Fred Factor

Fred Factor

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578568321
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/20/2004
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 32,191
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Mark Sanborn is known internationally as a motivational speaker on leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change. The president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development, Mark gives nearly 100 presentations each year to some of the top names in business. He has authored four previous books and created numerous video and audio training programs.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter OneThe First FredMake each day your masterpiece.—Joshua Wooden, father of John WoodenI first met a "Fred" just after purchasing what I called a "new" old house. Built in 1928, the house was the first I'd owned and was located in a beautiful tree-lined area of Denver called Washington Park. Just days after I moved in, I heard a knock on my front door. When I opened it I saw a mailman standing on my porch."Good morning, Mr. Sanborn!" he said cheerfully. "My name is Fred, and I'm your postal carrier. I just stopped by to introduce myself—to welcome you to the neighborhood and find out a little bit about you and what you do for a living."Fred was an ordinary-looking fellow of average height and build with a small mustache. While his physical appearance didn't convey anything out of the ordinary, his sincerity and warmth were noticeable immediately.I was a bit startled. Like most of us, I had been receiving mail for years, but I had never had this kind of personal encounter with my postal carrier. I was impressed—nice touch."I'm a professional speaker. I don't have a real job," I replied jokingly."If you're a professional speaker, you must travel a lot," said Fred."Yes, I do. I travel anywhere from 160 to 200 days a year."Nodding, Fred went on. "Well, if you'll just give me a copy of your schedule, I'll hold your mail and bundle it. I'll only deliver it on the days that you are at home to receive it." I was amazed by Fred's conscientious offer, but I told him that such extra effort probably wasn't necessary. "Why don't you just leave the mail in the box on the side of the house?" I suggested. "I'll pick it up when I come back into town."Fred frowned and shook his head. "Mr. Sanborn, burglars often watch for mail building up in a box. That tells them you're out of town. You might become the victim of a break-in." Fred was more worried about my mail than I was! But it made sense; he was the postal professional."Here's what I suggest, Mr. Sanborn," Fred continued. "I'll put mail in your box as long as I can get it to close. That way nobody will know you're gone. Whatever doesn't fit in the box, I'll put between the screen door and the front door. Nobody will see it there. And if that area becomes too full of mail, I'll just hold the rest of it for you until you come back into town."At this point I started to wonder: Does this guy really work for the U.S. Postal Service? Maybe this neighborhood had its own private mail-delivery system. Still, because Fred's suggestions sounded like a terrific plan, I agreed to them.Two weeks later I returned home from a trip. As I put the key in my-front door lock, I noticed my doormat was missing. Were thieves actually stealing doormats in Denver? Then I saw the mat in a corner of the porch, concealing something. I lifted the mat and found a note from—who else?—Fred! Reading his message, I learned what had happened. While I was gone, a different delivery service had misdelivered a package sent to me. The box had been left on somebody else's porch, five doors down the street. Noticing my box on the wrong porch, Fred had picked it up, carried it to my house, attached his note, and then tried to make the package less noticeable by placing it under the doormat. Not only was Fred delivering the mail, he was now picking up the slack for UPS!His actions made a huge impression on me. As a professional speaker, I am particularly adept at finding and pointing out what's "wrong" with customer service and business in general. Finding examples of what's "right" or even praiseworthy is much harder. Yet here was my postman, Fred, a gold-plated example of what personalized service looks like and a role model for anyone who wants to make a difference in his or her work.I started using my experiences with Fred as illustrations in speeches and seminars that I presented across the United States. Everyone wanted to hear about Fred. Listeners in my audiences were enthralled, whether they worked in the service industry, at a manufacturing company, in high-tech, or in health care. Back home in Denver, I occasionally had a chance to share with Fred how his work was inspiring others. I told him one story about a discouraged employee who received no recognition from her employers. She wrote to tell me that Fred's example had inspired her to "keep on keeping on" and continue doing what she knew in her heart was the right thing to do, regardless of recognition or reward.I related to Fred the confession of a manager who had pulled me aside after one speech to tell me he never realized that his career goal all along was to be "a Fred." He believed that excellence and quality should be the goals of every person in any business or profession.I was delighted to tell my postman that several companies had created a Fred Award to present to employees who demonstrated his trademark spirit of service, innovation, and commitment.And one fan of Fred once sent him a box of homemade cookies in care of my address!On the first Christmas after Fred became my postman, I wanted to thank him more formally for his exceptional service. I left a small gift in the mailbox for him. The next day I found an unusual letter in my box. The envelope had a stamp on it, but it wasn't canceled. That's when I noticed the return address; the letter was from Fred the Postman.Fred knew it would be illegal to put an unpostmarked letter in the box, so even though he personally carried it from his house to my house, he had done the right thing by placing a stamp on the letter.I opened the letter, which said in part, "Dear Mr. Sanborn, Thank you for remembering me at Christmas. I am flattered you talk about me in your speeches and seminars, and I hope I can continue to provide exceptional service. Sincerely, Fred the Postman."Over the next ten years, I received consistently remarkable service from Fred. I could always tell which days he wasn't working my street by the way the mail was jammed into my box. When Fred was on the job, all items were neatly bundled.But there was more. Fred also took a personal interest in me. One day while I was mowing the front lawn, a vehicle slowed in the street. The window went down and a familiar voice yelled, "Hello, Mr. Sanborn! How was your trip?"It was Fred, off duty, driving around the neighborhood.After observing his exemplary attitude and actions, I concluded that Fred—and the way he did his job—provides a perfect metaphor for high individual achievement and excellence in the twenty-first century. Fred—and the countless other Freds I've met, observed, or been served by in numerous professions—inspired me to write The Fred Factor. It contains the simple yet profound lessons all the Freds around the world have taught me.Anyone can be a Fred! That includes you! The result will not just be extraordinary effort and success in your work. You'll find yourself living an extraordinary life as well.

