There’s more to growing a business than just having a good product/service. You need to develop relationships with people. Meet Fred the mailman…
Before we discuss who Fred is, let me start from the beginning. Decades ago, my closest mentor and lifelong friend, Kim Speth, and I were having dinner one night in Crystal City, VA. We were both experiencing above-average success in our roles and one of the conclusions we came to for this was that we were acting like “Freds.” You probably have no idea why that name is so significant – and if you do know then good on you! The name ‘Fred’ comes from the book “The Fred Factor” by Mark Sanborn. Kim and I were always swapping book suggestions and I can’t remember which of us had recommended it to the other – but we were both fans of it.
The Fred Factor is a true story about a postal worker named Fred, who passionately loved his job and sincerely cared about the people he served. He constantly went the extra mile – above and beyond – for the people on his delivery route. While many people might view delivering the mail as a mundane and monotonous job, Fred saw an opportunity to make a difference and add value to the lives of every person he served.
Many of us have been fortunate to have encountered people like Fred. In the book, the author illuminates four simple precepts each of us can take to transform our own lives from ordinary to extraordinary. The following basic principles can help us bring renewed energy and fresh creativity to our life, work, and relationships.
Everyone Makes a Difference
Service to others is the ultimate purpose in life – no matter the nature of the work or activity.
Success is Built on Relationships
Develop relationships with the people you serve. By doing good, we feel good and that shows up in the way we treat our customers and colleagues.
Always Create Value for Others
Create more value for others around you through great service, genuine caring, and sincere consideration for others. Do good for the sake of doing good; create value for everyone you interact with and value will be returned to you.
Reinvent Yourself Regularly
Never rest when it comes to improvement. Know that every day is a clean slate and full of opportunities to create value for others.
You might be wondering why a technology company would make this their first blog post?
First, if you have been in tech for a while – I’ve been a technophile since my age was in single digits – you will recognize the homage paid to past innovators with the phrase “Hello World.”
More importantly, the story of Fred explains part of the core of our philosophy and culture at Summit Technology. Key concepts from this book are intertwined into our vision:
|Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-focused technology enablement firm, treating customers like family – not transactions. We believe in challenging the status quo, breaking the shackles of old thinking, innovating with creativity, experimenting with tenacity, and collaborating with enthusiasm to deliver simple technological solutions to our customer’s complex business challenges.|
And our mission:
Every colleague that joins our team is given four books that help solidify for them the culture of the team they are joining. One of those books is The Fred Factor. The principles in this book are part of our modus operandi.
The other three books that every new colleague is given, and commits to read are:
- Pathological Positivity by Dr. Paul Jenkins
- The Dog Poop Initiative by Kirk Weisler
- A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
Maybe in the future I’ll blog about how those works contribute to our culture and philosophy.
To this day, Kim and I occasionally still refer to each other as Fred 🙂