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Fire in the Belly and the Fred Factor

Fred FactorI once worked for a boss who, following a discussion about whether or not someone had the skill to do the job or the ability to learn it quickly, would ask the questions “Does she have a fire in the belly to do the job and how does she demonstrate it?” He was sending a message – people will tell you they want the job but their actions don’t follow their words. “Show me, don’t tell me”, was his mantra.

Wanting it provides the fuel for doing it well. Too many people just go through the motions. How can you communicate the importance of “wanting it” in your organization? What are the behaviors that tell you whether someone is truly engaged and has a fire in the belly? How do you react when you see these positive behaviors in action? Do you acknowledge them? How long do you wait to address the negative behaviors, especially with your peers?

I just finished reading a great little book “The Fred Factor” by Mark Sanborn, about a mailman (real guy), Fred Shea whose passion for his work turned an ordinary customer experience (as in “Ok, I got my mail, big deal”) into an extraordinary customer experience (as in, “WOW! This guy cares about me and loves his job). Fred demonstrated each day that he really wanted the job by the consideration and care he took delivering the mail. He took pride in providing a service, not just delivering mail.

There are probably some people in your life that have the Fred Factor, the fire in the belly to excel at what they do. You can tell that they want it by their behavior.

What we give is returned to us in kind. Want more “Freds” in your business? Be a Fred. Demonstrate to those around you that you want it.

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