Thursday, March 3, 2011

FRED Friday

FRED Friday

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

In my favorite book, The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn tells an inspiring story of how a man named Fred goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role as a Postman for the United States Postal Service.  I love this book.  Since my mom sent it to me in 2004, I've purchased the book for friends, coworkers, and girlfriends...I've even purchased and hand delivered copies of the book to several executives at both Wynn Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 

Mr. Sanborn paints the picture of how Fred makes magic for his community by taking a genuine interest in making a positive difference for others despite being an ordinary man in an ordinary job.  However, Fred's impact and his legacy are nothing short of extraordinary.  I'll let Mark tell you the story below and in the book, but the key take away is this:
If Fred the Postman can put this much creativity and passion into putting mail in a box for a living, how much of an impact can we all make in our roles as Teachers, Students, Managers, Leaders, Directors, Vice Presidents, and Sales People? 

Fred Friday is a series in which the OneMoreStepRevolution blog will showcase a real life "Fred" on select Fridays.   Reading The Fred Factor definitely leaves us with a desire to to be more Fred-like ourselves, but I also love looking for FredsFreds are everywhere. I love it when I experience a real life Fred.  I'm inspired just as I am every time I re-read the book.  I thought it would be fun to spread the magic of Fred to our OneMoreStepRevolution community (which now reaches 45 states & 24 countries by the way!) 

Hopefully a few things will happen with the Fred Friday series:
1) Real Life Freds will be recognized when these stories make it back to them 
2) Companies for which these Freds work will have some positive feedback 
3) People will be inspired to go OneMoreStep just like the real life Freds 

My good friends Anthony and Jackie Chiovari experienced a real life Fred on their recent vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort.  Anthony and I have managed to remain close friends over the years, having met while we were both Cast Members at Walt Disney World ten years ago.  

We still love the magic...and when he called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about his experience at Nine Dragons, the full-service restaurant in the China Pavilion at Epcot, we both decided this would be a great way to kick of the Fred Friday series...

I hope this story inspires you as it did Paul, from Nine Dragons at Epcot:
One More Step Dining Experience


I recently encountered an experience at the Walt Disney World Resort that I thought would be appropriate for your OneMoreStepRevolution community.

Jackie, my wife, and I shared our 2011 Valentine’s Day by taking our annual trip to Walt Disney World.  Every year we go, we always visit our favorite restaurants, our “staples,” if you will.  I had made a late night reservation at Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot at the China Pavilion.  We arrived at about 9 o’clock, which was about 15 minutes past our reservation time.  The restaurant also closes at 9pm.  We weren’t sure if they were going to seat us because we were so late; much to our surprise it seemed as though “Paul” had been waiting for our arrival. 

We were seated in a table against the glass windows so that we could enjoy the Illuminations Reflections of Earth fireworks show.  We were immediately greeted by Jun Pei, who goes by the American name Paul and he immediately took our drink order.   As he walked away, Jackie confirmed that Paul was the server who waited on us in 2008 when we had visited the restaurant with our family.   

As Paul returned to take our order, we noticed the restaurant had recently changed its menu and were disappointed.  We told Paul that we had been to the restaurant before and wanted some items that were not on the new menu.  Paul then looked at us with a short pause and said, “Did I serve you a couple years ago at the corner table with a large party of about ten people?”  We could not believe that he actually remembered us.  Paul then took both the menus out of our hands and said, “I will make you anything you want.”  We told Paul what we had in mind and he said, “No problem.”  Before we knew it, there was a feast of food on the table that we had not even ordered.  After we had soup and appetizers, Paul brought out the main course; he set both plates down and stood by the table for about a minute.  I couldn’t figure out why he was standing there and then he said, “I want to make sure you are happy with your food before I tell the Chef that is ok to shut down the kitchen.”

That evening we shared a dining experience that we will never forget.  Paul made us feel so welcome that we truly felt like we were in his home.  The greatest part about the experience we shared with Paul was that it was obvious that Paul was genuinely rewarded by making us happy, and today that is very uncommon.  We visited with Paul for about 15 minutes after we were finished eating and it was quite obvious to us both that he has a gift of positive energy and charisma, which serves him well in his role at Epcot.  Paul definitely went one more step for us that night and it was so exciting to see that when someone has this kind of passion, they truly make magic without having to try...


Thanks to Anthony and Jackie, for sharing their real life Fred story.  If anyone would like to share stories about the Freds in their life, please email me.

I'd love to hear about your real life Fred experiences.

Have a great weekend.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you Mr. Sanborn. Thank you Taylor. I'll need that one a few more times in the coming week...