Ideas on How to Deliver Extraordinary Results

Nine years ago, Mark Sanborn published Fred, a book about a postman and the extraordinary service he provided. The book was wildly successful, landing on all the bestseller lists and inspiring millions around the world, including companies, schools, and entire cities.

Fred 2.0 by Mark Sanborn

Now Mark has published an all-new book on the same topic. It is called Fred 2.0. New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results. I had the opportunity to read the pre-publication edition and endorse it. I wanted to share my thoughts about the book with you.

Fred Shea is Mark’s real-life mail carrier in Denver, Colorado. They have known each other for more than 20 years. As Mark observed Fred’s life, he distilled from it four “Fred” principles:

  1. Everybody can make a difference.
  2. Relationships are vital.
  3. It’s possible to add value in every area.
  4. You can keep reinventing yourself.

These principles not only have the power to change lives and corporate cultures, they have done so. In Fred 2.0, Mark recounts many of these inspiring stories.

But make no mistake, this book is not a re-hash of Fred 1.0. It is more like an advanced course in Fredology. It is designed to help you create extraordinary experiences for your clients, no matter what type of business you’re in.

The thing I love about the book is it is not about some famous business person like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet. This is a book about how ordinary people in ordinary jobs and how they can become extraordinary.

Why extraordinary? Mark argues in the very first chapter:

  1. Extraordinary brings us delight.
  2. Extraordinary sets us apart.
  3. Extraordinary defends our position.
  4. Extraordinary determines our happiness and success.

In my book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, I talk about the importance of starting with wow. I was referring primarily to products and services. But Mark applies the same basic concept to to people. Becoming extraordinary is the way for you to stand out.

Here are a couple of my key take-aways:

  • Normal is over-rated. Why settle for normal when you can be extraordinary and really make a difference.
  • Being a Fred is not about the job you hold but about the way you do the job you hold.
  • The person who benefits most when you act like a Fred is you.
  • Being a Fred is not about increasing your income or getting recognition. It is about adding value for its own sake.
  • Freds are everywhere. When we find them, we need to celebrate and reward them.

I’ve only scratched the surface. Mark talks about how to find your passion, how to cultivate your creativity, how to uncover your signature difference, and how to create better connections with customers.

I was particularly impressed with his C.A.R.E. acronym: “Create a Rare Experience.” He provides eight ways to elevate the experiences you provide and really demonstrate care. This is worth the price of the book.

The book is full of inspiring stories and role-models. It really motivated me to want to be a Fred—to my family, my work colleagues, and the random people I meet in my day-to-day interactions. Yes, it takes a little extra effort, but it can have an enormous impact.

I gave away 50 copies of Fred 2.0. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.

Question: From my review of this book, what appeals to you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • guywalker

    Even though I am an avid reader I struggle to give great book reviews. This post has helped me not only learn about Fred 2.0 (my boss was talking about the first book a few days ago) but it has given me a template to use as I write in the future. If you choose me I will give the book to my boss. If not I’m sure someone else will put it to good use. Thanks

  • Birdie

    The job that am have the priviledge of doing each day is working in pastoral care at our church in Dallas, specifically in the recovery area. I talk with many each week who are struggling with addictions and the hardships of life and it is difficult for them to see hope amid their circumstances. It is my joy to share with them the hope that I have found in spite of my circumstances by trusting each day to my loving heavenly Father. My heart’s desire is for each meeting to be extraordinary, not because of me, but because of the message that I share. From your review of Fred 2.0, I feel that it would better equip me to encourage those that I visit with each week. If I am not selected to receive one of the books, I will definitely purchase one!

  • Smartie

    Thanks Michael for sharing this. Just reading your review makes me want to go out and buy the book – volumes 1 & 2! Great timing in terms of content – just what I was looking for right now :)

  • Wendy N.

    Your comment about the “C.A.R.E. acronym: “Create a Rare Experience.” He provides eight ways to elevate the experiences you provide and really demonstrate care. This is worth the price of the book.” really appeals to me, and your positive review makes me want to read this book. Thanks, Michael.

  • Iwona

    This one sentence: “Normal is over-rated.” This is a summary of the thoughts of the last few weeks. I could not reconcile with what I heard from a colleague – “why can not you just be normal like the rest of us?”. Now, I’m sure. Thank you Michael.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesseamanda.mook Jesse Amanda Mook

    We are missionaries in the Philippines and we work with a Christian college here. A lot of what we do is with the students and we have really felt that we can make a huge impact on them if we are intentional about it. And seeing this review shows that it really opens up the possibility that they can make a huge impact on us if we let them as well. We are also having to constantly work on improving communication with our supporters in the US. And thinking of new and personal ways to help them see this life we live over here. Thanks for the book review, inspiring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.d.carroll.10 Amy Dohm Carroll

    Just thinking about ways to step up my game makes my heart beat faster this morning. I look forward to reading this book!

