The Fred Factor — New, Expanded Edition Released by Currency/Doubleday
For Immediate Release
Contact: David Drake
April 20, 2004
From one of America’s leading motivational speakers, a powerful and engaging book on how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary
THE FRED FACTOR
By Mark Sanborn
With a foreword by John C. Maxwell
We all know mediocre, indifferent service when we see—or, worse yet—experience it. So too, we all recognize and are inspired by outstanding service delivered by people who delight in achieving excellence and whose willingness to go the extra mile makes a real difference in the world and in the lives of those they serve. But what is the essential difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary, in business and in life? And what are the qualities that distinguish those who consistently create value in their work and interactions with others from those who are willing to settle for the status quo? For Mark Sanborn, a leading motivational speaker, author, and president of Mark Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development, the answer to these questions can be summed up neatly in just three words: “The Fred Factor.”
In his book THE FRED FACTOR: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary (April 20, 2004; Currency/Doubleday; Hardcover; $14.95), Sanborn introduces readers to the real-life Fred Shea, a U.S. mail carrier whom Sanborn first met more than a decade ago when he moved into a new home in Denver. When Fred stopped by to welcome Sanborn to the neighborhood and to find out a little bit about him and what he did for a living, Sanborn was pleasantly surprised and impressed by Fred’s immediately noticeable sincerity, warmth, and conscientiousness. Told that Sanborn was a professional speaker who traveled for much of the year, Fred suggested that, if Sanborn gave him a copy of his schedule, he would hold and bundle his mail while he was away and—to discourage burglars—only deliver it on the days that Sanborn was at home. Over the next ten years, as Sanborn continued to receive consistently remarkable and creative personal service from Fred the postman, he found himself marveling at the passion and personal care that Fred unfailingly brought to his work. “After observing his exemplary attitude and actions,” recalls Sanborn, “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.”
In THE FRED FACTOR Sanborn now shares the lessons he has learned from Fred (and others like him) to help readers harness for themselves the power of passion and commitment to personal excellence to transform the mundane into the magnificent and make a real difference in the world.
“Anyone can be a Fred,” writes Sanborn, “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.”
Through the inspirational true story of Fred Shea as well as those of many other “Freds” in diverse walks of life, Sanborn distills the four simple yet life-changing principles that define “The Fred Factor” and that apply to any person, in any profession, in any situation, and at any time:
PRINCIPLE 1: EVERYONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
It doesn’t matter how large or even how ineffective any organization is. An individual can still make a difference. Ultimately, though, only the employee can choose to do his or her job in an extraordinary way, regardless of the circumstances. Nobody can prevent you from being exceptional. At the end of the day, the only question that matters is, what kind of difference did you make? Fred the postman is living proof that there are no insignificant or ordinary jobs when they’re performed by significant and extraordinary people.
PRINCIPLE 2: SUCCESS IS BUILT ON RELATIONSHIPS
Indifferent people deliver indifferent service. On the other hand, people who have a true passion for being of service to others—and who care about their customers enough to build a personal relationship with them—stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Fred the postman is proof that, in any job or business, relationship-building is the most important objective because the quality of the relationship determines the quality of the product or service.
PRINCIPLE 3: YOU MUST CONTINUALLY CREATE VALUE FOR OTHERS, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE TO COST A PENNY
Do you ever complain that you lack the resources—time, people, budget, or training—to perform at a higher level? Consider Fred. What resources did he have at his disposal? A drab blue uniform and a bag full of mail. That’s it! Yet he walked up and down streets with his head and heart stirred by possibilities. His imagination enabled him to create value for his customers, and he didn’t need an extra dollar to do it. In doing this, Fred mastered the most important job sill in the twenty-first century: the ability to create value for customers without spending money to do it. The trick is to replace money with imagination, to substitute creativity for capital.
PRINCIPLE 4: YOU CAN REINVENT YOURSELF REGULARLY
If Fred could bring such originality to putting mail in a box, how much more could you and I do to bring originality to what we do? How can we reinvent ourselves and our work? When you feel fatigued and unmotivated at work and in your life, think about the creativity and commitment that Fred could bring to the simple act of delivering the mail and then ask yourself what you could do to reinvent yourself. No matter what job you hold, what industry you work in, or where you live, each morning you wake up with a clean slate. You can make your business, as well as your life, anything you choose it to be.
“One thing seems common to all human beings: a passion for significance,” observes Sanborn. “Everyone wants to count, to know that what he or she does each day isn’t simply a means of making a living, but also a way of making a meaningful life.” Becoming a Fred, someone who finds meaning and deep satisfaction in everyday experiences, he explains, isn’t that hard; it simply requires going back to the basics of success and starting to reapply them to your life and your work: Do the right thing for the right reason, knowing that the doing (instead of praise or recognition) is its own reward and remind yourself that your possibilities and your personal potential are endless.
Just as everyone has within them the ability to become a Fred, so too everyone has the capability to develop and surround themselves with other Freds—people who take pride in their work and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The best way to achieve this is simply to be a Fred oneself and inspire excellence in others by example. “Freds set an inspiring example for their companies and organizations, teammates, customers, friends, and families,” writes Sanborn. “When others see the infinite ways to create excellence and ‘wow’ in their work, then they, too, will want to become Freds. Something wonderful will happen. The energy they once had will be restored. Enthusiasm will replace cynicism, and action will overcome complacency. The feedback, recognition, and satisfaction that come from being a Fred will fuel ongoing, quality efforts.”
Providing readers with all the tools they need to transform their own lives as well as the lives of others from the ordinary to the extraordinary, THE FRED FACTOR is an empowering, engaging book that, in the words of John C. Maxwell, “delivers a potent motivational message that will super-charge your attitude towards work and life.”
THE FRED FACTOR:
How Passion in your work and life can turn the
ordinary into the extraordinary
by Mark Sanborn
Published by Currency/Doubleday
Publication Date: April 20, 2004
Hardcover; $14.95; 128 pages
ISBN #: 0-385-51351-8
About the Author
Mark Sanborn is an internationally known author, motivational speaker, and the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and life. One of the youngest inductees ever into the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame of the National Speakers Association, Mark has presented over 1700 speeches and seminars in every state and in 10 foreign countries. He gives nearly one hundred presentations each year on leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change and his clients include Hewlett Packard, New York Life, Costco, Harley Davidson, Sun Microsystems, Exxon and ServiceMaster. He has authored seven books, co-authored five others, and is also the creator of more than 20 videos and audio training programs. He is the current President (2003-2004) of the National Speakers Association. A graduate of Ohio State University, Mark and his family live near Denver, Colorado.
For more information, please visit fredfactor.com.