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The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,360 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
Seize the chance to be extraordinary.

Who has made the biggest difference in your life? Whose words and actions have uplifted and motivated you to excel? Chances are it was someone like Fred the postman--so outstanding in his service that Mark Sanborn realized this mail carrier could be an example for any person wanting to be extraordinary.

The “Fred factor” is summarized by
...more
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Published September 19th 2006 by Random House Audio (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kara Ripley
Okay, here is my deal. I really like the idea of being inspired to do the best work possible. But the "Fred" Factor has turned into "I'm doing someone else's job" Factor. Sanborn tells stories about people who go above and beyond. Well, that's fine and good but, people take advantage of this. Let me explain. At one point, Sanborn was staying in a hotel and he spilled coffee on his only pair of pants (that he had to wear home the following day). He asked the hotel if they could wash them, if ther ...more
Loy Machedo
Let me get something off my chest.

Mark Sanborn is a nice guy and I like him. So, irrespective whatever I do state about the book, I doubt my loyalty towards Mark would change.

So now, let us begin the evaluation of ‘Fred Factor’.

Fred Factor is apparently a true story of a knock-your-sock-off-service postman who left such an indelible mark (on Mark), that it became a book and a message to the masses.

The gist of the whole book is simply this – Go the super extra mile not for self-benefit but for pu
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Steven
This simple book really made me think. And it makes me want to be a better Fred!
J
Nov 22, 2011 J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
This is a very short book whose premise is simple; be considerate and be willing to offer a helping hand without expecting anything more than feeling good about the fact that you want to be helpful.

Rather than telling you what this book is, I can tell you what it is not: this book isn't an epic tale; it isn't Faulkner or Hemingway; it isn't the recipe for curing all the world's ills; it certainly isn't a prescription on how to become a hero.

It is simply a collection of stories about admirable
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Malleswari
Dec 29, 2014 Malleswari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fred - an optimistic, who gives value to his customers, who makes ordinary things in an extraordinary manner. 'The Fred factor' teaches the essence of making healthy relationships with people which leads to success, creating value for an each individual we meet everyday, reinventing and improvising the self everyday. Its always important to have Fred kind of persons everywhere, (organisation, family etc.,) who do good and feel good. F- Find, R- Reward, E- Educate and D- Demonstrate, good princip ...more
Navaneethakrishnan Gopalakrishnan
The core part of this book is all about how passionate a person can be and how the same passion can take him from being an ordinary person to an extraordinary person irrespective of his passion is towards his work or in his daily life. This book helps on how to serve customers beyond treating them just as customers. These kind of passion arises from an individual's attitude and cannot be taught by someone. When a person gets an attitude on how he can help others, this in turn will extend as cust ...more
Catherine
Aug 18, 2015 Catherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
We should all aspire to be the best we can be every day, per the simplified message of this book, but I am of the opinion that a reader who does not already have that goal in mind prior to reading the book, who does not already possess that attitude or commitment to bettering his or herself, will not finish the book any more or less inspired than they were before starting it.

(view spoiler)
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Rebecca Johnson
Jul 31, 2011 Rebecca Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by someone I truly respect in the business world. The context was, "you are a FRED, you should read The Fred Factor." So, I grabbed a copy from my library and that same way that energy creates energy, I was super excited about the content of this book. It is not one of the fiction-story-cheesy books. Some really good tips and my favorite is the ending, but, WE WILL GET TO THAT! But first, quotes! The book has great quotes from other sources. *"All men matter. You ...more
Laura
Oct 06, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Fred Factor, Sanborn tells the true story about an ordinary man in an ordinary job providing an exceptional model of leadership by keeping service of others his priority. Sanborn uses Fred the mail carrier as an inspiring example of how all of us, regardless of our environment, can find opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those we serve by going the extra mile. In this text, Sanborn not only describes what a “Fred” is, but also illustrates to his readers how they too can be ...more
Susan B
Sep 03, 2011 Susan B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
Sanborn's encounter with the original Fred - an unusual postman who went out of his way to deliver exceptional service to the customers on his route - provides the basis for this book, which describes (as the subtitle indicates) "how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary." And let's face it - who doesn't want to be considered a phenomenal human being?

After outlining the four "Fred principles" and providing other examples of real-life "Freds," Sanborn gives a
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Amy
Feb 13, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Short and inspiring, the Fred Factor is a contrast to most succeed-in-business advice. Maybe that's because the goal isn't recognition or riches, but the deeper satisfaction of doing things right. The central idea of this book is that "what makes any act extraordinary is doing it with heart. What makes any life extraordinary is living it with love."

The book's title refers to Sanborn's mail carrier, Fred, who clearly exemplifies doing a job well and having "the commitment to treat a person with
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James Cowan
Nov 12, 2011 James Cowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is like a stick of dynomite. It's small and packed full of power. It can be read very quickly which is good for a busy person with little time to read. I stopped reading several times to ponder how I might apply certain ideas to my every day life and just to make sure I did not gloss over anything important.

The concept of customer service, as described in this book, should be handled with care as it could explode on you. I write this because there is no mention of return on investment
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Alain Burrese
Jun 09, 2015 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn is an excellent book on doing and being your best. It's a powerful little book with a poignant message for anyone wanting to be more and do more with their life, which will undoubtedly lead to success.

I'd had this little book on my “to read” list for a long time, and am glad I finally worked it into my reading schedule. I really enjoyed it, and it was inspiring.

What Sanborn calls the “Fred Factor” is attainable by anyone, working any job, doing any task. It's sim
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Amy
Feb 12, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a quick read and well worth the short amount of time needed to complete it. A simple idea is illustrated positively, that being passionate about making a good and positive impact on those around you in your life can enrich your own experiences. It is what I call a "corporate marketing" book, and can easily be used as a good tool for employees in companies that strive for excellence and to stand apart as the best, but I also feel that this book's message can reach beyond the work day ...more
Nickie
May 02, 2010 Nickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read this last week again. This time to my husband and children. We all seemed to benefit. My kids have tried to be little Freds. Our bread business can benefit from this experience too.


