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

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,871 ratings  ·  319 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
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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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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
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
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
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
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)
Rebecca Johnson
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
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
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
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
James Cowan
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
Alain Burrese
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
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
"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.

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
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
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.
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.
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.
Carl Sheppard
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
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
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
Jung Hoon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
A short, easy read, I was impressed by the story of Fred the postman going above and beyond his job duties to take care of his customers, not because anyone was making him, but because he had a genuine love for what he did and those he served. This book outlines principles everyone to do to increase their own personal satisfaction and "Fred Factor" in their lives. The subtitle, "How passion in your wok and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary" really sums it up nicely as well as the ...more
Dani Butler
Aug 13, 2008 Dani Butler rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like self-help/inspirational books
Recommended to Dani by: Mark Sanborn
Mr. Sanborn spoke at one of my company's meetings. We all received 'You Don't Need to Have a Title to be a Leader' (One of Sanborn's other books). He did mention this book in his speech and I thought the story of Fred the mailman was interesting/inspiring. Sanborn has quick and easy reading style and give some wonderful examples of the Fred Factor or amazing customer service and the importance to apply this to everyday life in the work place and outside of it. But there's the thing I dislike abo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Briffa
Really enjoyed this book. A client was talking about it this evening and I downloaded it tonight.
Funny how I was scrolling through the reviews and had to wonder if some of the negative response s from people were people who actually read the book?
You gain in life when you give in life. Not for money or compensation but just the human side of giving.
if ever you are in the position to help someone the feeling you receive is wonderful.
I was behind a women who didn't have enough money to pay for her
Well, The Fred Factor was alright. Nothing special, revolutionary, or groundbreaking. Sanborn offers solid advice about listening to others and caring about them, and doing the little things to go the extra mile not just for customers but for loved ones and strangers alike.

However, Sanborn comes across as extremely egocentric in this little book, praising himself for buying a cab driver coffee once, and yammering at length about how extensively he travels on his public speaking circuit. Who care
Picked this up because a prospective client cited it as an example of really good design, supporting readability--he wanted the same features in his book. I don't really see anything unusual in the design, though. It's pretty standard.

Meanwhile, since the book was sitting around on my table, I started flipping through it. I was surprised at my violent reaction to it. I really hate this book.

It's not that I'm not committed to excellence and going the extra mile for my clients. I do that all the
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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  
FULL Creative Lib...: The Fred Factor 1 4 Mar 05, 2014 01:36PM  
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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.
More about Mark Sanborn...
You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times Are Good, Bad, or in Between Motivation to Succeed!: The Psychology of Motivation

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“The only thing better than an acknowledgement is action.” 1 likes
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