Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reviewing The Fred Factor

Just finished reading The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. It's a good little book on how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

I love that phrase: Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Life is so ordinary. Most people are so ordinary. Church is so ordinary. The way we do our jobs is ordinary. We've got ordinary family and ordinary friends. But what if we weren't satisfied with the ordinary? What if we began striving to make each day extraordinary? Do you think people would notice? How do you think your coworkers, your family, your neighbors, your friends would respond?

Sanborn says it really all boils down to love, service and putting others before yourself. Seems to me like he might have stolen that from some Rabbi that lived about 2000 years ago. It just goes to show you how relevant and practical following Jesus really is.

But back to the review...I want to share four principles for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary:
1. Everyone makes a difference. Duh! The only question at the end of the day is "What kind of difference did you make?" I love this quote: Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional.
2. Everything is built on relationships. We've all heard it said that "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Relationships are key because it's only through a relationship that you can get to know someone enough to serve them in a way that's helpful and meaningful. Sanborn says, relationship building is the most important objective because the quality of the relationship determines the quality of service.
3. You must continually create value for others. We usually want others to value us, but Fred's do the opposite. Use the imagination that God gave you (and yes he did give you an imagination...it just might be dormant) to out-think others and to come up with creative ways to bless other people (I use the word "bless," not Mark, but blessing people is the best way that Christ followers can create value for others).
4. You can reinvent yourself regularly. No matter what job you hold, what industry you work in or where you live in the world, you wake up every morning with a blank slate, and you can make your business and your life anything you choose. In other words, I have a choice as to whether I settle for the ordinary or I turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The choice is yours: Choose wisely.

The Fred Factor has some good Kingdom reminders about how to treat others all the trappings of a secular business book. Love, Serve, Value, Bless, go the extra mile...turn your ordinary into the extraordinary.

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