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

Mark Sanborn , John C. Maxwell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $4.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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 four principles that will release fresh energy, enthusiasm, and creativity in your career and life:

• Make a Difference
• Build Relationships
• Create Value
• Reinvent Yourself

You, too, can apply The Fred Factor to enrich the lives of customers, co-workers, friends, and family members, as well as reach new levels of personal success yourself. Sanborn also shows how to discover and develop other “Freds.

Why not become a “Fred” yourself? You will turn the ordinary moments of life into extraordinary opportunities to make a difference in the world.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


The Fred Factor is a powerful, poignant parable of success. It’s about going the extra mile and always doing more than is expected. It is revolutionary, yet simple. It is life changing.”
--Brian Tracy, author of Focal Point and Goals: How to Get Everything You Want—Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 139 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385513518
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1st edition (April 20, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1LH4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice review of the value of going the extra mail May 20, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This short book focuses on a mailman Mark Sanborn met, a man named Fred. When the author first met Fred, Fred took an effort to get to know his new customer, and find ways to do a better job as a mailman. This book about the value of doing a better job, how to build relationships, and why we should take initiative. In short by going the extra mile we'll have a better life, and others will benefit.

It is a good book, and a short book. It is well written. The book is entertaining and at the same time makes many good points.

The first of four sections covers how the author met Fred the mailman, and how very quickly the author realized that Fred was a superstar mail carrier. The basics of what a "Fred" is are explored, and then the author mentions sightings of other "Freds."

The second section explains how you can become a Fred. Basically you need to build relationships with others so you know them well enough to then be able to be create, take initiative and make a difference.

The third section gives pointers on how you can help others grow into being Freds. The basic steps are to:

1) Find - how do you recognize a Fred

2) Reward - how should Freds be rewarded

3) Educate - how help people improve their Fredness

4) Demonstrate - model the correct behavior

The final section recounts the value and importance of being a Fred.

This is a book worth reading. It provides a good reminder and motivation to go the extra mile and do a better job.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't take much to stand out August 7, 2004
By Paul
Ever had a waiter ask, "Somethin' to drink?" while you look at your menu? How about a hotel clerk that says "Help you" like a question or a secretary who says "may I ask what this is in reference to?" when you try to call someone? The fact is, we hear so many monotone responses so often that "excuse me" "nice to meet you" and "have a nice day" seem to have no meaning at all. But then there's Fred, the guy who looks you in the eye, goes the extra mile, and adds a personal touch to the service he provides you. In today's ever-so-competitive markets, you'd think the personal touch approach would be second nature. The thing is, it's not, and this probably won't change. Sanborn isn't trying to teach clever people a shortcut--he's simply trying to remind us that genuine effort and a personal approach will never go out of style.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The HEART of business. August 25, 2004
What I love about The Fred Factor is that it counters the notion that to succeed in business means somehow abandoning your values. Mark Sanborn makes a case that success in business, or life, for that matter, is a matter of embracing the values of service, caring, and doing the right thing. This is a book that should be standard issue for every employee of every company. Outstanding!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doing Ordinary Things In Extraordinary Ways... February 15, 2006
Remember the last time someone went out of their way for you without expecting any reward? Sure seems like that doesn't happen very often anymore. Seemed like that to the author too. So when one person performed his ordinary job in an extraordinary way, the author was moved and inspired. And if you take this book to heart, it should have the same impact on you.

Don't expect any revolutionary concepts or complex methodologies. The message and call to action are simple and conveyed in a easy and brief manner. The author leads you from inspiration to action. Along the way the reading is peppered with examples of people acting in a "Fred" like way - doing more than expected. And there are a many tips...reminders actually, as we should be doing this stuff already...that will help the converted to adopt a Fred-like attitude/philosophy/lifestyle.

