary will just
pop out somewhere unexpected.
- Ask for favors that you really need
- Even if they are above
- Joyfully accept the alternate favors that Fred sometimes offers
- Express appreciation
- LinkedIn referrals that don't lower the bar of Fred's current rave
- Emails that Fred can show off to friends and family, or add to his
accumulated recommendations page
- Buy lunch for Fred
- Be open, sincere, and honest, never sarcastic.
- Read all emails from Fred
when you're in the salutation or on the TO list, not just the CC list.
- See "write
- Reply to all emails from Fred
can't see you nodding, scowling, or looking confused
- Can be just: "OK" or "Thanks" or "Will do" or "I disagree, call me",
but always reply.
- See "always
reply to email"
And some counter-examples. Here's how to minimize the benefit of the
"Fred Factor", and eventually
chase Fred away entirely:
- Decide in advance that Fred has nothing valuable to say
- Don't bother reading his emails
- Ask him to send you fewer emails
- Make decisions about his project without consulting him
- Ask for favors that you don't really need and won't appreciate
- Be unappreciative or disrespectful
- Tell him, after he does you a favor, that it was not that
important after all
- Complain about how he does you favors
- Tell him he's not worth the cost when you buy his services
If this inspires you, buy the book. I bought a bunch
of copies myself:
Personally, I aspire to always be a Fred, and I am supported in this by
some of my favorite people in the whole world: Tom Brophy, George van Rossum,
Carol Stluka and the entire Stluka
clan, Mick Eng, Emily Webb, Sharon Flank,
Erma Diaz, Steve Day, Lynne Samson, Gina McEwen, Orlando Rios,
Bob Bonstingl, Mike McKeown, Sandra Stocker,
Ginny Pyster, Dave Forbes, Gail Dichter, Aaron Temin, Michelle Bazie, Alex
Yankelevich, Alex Kutovoy, Mike Hoffman, John Quillen, Tracey Welson-Rossman,
Jim Blackwood, John Patriarca, Bob Durbin, Deb Coppage, Joyce Walsh, Donna Brophy, Bob Shank, and most
of the van Rossum clan.
If you agree that I am a Fred, please endorse me at LinkedIn as having the
skill "The Fred Factor":
Proud to be a Fred,
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