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Posts Tagged ‘FEDEX’

Lesson from Frank Maguire: Treat everyone like a rock star!

When I received the sad news that Frank Maguire, my lifelong friend, mentor and FEDEX founding senior executive had passed away on a business flight, my immediate reaction was one of grief.   What would I miss the most?  The stories of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early days?  His experience in the White House when JFK was in office?  How he took the time from his international speaking circuit to speak about his cherished memories of my father at his funeral?  

Anyone who knew Frank would say, “how he made me feel”.  My mind flitted back to when he was the keynote speaker at a conference in Houston many years ago. His charismatic persuasiveness made the least touchy feel-y of executives break through their defenses, hold hands and bellow, “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” with Frank leading the chorus. It was amazing to witness his impact on others. 

Moving through the crowd toward his hotel, he cut a swath of smiles and satisfied nods as we crossed the conference center floor.  Why each hotel staffer was told how they personally made a positive difference to his stay!  Even  Carmela, the housekeeper.  Frank exclaimed, “why, my wife’s name is Carmel. I’m on my way home to see her…let me kiss you on the cheek for that,” with that Irish twinkle in his eye. Carmela  and her co-workers beamed as he was whisked away in his limousine.    

Did it take any extra time or effort for Frank to be observant of those lives he touched? Maybe, a little.  Yet, every time he found the “light” in us, his grew brighter.  And Frank, I, for one, am going to miss that “little light of yours” that still burns very brightly in my heart.

Drive for perfection, yet strive toward excellence?


Blinded by the lightA guy who viewed himself as one of the most laid-back “happy go-lucky” executives in the world asked himself this question upon recuperating in the hospital from an unexpected bypass heart operation. How could the ticker lose its tock now, when it he had survived the early pressures of the infancy days of FEDEX losing $1million a month and  when Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken threatened to go on the Johnny Carson show and blow the new CEO out of the water because he planned to change the formula of the gravy!

Frank shares his reflections in: 

PERFECTION VS. EXCELLENCE

Perfection is being right.

Excellence is willing to be wrong.

Perfection is fear.

Excellence is taking a risk.

Perfection is anger and frustration.

Excellence is powerful.

Perfection is control.

Excellence is spontaneous.

Perfection is judgement.

Excellence is accepting.

Perfection is taking.

Excellence is giving.

Perfection is doubt.

Excellence is confidence.

Perfection is pressure.

Excellence is natural.

Perfection is the destination.

Excellence is the journey.

Written by Frank Maguire 

The original Senior Vice President of Industrial Relations for Federal Express, Frank Maguire is credited by
CEO, Fred Smith, as creating the corporate culture that resulted in FEDEX being named “The Top Corporation of the Decade” by Fortune Magazine.

"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell

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