One thing with growing up has always been the idea of financial freedom that most of us aspire to attain at a certain age. However with this need arises the necessity of finding a job. As we grow up it is socially inculcated to us that a job is very important as it helps us support our families sustain our economies and is the golden key to a comfortable future. Then adulthood dawns and as enthusiastic as we are about a job, the reality clearly dawns. Life is far from a scripted farce on a bed of roses! Waking up every early morning working all the way into the evening with minimal breaks and especially when it comes to menial jobs with a paltry reward for the strenuous effort is hell of a mountain climb.
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With frustrations, struggle for promotion and accruing expenses the dreams of a wonderful lavish life, a memorable wedding, a dream home and revitalising holidays fade subtly into oblivion as days roll the years away. These job associated problems eventually way down on our health with a grim feature of anxieties and depressions hanging over our heads like a guillotine. Mark Sanborn’s Fred factor is a reader that obliterates this gross side of working and recreates a mental attitude that does not get you through the job but actually makes you look forward to it. An exciting 112 page that takes us through the principles of being real life Fred’s and reinvent our jobs and appreciation of the most menial jobs we can ever come about. It is a great revelation of how to live our lives especially denoting how brief life is, there is simply no time to grumble about our jobs but rather go out there and work like it’s what we want to do.
The Fred Factor is a story of a Fred Shea a local postman who adds value to his simple job and extracts overwhelming happiness to his job. Fred goes beyond his job description to make other feel as he is, putting mail under mats so that they don’t get wet or stolen. He is enthusiastic and passionate about his work taking time to talk to the people on the route where he delivers the mail and learning more about the names on the envelopes he delivers. Fred comes out as a symbol of people who have been able to find meaning and great satisfaction in carrying out the most odd job by general standards. A Fred shares his joy with those surround him and brings out the best in him from appreciation of the subtle values he elicits by doing his job.
The book is summarily an assessment of the benefit of positive attitude and positive character at individual perceptions in the work environment. It shows how one can unlock the secret to self assertion, value of ones work and even rediscover happiness on the job by simply recognizing the effects of ones job on those you interact with. A smile on a customer’s face a thank you here and there or even just a general hi every morning brings cheer into ones life and melts away the morose atmosphere associated with tough jobs.
Sanborn’s masterpiece plays itself everyday around our lives as some people who pass of as miserable go around smiling as if they are the kings and the rest of us are the poor folk. Chris was a young man who sold papers for a living a job I found quite hard to believe could actually satisfy. It was quite unbelievable how he was felt sorry for himself but actually looked like he enjoyed passing the paper around. It felt like he saw how important he was in the information dissemination industry connecting the reporters to the people on the grassroots by getting down doing the dirty work of his lucrative industry. He was always punctual and always had time for a little chat over a cup of coffee and a little catching up.
Reading Sanborn’s Fred factor his image just burst out of the pages as I nodded to Sanborn’s observations with my own and the parallels and similarities were utterly baffling. I saw how Chris derived value in his work he did not just view it as selling a bundle of folded pieces of paper with numerous text abut as actually delivery of information to me and to others. He went an extra mile and actually was the most up to date man I have meant in recent times. Always ready with a comment for the headline and boy are his comments funny. He had this way of seeing humour everywhere and constantly drew from his bottomless pit of punch lines as he engaged customer in small talk while you bought a paper or a magazine.
He was always happy to help with suggestion of a good read and a personal touch that if you came again and again he could actually identify you and ask how you found the read. These vibrancies were as if it emanated from within as he greeted folks with warmness that an only be reserved for long-time friendship or marketers. He was completely devoid of anxiety as to whether he’ll sell all his copies and was never at a rush to get things over with. He was always assured observant and ready to help passerbies by giving directions. In fact he seemed to know the whole street like the back of his hand
With this great ability to interact he almost made my mornings and I could not explain why I would pass several stands just for his which was rarely idle. He was just an amazing person. Thus reading Sanborn I came to understand Chris as if he was following script to the latter. He had established self mastery, vision, empowerment and service that had enabled him derive the qualities of a Fred. His was a classical example of Sanborn’s character since he had found appreciation his menial job and he inspired happiness by reflecting his own over his customers, us who were awed at such ability to be happy regardless of the job.
Sanborn demonstrates that Fred’s are not born but are made and that all of us can be Fred’s at our jobs is only we master the simple things that make our jobs worth the while. We should re-establish our relationships with those we interact with in the job environment for the better and this happiness is not alien it should come from within. Our ability to be happy in the first place is the key to being a Fred. We should find value in whatever work we do and through the expression of this appreciation reinvent ourselves and those around us. Failure to which, we should consider a change of career as there is no need to grumble to the grave when we’ve got a life to live.
The book is a great read and very important to manger in any job as it is relevant to all his juniors. Since the managers are basically those who run the business their attitudes motivation and character greatly impacts on the job as a whole then the book is a must read especially in cultivating positive thought among his staff. The mangers should understand the principles behind the book by understanding what it is they can do to improve the air around the job and the enthusiasm of his employees to achieve the best they can.
By acknowledging that everybody makes a difference, the mangers should reflect on what kind of difference they inject into their jobs. Their actions if scrutinized, do they show his confidence in his workforce or not? Managers should also find out how well they relate with their works and customers in the business. By being outgoing and establishing personal relationships with the workers while ensuring the maintenance of the professional space, the manager can actually understand those who work under him more. It does not hurt to send a birthday card to your sweeper’s kid when the time is due.
The manger should also consider focusing on creating value for him and others in the business space. It is important that the subordinates don’t feel so subordinate and can actually feel themselves as a team of he whole successful organization. By including all the workers in the greater family of the organization the manager can actually help inject value in every task in the business. The manager should also reinvent himself and thus bolster performance by re-examination and standard setting.
In conclusion the Fred Factor is an effective way of a penniless improvement of our lives around the office. It’s a way to see the simple things that are quite appealing are only we would take a moment to realize them. It is a reinvigoration manual and helps us divorce the sick feeling of having to wake up in the morning for work and instead instils in au a purpose and desire to look forward to the job both as a duty and as a career.
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