What People are Saying About This

Brian Tracy

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.
author of Focal Point and Goals: How to Get Everything You Want-Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

From the Publisher

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

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Fred Factor 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fred Factor is a fable about a postman that teaches Four Fred Principles. They are: 1. Everyone makes a difference. Some might see delivering mail as monotonous drudgery, but Fred sees the task as an opportunity to make the lives of his customers more enjoyable. Regardless of whether an employer hinders exceptional performance, ignores it, or does not adequately recognize it, only the employee can choose to do his or her job in an extraordinary way. Sanborn writes, 'Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional.' 2. Success is built on relationships. Indifferent people deliver impersonal service. Sanborn writes that service becomes personalized when a relationship exists between the provider of the service and the customer. The quality of the relationship determines the quality of the product or service. Leaders succeed when they recognize that their employees are human, and employees like Fred the Postman succeed when they recognize their work involves interacting with other human beings. 3. You must continually create value for others, and it doesn't have to cost a penny. Replace money with imagination. Sanborn explains that the object is to outthink your competition rather than outspend them. The most critical skill that contributes to employability is the ability to create value for customers and colleagues without spending money to do it. Substitute creativity for capital. Mediocrity is your silent opponent and can diminish the quality of your performance as well as the meaning you derive from it. 4. You can reinvent yourself regularly. If Fred the Postman can excel at bringing creativity and commitment to putting mail in a box, you are probably capable of doing as much or more to reinvent your work and rejuvenate your efforts. Sanborn believes that 'no matter what job you hold, what industry you work in, or where you live, every morning you wake up with a clean slate. You can make your business, as well as your life, anything you choose it to be.'
David_Glover More than 1 year ago
Mark Sanborn begins with the story of his postman, Fred, who cheerfully introduces himself to Sanborn the day Sanborn moves into his new home. Upon learning that Sanborn travels frequently, Fred suggests that Sanborn give him a copy of his schedule so that he (Fred) can hold is mail because "burglars often watch for mail building up in a box." Fred later drops a UPS package that had been incorrectly delivered to a neighbor's address. There are many more examples in the book, too, both of Fred and other "Fred's" who Sanborn came into contact with. What exceptional service from something as ordinary and mundane as mail delivery! I liked how Sanborn lays our four "The Fred Principles" (which can apply to both personal and professional interactions) as a guideline to be exceptional like Fred. After reading this well-packaged and example riddled book, I do feel more empowered and inspired to live a more meaningful life by helping others. This is why I recommend the book so highly. Who are the "Fred's" in your life? Are you one of them?
Anonymous 3 months ago
Great book. This book is a definite must read for anyone in the service industry and to anyone that wants to turn the ordinary into extraordinary.
