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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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The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,118 Ratings  ·  405 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 p
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published April 20th 2004 by WaterBrook (first published 2002)
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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
This simple book really made me think. And it makes me want to be a better Fred!
Jul 17, 2013 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
Nov 22, 2011 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
Dec 19, 2014 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
Jun 08, 2014 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)
Susan B
Sep 03, 2011 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
Jul 25, 2011 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 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 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
Feb 13, 2009 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
Alain Burrese
Jun 08, 2015 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
Jan 30, 2013 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
Dec 18, 2009 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
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 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.
Feb 01, 2010 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.
Jun 24, 2009 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.
Jul 13, 2015 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 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Do you have a copy I can borrow?
Matt Schmidt
One of the many awesome benefits of working at American Express is they give out a lot of free career development books. This is a genre, like leadership books, that is desperately played out. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed "The Fred Factor". For such a simple premise it is very relevant for any working professional on an easy way to create a defining edge over your competition, enhance relationships with those around you, and get true satisfaction out of your job or c ...more
Feb 19, 2017 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 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
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.
Taylor Troncin
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quick read really engaged me. It encourages me to be a better educator and really just an overall better person. I had some really strong positive vibes from this book. I recommend this for anyone who might feel that they're not making a difference or maybe they're wondering how hey could improve.
David Reed
This felt fairly motivational rather than educational. I still found it to be a valuable read because of the structure for following this method and the examples he gives. I think it does better as an accompaniment to a lecture.
Harmony T.
This book has some good ideas, but I certainly didn’t think those ideas were revolutionary enough for a 110-page book. It could have been drastically paraphrased into an article. Anything to sell a book.
This was a good read. The book was full of stories of helpful, kind and caring people have done for others. The stories motivate you to want to do the same more often. I just read this book after reading "Schools of Fish!" It was a good combination.
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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 5 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...
“When those who know are able to show, those who learn are able to grow.” 2 likes
“There are two types of people who never achieve very much in their lifetimes. One is the person who won't do what s/he is told to do. And the other is the person who does no more than s/he is told to do. - Andrew Carnegie” 2 likes
More quotes…