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Homecoming session: Mark Sanborn delivers motivational messages

8/25/2010 (Archived)

co - mark sandbornBestselling author Mark Sanborn opened his segment of Homecoming’s Evening Session by telling the crowd in the auditorium of Vickie Anne Palmer Hall that he’s a “believer in chiropractic,” having gone to a chiropractor for the past 20 years. He also said that he appreciated the chiropractic profession’s belief in lifelong learning, noting that the root of philosophy—“philos”—means “love of knowledge.”

Throughout his presentation, the customer service and leadership consultant stressed how a desire to learn can help us improve the way we work and live. No matter what we do, we can master how to take a job that may seem ordinary and make it extraordinary, he said.

Mr. Sanborn also said that if we’re looking for someone to inspire us to do better, we probably don’t have to look very far. He illustrated this by sharing some of the enlightening conversations he’s had with a postal carrier named Fred, whose passion for his job is exceeded only by the compassion he feels for his customers. This dedication to helping others led Mr. Sanborn to write the bestseller, “The Fred Factor.

”Within days of Mr. Sanborn moving into his first home, Fred stopped by to introduce himself and welcome the new homeowner to the neighborhood.

“I can’t ever recall getting an introduction from a postal carrier,” said Mr. Sanborn, adding that Fred even offered to use the speaker’s travel schedule to determine which days to deliver his mail and which days to save it. Fred’s concern was that Mr. Sanborn’s mail would pile up and signal to burglars that no one was at home.

“A professional is someone who cares more about you than you do,” the author said. “Fred, he’s the postal professional.”

Mr. Sanborn stressed that we can acquire some of the skills of the Freds of the world by following four principles. The first principle he advocates is making a real difference every day, which he illustrated by referring to a number of Fred’s customers who have responded to Fred’s devotion to them by developing a great amount of devotion to him.

The second principle the speaker encouraged the audience to follow was that one can only become successful by building strong relationships. As Fred once told Mr. Sanborn, “I don’t think of the people on my route as customers. I think of them as friends.”

The third principle stresses that it’s possible to create value for others without spending any additional money. He reflected on a Starbuck’s employee who went out of her way—and out of the store—to give the author good directions to his next destination.

The final principle Mr. Sanborn urged everyone to follow was that we must constantly reinvent ourselves. Mr. Sanborn said that by learning from others and about ourselves, we will grow as individuals and be better able to serve others.

Mr. Sanborn closed by urging members of the audience to gain a healthy appreciation for their work. Said the speaker, “I hope you love what you do. If you do, they you’re already a Fred.”

Check out the photo gallery for the Mark Sanborn session.