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

ISBN-10: 0385513518
ISBN-13: 9780385513517
Edition: 2004
Authors: Mark Sanborn
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Description: Meet Fred. In his powerful new book THE FRED FACTOR, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/20/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 128
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

Meet Fred. In his powerful new book THE FRED FACTOR, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is constantly going the extra mile handling the mail – and sometimes watching over the houses – of the people on his route, treating everyone he meets as a friend. Where others might see delivering mail as monotonous drudgery, Fred sees an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those he serves. We’ve all encountered people like Fred in our lives. In THE FRED FACTOR, Mark Sanborn illuminates the simple steps each of us can take to transform our own lives from the ordinary – into the extraordinary. Sanborn, through stories about Fred and others like him, reveals the four basic principles that will help us bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work: how to make a real difference everyday, how to become more successful by building strong relationships, how to create real value for others without spending a penny, and how to constantly reinvent yourself. By following these principles, and by learning from and teaching other “Freds,” you, too, can excel in your career and make your life extraodinary. As Mark Sanborn makes clear, each of us has the potential be a Fred.THE FRED FACTOR shows you how.

James Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, 1947. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1969 and received a M. A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970. His first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, was written while he was working in a mental institution and was rejected by 26 publishers before being published and winning the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery. He is best known as the creator of Alex Cross, the police psychologist hero of such novels as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. Cross has been portrayed on the silver screen by Morgan Freeman. He also writes the Women's Murder Club series, as well as the Maximum Ride series, Daniel X series, the Witch and Wizard series, and the Middle School series for children. He has won numerous awards including the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award. He also made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012 with his title I Funny: A Middle School Story and again in 2013 with his title Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!, 12th of Never, Alex Cross, Run, Confessions: The Private School Murders, Cross My Heart and The Christmas Wedding. Patterson is the co-author of Guilty Wives (2012) and Mistress (2013) with David Ellis. First Love, co-authored with Emily Raymond, made the New York Times bestseller list in January, 2014. James Patterson co-authored Private L.A. with Mark Sullivan and it made The New York Times Best Seller List in March 2014. Patterson also made The New York Times Best Seller List with Unlucky 13, Invisible, Treasure Hunters: Danger Down the Nile, and children's title Ultimate Showdown, book 5 in the Middle Scholl Series, in 2014.Mark Sanborn, the bestselling author of The Fred Factor, is an internationally-known motivational speaker. He is the president of Sanborn and Associates Inc, an ideas studio for leadership development. He gives talks to over one hundred business audiences a year on such topics as leadership, team building, customer service and mastering change.

The First Fred
Make each day your masterpiece.
-Joshua Wooden, father of John Wooden
I 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.
From the Hardcover edition.

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