Book Notes: The Fred Factor

I am so moved by Fred, a seemingly ordinary postman who does extraordinary work. Fred the postman does not have many resources — just a drab blue uniform and a bag full of mail — but the services he brings to his customers are very enjoyable. He introduces himself to new neighbors, asks their needs and takes care of people’s mails when they are away. Fred is an awesome postman.

After reading this book, I tried to imagine what I would do if I work as a postman, can I enjoy my work as much as Fred does? Would I knock on my new neighbor’s door and introduce myself, or just ignore them and do my thing as usual? Would I keep people’s mails in neat bundles till they’re back from vacation, or I just let mailboxes flood with mails as if I haven’t noticed it? Would I feel proud of myself and my work?

Or, what about my own job? Do I enjoy it enough so I would love to improve every aspect of it? Am I passionate enough to make progress every single day? Am I helpful enough for people who need me and polite enough to people whom I ask for help? Honestly, not quite enough, and that means I need to make changes NOW.

I like the 4 principles that help each of us to become a Fred:

  • We need to believe in ourselves that we matter, and our work matter. We need to realize that we — you and me — are very important to others, and our work can have a impact to the company and the customers. When someone feels bored by his job, we still enjoy and care what we do; when some people spend time on worrying about being laid off, we take every second to make sure we are still doing a great job.
  • Success is built on relationships. If we are authentic to ourselves and others and spend a little time in listening to others, knowing their needs, then we may win business and life-long friends.
  • We need to continually create values to others. Most time it doesn’t take much to do so, we just need to be ready to help others. Sometimes a helping hand can make a difference.
  • When we’re down, pause and think, then reinvent ourselves. Sometimes we may feel tired, or blue about our work – why I just cannot make it better with all the efforts I spent? Think about Fred, let’s act like him.

Indeed, everyone can be a Fred. If we live with a very positive manner, genuine to others, proud of ourselves and our work, then we can have the drive to add value to our work and lives, and this can cause a ripple-effect in the lives of people that we come into contact.


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