markmobley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the tradition of great public speakers, this is the book version of Mark Sanborn's great speech that he has honed over hundreds of presentations. He has mined this idea and crystallized the ideas into a bit more than 100 pages.The idea is a sound one. Live the life that you have with a passion. In an age that requires you to drip ennui, "been there, done that, go the T-shirt", Mark argues that a life lived with energy and for the right reasons will pay off with a joy that ennui can never approximate.Fred the Postman is who we would all like to meet. We want him to be our postman, our waiter, our boss, our co-worker. He makes us feel better about life. Sanborn argues implicitly that "being a Fred" not only pays off for those Fred touches, but for Freds themselves.Surrounded by a world that values so much sexual passion (though highly idealized and stilited into unreality), it is funny that we reward the world-weary attitude toward everything that lies outside of the bedroom. And we have discovered that we are happy neither in life nor in the bedroom. This disconnect is at the root of all sorts of unhappiness and evil.Tolstoy discovered it when he saw the happiness of the peasants that he so longed for. Solomon saw it and commented on it in Ecclesiates. There is great joy in a job well done, people enlightened by our presence. Challenge yourself to do it that way.
realbigcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would classify this book as a self-help/motivation/inspiration title. Several yrs ago I attended a teleconference by mark Sanborn and his presentation was on the Fred factor. I finally picked up the book and I'm glad I did. This is a short, quick read but it gets straight to the point with out a lot of mumbo jumbo and psycoanalysis on how we can improve ourselves. Sanborn lays out the book clean and consise with a smooth flow of ideas and points to consider. Anyone that enjoys improving themselves and others will surely like this book.
jodyebutler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a letter carrier who inspired Sanborn. Fred demonstrates the qualities of a servant with a heart. Sanborn writes about the difference we could all make in the lives of others as well as ourselves by going beyond what is expected in our service. This book is short and to the point, an easy read.
BriCarFla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Fred Factor is very powerful and rather short book written by a motivational speaker named Mark Sanborn. Most of the book is based on accounts he witnessed of his mail carrier, Fred. The author gives specific accounts of how Fred made the best and the most of his career ¿ always going the extra mile. A co-worker and friend recently told me in order to be happy and feel accomplished, we must ¿bloom where we are planted¿. I feel this expression totally suits the concept of being a ¿Fred¿ and this fine story.The book also explains that we probably know some ¿Fred¿s¿ already ¿ using the name of his mail carrier to describe one who goes the extra mile, one who is kind, generous and friendly. He turned his every day career (which could be boring or repetitive) into an exciting adventure. The message conveyed I feel is to think of how the world would be if we went the extra mile for others or gave a little more. He also describes the composition of what he calls ¿a Fred¿- saying he¿s a Fred, she¿s a Fred, be a fried, they're a Fred ¿ you get the point. This is definitely a book for the business professional or manager to read ¿ the reason I picked it up. It is truly motivational and gets you thinking. It can also be labeled as self help, as the book really made me revisit the person that I am and the person I would ideally like to be. I highly recommend that every business professional read this book. I have tried exporting some of the concepts in the book and implement them in my life. I felt so good about myself and the situation that I could create by simply putting out what I want to receive through energy and attitude.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg. If you look down you can see some old posts i made. Emmet and Natsu. ;-;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tffany i know thats you
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Here.
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