This is a little 115 page treasure. I see how this is going to be beneficial with Love and Logic, The 7 Habits, and living the Golden Rule.

I thought this was going to be about Fred Rogers the PBS guy. Not so. The base is of Fred the Postman of Denver and how he lives his daily life with actions that uplift
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Bailey Ireland
In the national bestselling nonfiction novel “The Fred Factor,” Mark Sanborn discusses and gives tips on how to apply passion to your work life and how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Using a motivational and straightforward (but never really blunt) tone, he is able to convey four lessons that he learned from a Mr. Fred Smith. Fred, who has grown into an incredible business leader, talked about his years of experience as a mail delivery man. Instead of being ashamed of his job or on ...more
Brian
"There are two types of people who never achieve very much in their lifetime. One is the person who won't do what he or she is told to do, and the other is the person who does no more than he or she is told to do." A. Carnegie

If you asked twenty people to define success its likely that people will say that being successful is when you make a lot of money or reach a certain position in the upper echelon of a company, but this book focus' on creating value for all who come in contact with you.

It
...more
Graeme
Jun 22, 2014 Graeme rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In this extremely light read, Mark Sanborn tells a short, inspiring story which begins with his postman, Fred, creepily asking a number of personal questions, which turn out to be so that he can provide better service that extends far outside of the bounds of his job. Over the years, Fred goes far above the call of duty to help out Sanborn and his other customers. Sanborn then goes on to write about other similar incidents, and reduces the whole effect to what is essentially a character profile ...more
Jill
Feb 01, 2010 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had heard of this book from my boss. It's super easy reading and it's the greatest concept. We all may not have the most glamorous jobs, but it doesn't mean we can't find some joy in our jobs. And we can do that by finding extraordinary ways to accomplish our jobs that maybe others have thought have, but not dared to try.
Beez Beasley
Apr 21, 2009 Beez Beasley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ordinary can become extraordinary. No matter your station in life, you can bring energy and creativity to your life and work...making a difference every day; becoming more successful by building strong relationships; and creating value for others without spending a penny;
AND how to reinvent yourself.
Jim
Jul 20, 2015 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing in this book that anyone with an iota of common sense doesn't already know. The only good thing about it is that it is short.
Scott
Jun 24, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super postive book. A must read. It is quick and gets you through the boring days of work. Two thumbs up how it talks about everyday chores that become positive ways of helping yourself and others. I got a christen vibe on this. Most impressed with the advice of not to overdo the positive too.
Cheryl Anne
I actually had the good fortune to read this book for a progression class I was taking within my company.

Reading it reminds me of parables or fables. Such a simple story at first glance, but because it is so simple, it is easy to take with you and apply to every aspect of your life.

When work or my personal life is getting me down, I think about Fred. He can be one of the best mail carriers out there, simply by having a good attitude, which means I have hope for being the best friend/co-worker/r
...more
Carl Sheppard
May 29, 2014 Carl Sheppard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great short read! The simplicity of the ideas in the book could create great results in your circle. Some night say this is doing someone else's job, but if you trying to be a "Fred" for that reason then you missed the whole concept of this book. Two quotes that stuck out at me the most are:

"What makes any act extraordinary is doing it with heart. What makes any life extraordinary is living it with love! That's the secret of the Fred Factor"

"Only when leaders & followers share the same va
...more
Jenn Moore
Apr 03, 2008 Jenn Moore marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Do you have a copy I can borrow?
Paul Bard
May 29, 2014 Paul Bard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deceptively simple book on value creation in business contexts.

The only downside of the book for me was the way it was organized: the four basic lessons are repeated three times, first in summary, then in separate chapters, then in applications for managers/leaders. I would have preferred the four lessons to be gathered together into four big chapters for convenient comprehension.

On the pro side, the chapter on "value alchemy" is absolutely superb! And the rest of the book is inspiring and insig
...more
Marley
Apr 26, 2016 Marley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a postman named Fred. Fred is a guy who takes pride in his job and goes beyond what he needs to do. This book gives steps of how to be a Fred. Being a Fred means not to just do ordinary kind acts, it means you have to do extraordinary acts. You have to go beyond what you have to do.

I enjoyed this book, and it is a very quick read. This book made me want to try to be a Fred. You should read this if you want to be extraordinary. I reccomend this book to anyone who likes more of
...more
Jung Hoon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Valerie
Aug 25, 2014 Valerie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
About the only thing I liked about this book was that it was a quick read. But the content was nonsensical and contradictory.

The goal is to become a "Fred"- a person who loves their work and sees value in it- so much value they go above and beyond the call of duty, no matter how menial their may be perceived by society. The author then says that we are all Freds, we just don't show it. However in the section about how to get a team full of Freds, there are only 3 suggestions: Find a Fred within
...more
Carol
Aug 17, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never heard about this concept and it's presentation before, but it impressed me so very much. A mailman named Fred welcomed our author to the neighborhood and asked how he wanted his mail handled. It impressed him so much, he labeled the personality as Fred's and how we can all be Fred's and do something good for someone everyday. Let them know how they are valued, pay them back for all the good they have done. The chain reaction can be amazing. We are what we do. They recognize him for the ...more
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How you can/do use these principles in your life today and in the future? 1 2 Nov 11, 2014 09:00AM  
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Mark Sanborn is an international known author, motivational speaker, and the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He gives nearly one hundred presentations each year on leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change. Mark and his family live near Denver, Colorado.
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