Appreciating People’s Differences Creates Positive Workplace, ‘Freak Factor’ Author Says

    David Rendall was the kind of kid who could never sit still. Arguably, few people appreciated his energy and wiggly nature.

    1 - dave
    David Rendall

    Fast forward, and the kid is now an author, motivational speaker and popular presenter at events. It’s an irony that’s not lost on Rendall.

    “I was that kid who couldn’t sit still. Now, I’m making a living doing just that – standing up and talking,” said Rendall, who was in Flint March 27 to do a presentation at the city’s cultural center for students, non-profit organization and area businesses.

    Rendall was in town to speak at a preview event for the Hero Round Table, an annual conference that will be held Sept. 19-20 this year. The March 27 event was expected to bring more than 2,000 people together in preparation for the big event.

    He has some good ideas about how businesses can learn to work with differences, employees teamwork and understanding where you as an individual fit into a business. More on that in a minute.

    1 - daveSome FYI: The Hero Round Table Conference brings together every-day heroes and as well as those people who heroism grabs headlines to talk about how their deeds changed their lives and the community. Diplomat, a Flint-based independent specialty pharmacy with location nationwide, is the title sponsor.

    The Milwaukee native is the author of “The Freak Factor,” “The Freak Factor for Kids” and “The Four Factors of Effective Leadership.” Rendall presented at the first Hero Round Table last fall; his return engagement at his event is a sign of his popularity and that of his talk, said co-founder A.J. Hartley.

    Background: For more than 15 years, Rendall has spoken to audiences throughout the United States, South America, Africa and Australia. His clients include the U.S. Air Force and the Australian government, as well as companies in the Fortune 50, AT&T, State Farm Insurance, Fortune 500, Ralph Lauren, as well as Fortune Global 500, BASF, GlaxoSmithKline and Tyco International.

    According to his website, Rendall has been a stock boy, lawn boy, caddie, painter, janitor, tutor, resident assistant, job coach, supervisor, nonprofit manager and senior executive. These days, he’s also a dad and understands the challenges and opportunities found in high-energy kids.

    How about those business suggestions? In “The Freak Factor,” Rendall suggests you should “flaunt your weaknesses, exaggerate them and amplify them.” Here’s how:

    1. Appreciate differences. Everyone comes to work with their own strengths and weaknesses, Rendall said. The key is to find those co-workers who offer a balance to your own skills. “Partner with people who have something you don’t,” Rendall said. “The fun is finding the right fit.”
    2. What you do matters. Not every job will be the right fit. You need to pursue positions that appreciate who you are, not what they think you should be, Rendall said. “Find a job that rewards you for who you are instead of punishing you for what you are not,” he added.
    3. Ask your boss for help. A good boss works with his or her employees to find their best roles within an organization. Someone with high energy wouldn’t necessarily do well with a routine job. They would need more variety than the average person. Put people in a place where they help the organization be successful, Rendall said.
    4. If someone can do it better, hire it out. This is especially true if you own your business. Maybe there’s a task that you hate to do. Find someone who likes that kind of work, and let them take on that task for you. This way, you focus on what you do well, perhaps sales and marketing. Someone who likes crunching numbers can do the accounting.
    5. Be honest with yourself and your boss. Being engaged and productive is important. If you cannot connect, it might be time to move on for both parties. And that’s alright. “Be honest,” Rendall said. “Don’t jam yourself in to a spot that doesn’t fit.”