How ‘Fred’ can help your team find their passion

About a year ago, a good friend of mine and fellow manager introduced me to Mark Sanborn’s book The Fred Factor, his answer to rekindling employee engagement and motivation.

He raved about the book’s lessons, but I didn’t take his advice right away, and instead, I put the novel  on my need-to-read back burner book list. Now a year later, I am proud to report I finally read The Fred Factor―I just wish I read it sooner.

Who is Fred?

The star of the book, Fred, is a real-life mail carrier who turns the simple act of delivering mail into meaningful interactions that make a big difference in the lives of his customers. He goes the extra mile for the people he serves, not because he has to or because he is looking for recognition, but because he genuinely cares about people and is passionate about his work and his life’s purpose―a message managers and leaders should take with them.

Continue reading “How ‘Fred’ can help your team find their passion”


Want to be a better leader? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone

I was once guilty of thinking I was a leader because I held a management title. I directed people, had control and managed day-to-day activities, and therefore, thought I knew what it meant to be an effective leader.

My leadership strengths were my systems, procedures and subject matter expertise. I took pride in always knowing the answer and being able to help others.

After working at the same company for 10 years and managing the same group for seven, I decided I was ready for a change.

While I was proud of myself for taking a professional and personal risk, I was also extremely worried I wouldn’t be as effective of a leader because I didn’t understand my new team’s systems, jargon, policies and procedures.

Continue reading “Want to be a better leader? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone”


Why I now think twice before saying sorry in the workplace

Before leaving a previous employer, I asked my team to provide feedback on my leadership style so I could apply my learnings to my new job and beyond. Most of the responses I received back were either positive reviews or constructive suggestions I was already aware of and working on.

But, there was, however, one new piece of guidance. “Don’t say sorry so much.”

At first, I was shocked. How could saying, “I’m sorry” be considered an area of improvement? Fortunately, I didn’t have to guess and ponder too long as my employee followed up her statement with supporting details and insight.

Continue reading “Why I now think twice before saying sorry in the workplace”


Benefits of having fun at work―for both the company and employee

Contrary to the viewpoints of some managers, there is value in your team being funny, silly and witty in the office. A good chuckle brings people together and helps to relieve stress; a clever one-liner can help lighten a mood and an amusing story can act as a great icebreaker and team-building moment.

Humor in the workplace makes the environment more fun and enjoyable, but did you know it also comes with other benefits?

Employees who have fun are more punctual

Dr. David Abramis discovered people who have fun at work have better attendance than people who aren’t having fun. He also found employees who engage in fun on the job are better decision-makers and are more collaborative, loyal, productive and creative. Continue reading “Benefits of having fun at work―for both the company and employee”