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 putting heart, soul and passion into work
The book is small, short and simple – 112 pages with around 28,000 words. The message is easily understood and the story drives home its message.
There are 4 sections to the book:
1) How the Author met Fred.
2) How you can become a Fred.
3) How you can help other Freds grow in your organization by
4) The importance and the value of being a Fred
And in case you are wondering how to help other Freds grow in your organization, according to the author it would be:
- Find – How you can recognize a Fred
- Reward – How should Fred’s be rewarded
- Educate – How to help people improve their Fredness
- Demonstrate – Model the Correct Behavior
The "Fred factor" is summarized by four principles that will release fresh energy, enthusiasm, and creativity in your career and life:
- Make a Difference
- Build Relationships
- Create Value
- Reinvent yourself
And to support his story, Mark gives the examples of:
- the flight attendant who entertains passengers with humorous announcements
- the hotel employee who goes out to get a client a special breakfast.
- the barman who lends Sanborn $30.
- the young Colin Powell who demonstrated energy and perfectionism even as a young boy performing cleaning duties.
Parts I was not impressed with:
- This is a feel-good-goody-goody-two-shoes kind of a book. Though the message is simple and profound, I would not say it landed as ‘the book’
- There is nothing ‘revolutionary’ about the concept. It is a simple story. That’s about it.
- Critics have called this the “ Chicken soup for the world-weary worker”, some others a mix of Norman Vincent Peale’s Positive Thinking and Dale Carneige’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
I would not say this is a revolutionary book or something that would impress you with awe and wonder, rather this is another one of those books you would read once and I guess that’s about it. If you are looking for a light read during your flight or a book to kill time, well this is your answer. Otherwise, I guess this is just another nice book. That’s about it.
4 out of 10