  • Jerry

    Incredible. I just emailed my brother who is starting a new taxi service. I told him about an experience I had with an extraordinary airport shuttle bus driver. The driver made everyone’s day just a little better because of his enthusiasm for his job (and life in general). Anyway, he created a rare experience for a bunch of tired and hungry travelers.

  • Josh Ketchum

    The appeal is going from ordinary to extraordinary. I also enjoy the first book and think the second will only add to the wisdom.

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    This quote grabbed me.

    “Being a Fred is not about the job you hold but about the way you do the job you hold.”

    I’m not fulfilled in my current job, but it pays the bills and I’m grateful. I want to be awesome and inspire others, yet often feel bogged down. I want to be a Fred.

  • http://twitter.com/PurpleCatMom Cathy Noa

    This book confirms something I have always believed: that everyone can make a huge difference in their sphere of influence. There are lots of books out there about how the “great” became great, but I am all about how ordinary people are “great” with a different lens. I would love to read more about “Fredology.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/dkbarker David Barker

    Too many times, we think we should only be awesome or extraordinary if somebody is going to pay us for it. Why not just be awesome and extraordinary because it makes life better…ours and other’s. This quote in the above review really spoke to that – “Being a Fred is not about increasing your income or getting recognition. It is about adding value for its own sake.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheri.heise Cheri Bonita Heise

    “(Any)one can make a difference…it’s all about relationships”. I love analogies of real life people doing ordinary things with extraordinary results!

  • http://twitter.com/mnt4mor James Hauptman

    Lots of thoughts already on how we can create a CARE experience in our youth minstry! Would love a copy of Fred 2.0 to share with our youth volunteer team!

  • MDM

    I would love a copy of this book. I’ve always thought there is extraordinary in everyone. There are times, when it’s not a good day and I feel like I just can’t make a difference and I want to give up. I feel like this book may serve as a good reminder that for all the famous people in the world making a difference, there are more of us out there that can make a positive impact in the world.

  • Liz Dugger

    I am impressed with the Fred phenomenon for a couple of reasons highlighted. 1) “it is not about some famous business person like Steve Jobs or Warren
    Buffet. This is a book about how ordinary people in ordinary jobs and
    how they can become extraordinary.” Famous people are awesome & impressive, but we have to be ourselves. Who & what we were made to be right where we are. I want to do this better! 2) “Being a Fred is not about increasing your income or getting recognition. It is about adding value for its own sake.” If we get caught up in the current of culture, we can lose contact with things we value & truly care about … because there is a frenzy to be seen & heard at all cost. Value costs time, thought, concern for others … I want to cultivate “values” that hold their value long after I’m gone. Sounds like a great book!

  • Tim Miller

    I minister to children and families. One of our major objectives is to create rare moments, unforgettable experiences. Fred helped me think in new ways. Fred 2.0 could revitalize my mission and vision

  • Lizzie Branch

    Love this book!! Great principles and it all boils down to people first. Good solid people ethics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408551845 Wen Ho

    I think this book will help me to explore my life more; how to find your passion, how to cultivate your creativity, how to uncover your signature difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rprobbins Rose Pechal Robbins

    I serve on various non-profit boards for wonderful organizations in a small town with the ability to make a difference. I would cherish a copy of this book so I can share it and use it when having to deal with the negative people who say; It can’t be done, nothing will change, your an outsider, etc. People tend to respond to real life examples.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    What appeals most to me is the fact that Fred could be found among the people I see every day. Fred is in an ordinary position making an extraordinary difference in life. That’s worth emulating.
    .

  • Lea-Ann

    I love how you find the extraordinary books and helpful posts.

  • RIna

    The c.a.r.e. principle caught my attention – I am not an ordinary person and serves an extraordinary God and desire to create rare experiences.

  • tjpearson

    I’ve always been intrigued by ordinary people who do extraordinary things in their lives….starting with Jesus. There was an author that I read in my teenage years called Ann Kiemel Anderson (still writes today) and she told simple stories of ordinary people who she influenced to be extraordinary through encouragement and small deeds. I’ve been facilitating a number of fundraising events for non-profits and I am interested in the CARE acronym.

  • specwriter

    I can’t believe you want me to leave you my mailing address! For the chance to win a book about redundant, obvious moralistic theories? You’ve gotta be kidding. How about asking us all for our SSN as well? Want my banking account access information for Fred 3.0?

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