It's easy for me to dismiss most of these cutesy self-help books as short-lived propaganda intended more to sell books than to add value to our lives. But this caught me by surprise. I enjoyed it, I related to it and I was moved and inspired by it. And I recommend it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical society-help book February 27, 2006
A short, accessible read, I finished The Fred Factor in an evening. Written by Mark Sanborn, the inspiration for this book is a real life postal worker named Fred who goes above and beyond his job of delivering mail, and serves the people on his delivery route with "genuine caring." Filled with practical advice on how each of us, no matter what our occupation, can become more "Fred-like," each chapter of the book outlines tangible steps a person can take to become more aware of how she can serve and encourage others, in both her personal and professional life. After reading the book, it is easy to see how simple (and not-so-simple) acts of kindness cause a positive ripple-effect in the lives of the people in which we come into contact.

I would give the book five stars, but feel the book could have benefited from additional real-life examples and illustrations of how we can be more like Fred.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Message, Comfortably Presented August 14, 2005
This little book (5.5 X 8 inches) is inviting just by it's small size. It's not intimidating, like some management and leadership books can be. The writing is a mix of storytelling and advice, flowing from the attitudes, behavior, and effectiveness of Fred the Postman. Fred is just an ordinary postal carrier who performs in an extraordinary way.

Author Mark Sanborn, a well-respected motivational speaker, explores what Fred does, why he does it, and the impact that effort has on others. Throughout the book, Sanborn offers examples of people in all walks of life-regular people like you and me, showing how they go over and beyond the ordinary to make a difference in the lives of those around them. The lessons are both instructive and inspirational. The themes are so well interwoven that you hardly realize that you're being taught or inspired; it just sort of happens.

Much of the advice offered consists of the same material that we've heard from motivational speakers for decades. The phrases and morals will sound familiar as you move comfortably through the pages. The personal one-on-one sharing style that the author uses to convey his messages somehow makes the messages much easier to "get," absorb, and use.

The Fred Factor is great for individual reading and personal growth. It will also be valuable for years as a training tool. Employers no doubt will buy this book in large quantities to inoffensively encourage their employees to be Freds in their work, to reach out to others, to build relationships, to do the extra things, to make a difference. This book would make a great gift for young people about to go out and make their way in the world. When they commit to Fred behavior, they will open their lives to that much higher level of satisfaction that comes from serving others.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Great Book!
Excellent book. An easy read with a lot of life-changing potential. Highly recommended for everyone.
Published 16 days ago by Rex Cogdill
5.0 out of 5 stars You will LOVE this book
This was a required read for a class and OMG.....what a pleasant surprise. You will LOVE this book!
Published 18 days ago by Felicia-Health/Fitness Enthusiast
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
such a great read!
Published 1 month ago by cjreahm
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm in the wrong business if this is what passes for motivational...
10 pages in and I can see why upper management in the corporate world is salivating over this book. The message is essentially 'work harder even if you aren't compensated or... Read more
Published 1 month ago by orbit
1.0 out of 5 stars Cloying & Completely Unbelievable
I purchased this for a leadership class my husband was taking. It was unreadable to me. I made it through a couple of chapters before I just had to stop. Drivel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mexilady
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Such a great read! I would highly recommend! I want to share with my entire team at work! Can't wait to read it again!
Published 1 month ago by Michelle W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Inspirational and a worthy read.
Published 1 month ago by Rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fred Factor
This book was not only insightful but interesting to read. It is guideline that all of us should try to use.
Published 1 month ago by Donna combs
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
Great motivational book.
Published 1 month ago by Israel Ag Nouh Yattara
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 2 months ago by Amanda Conner
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More About the Author

I am originally from Ohio but have lived in the Denver area for 25+ years. My business, Sanborn & Associates, Inc. is an idea studio for leadership development. I am a past president of The National Speakers Association. My book The Fred Factor was a WSJ, Business Week and NY Times bestseller. The sequel, Fred 2.0, will be released March 2013. I've spoken to over 2400 audiences in every state and a dozen countries. My passion is developing leaders in business and in life. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy writing it. I enjoy communicating with readers and sharing ideas, so please contact me directly at

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Topic From this Discussion
Can Fred be real?
Fred exists despite your skepticism and still delivers mail in Denver (Cherry Creek to be exact). He's been honored by USPS, sat in the Postmaster General's chair in D.C., has a wife, two sons and two grandchildren.

Nobody can be a Fred? I've got three file folders filled with emails and letters... Read More
Apr 2, 2010 by Mark Sanborn |  See all 2 posts
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