The Fred Factor is a short book by Mark Sanborn about a mail carrier named Fred. The author relates anecdotal stories about his postman, a man named Fred. Fred is no ordinary mail carrier. He consistently performed his job better than he had to for no other reason other than he wanted to provide exceptional service to his customers. And so the term “Fred” is coined.
Sanborn goes on to explain what a “Fred” looks like in an organization and why people like Fred do what they do. He also explains how to find Freds, hire Freds, and encourage Fredness throughout the organization.
Of course, I try to relate everything I read in some way, shape, or form to the classroom. While I lead by example, I am always looking for ways to encourage Fredness in my classroom. Fred 2.0 is now in my “to read” stack, and my goal is to create a Fred Oasis, as Sanborn calls it.
If you ever find yourself in a place where you are feeling disenfranchised then read this book. The audio book is just two and a half hours — faster if you speed it up. It may help restore your faith in what you do. Exceptionalism does still exist. We have to know where (and how) to look and be able to recognize it when we see it.
Do you know anyone like Fred?