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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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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  3,793 Ratings  ·  386 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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!
Cara
Jul 17, 2013 Cara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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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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 19, 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
Jun 08, 2014 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)
...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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Laura
Jul 25, 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
Rebecca Johnson
Jul 22, 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
James Cowan
Nov 02, 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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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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Alain Burrese
Jun 08, 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
Jan 30, 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
Dec 18, 2009 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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Ginger Price
While some of the concepts are valuable, I couldn't get over the redundancy of the anecdotes and, really, of the text itself. The ideas are accessible: continually innovate, find ways to improve yourself, and learn to make all kinds of work meaningful. I get it, I really do, but, honestly, this book could have been, like, 30 pages.
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.
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.
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.
Jim
Jul 13, 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.
Jenn Moore
Apr 03, 2008 Jenn Moore marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Do you have a copy I can borrow?
Nick
Feb 19, 2017 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this, and found it thought-provoking in the intended manner. My gripe is with calling it, and marketing it as, a "book" with a $17 suggested retail price. Not every book needs to have an enormous page count, but this is not poetry. Really it's an elongated essay. Take the $10 Kindle price point and divide by the kilobytes of the file, doing the same with say The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Mr. Sanborn is charging 20 times as much at scale. Unfortunately this is all ...more
Evan G
Mar 15, 2017 Evan G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book talks to you about how to become a "Fred". What is "Fred", it is a person who is kind, happy, willing to helps those who will not, basically they are very hard to describe. It all started with a man named Fred, that's were the "Fred" comes from, helping a man named Mark Sanborn.

When Mark first Fred he wasn't expecting to meet his mailman and make friends with him. Fred wanted to know a bit more about Mark and Mark told him that he was a professional speaker and Mark could already tell
...more
Chuckernaut Goddeeris
Great lessons in being a better person. Not just suited for professional work but very applicable to your personal life as well. Some great tips are hidden within and definitely very pertinent in today's changing times. Impactful but should benefit from re-reading as well. Not very time consuming but lots to process.
Whyvonwhy
It was OK. Better than many in this genre. It was required reading for a work professional development course.
Nirali
Oct 11, 2016 Nirali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author’s Background: The author of The Fred Factor is Mark Sanborn. He is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur. He is best known for his book The Fred Factor. He is also the president of Sanborn and Associates, which is dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life.
Literary Time Period: The time period in which The Fred Factor was written was in 2004. The book relates to the time period it was written in because you can tell by the diction used in the book that it was written
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Laurie Meinholz
Jan 09, 2017 Laurie Meinholz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book and a great story about customer service.
Mahita
Mar 07, 2017 Mahita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short Take: For all those who take pride in what they do!

Passion makes the ordinary seem extra-ordinary. Not every one is a cut above the rest, but what makes every one of us important in our own way is that extra mile we are willing to take.

Fred, the every day postman and his diligence in making his customers happy with his service made him extraordinary. While the story about Fred may or may not be true, the essence of his work ethic, is what is called 'the fred factor'. The author manages to
...more
Jung Hoon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...

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