The Fred Factor

May 9, 2016 -  By
Blades of Green managers award team member Gidget Trott with one of the company’s “Fred of the Year” awards.

Blades of Green managers award team member Gidget Trott with one of the company’s “Fred of the Year” awards. Photo: Blades of Green

At Blades of Green, the management team has read and embraced the tenets of “The Fred Factor,” a 2004 business book by Mark Sanborn.

It’s a parable of a mailman named Fred, who wowed the author by going above and beyond in his presumably mundane job as a postal carrier.

The book discusses “taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary,” no matter your role at a company—or in life. The idea really clicked with the Blades of Green team.

“It’s about always doing the right thing, even when nobody’s looking,” says Mark Leahy, owner and president of Blades of Green. “It’s going above and beyond with the client’s interest in mind.”

“Freds” understand the following concepts, outlined in the book:

  • Everyone makes a difference;
  • Everything is built on relationships;
  • The importance of continually creating value for others; and
  • How to reinvent themselves regularly.

New hires at Blades of Green learn what it means to be a “Fred” during their onboarding process. Management awards team members who demonstrate these principles with “Fredbucks,” which are certificates ranging in value from $5-$100. Once you get $100 in “Fredbucks,” you can cash them in for gift cards or other prizes. Additionally, managers give out “Fred of the Year” awards at the annual holiday party. The winners get $100 and their names added to a plaque in the office.

Photo: Blades of Green

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Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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