Top 3 leadership lessons learnt during COVID-19

Audrey Cheong, Managing Director, FedEx Singapore, shares the leadership lessons she has learned in logistics and the crucial role they have played during COVID-19
By: | June 4, 2020

By Audrey Cheong, Managing Director, FedEx Singapore

Covid-19 has upended many routines in our lives and forced us to quickly adapt to the new normal.  There are, however, worthwhile life experiences which we can put to good use in adapting to this situation.  Here are the three lessons that have helped us manage in FedEx Singapore during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


In February, FedEx team members in Singapore began to deal with Covid-19. Being flexible and swift were key throughout the evolving Covid-19 situation, with our local response team implementing preventive measures that were in line with government advisories.

These include twice-daily temperature taking, telecommuting, social distancing, and contactless delivery, which help ensure everybody remained safe and healthy. At FedEx in Singapore and worldwide, the health and safety of our team members and the community are our top priorities.

At the same time, duty calls.  With many passenger flights curtailed, we sought to ensure our planes continued operating to help keep commerce flowing.

Our teams worked round-the-clock to transport personal protective equipment (PPE), test-kits, ventilators, and other medical supplies to those in need.  As part of the FedEx South Pacific hub, the agility of the team as part of the global air network was instrumental in delivering essential needs.

Agility is not just action-based; emotional agility during these times is equally important. It is about reaching inside ourselves, accepting how we feel and finding courage to press on. It is okay for one to express anxiety.  Through this, we get a real sense of ourselves and approach our experiences in a mindful and productive way, rather than reacting emotionally.

Studies have shown that emotional agility can help alleviate stress, reduce errors, become more innovative, and improve job performance.


At a global level, FedEx is united by the Purple Promise, a committed that unites us to make every customer experience outstanding.  Despite the logistics bottleneck, team members are upholding this commitment to customers now more than ever.

In Singapore and around the globe, we are resolute in prioritising essential items in our network so that people who are in need get them first.

There was an incident on a Sunday morning, when we received a call seeking help to deliver a shipment containing raw materials for mask production locally. Immediately, the team returned to look for the shipments and retrieved them from the many containers staged.

We customs-cleared and delivered the shipments to the production line on the same Sunday morning, making sure local mask production was not disrupted.

The resolve from each member to make every experience outstanding never fails to amaze all of us.  In these trying times, we have a meaningful mission of helping deliver hope and strength to those in need.

We are also grateful for the tokens and expressions of appreciation we have received from customers and beneficiaries in Singapore. They go a long way in recognising the efforts of our frontline employees, unsung heroes who may be delivering or picking up a crucial shipment.


At FedEx, people are our most valuable assets, and this has been demonstrated throughout Covid-19.  In addition to the health and safety of our team members, transparency in communications is also prioritised.

Regular employee communications reinforce assurance and trust while we maintain business continuity. Feedback from team members has also made the business more robust. A sense of purpose to assist the communities we live and work in propel us towards a common direction.

Beyond employees, the communities and businesses that we co-exist with are respected and valued. Since the Covid-19 outbreak and despite network disruptions, our excellent working relationships with government agencies allowed FedEx to prioritise clearance of critical lab supplies, diagnostic equipment and raw materials necessary for mask production.

The inclusiveness of the enabling agencies was critical to break barriers.  If any of the party in the ecosystem was not in harmony, the work to fight the virus would have been much tougher.

No company operates alone, and we are proud to stand united behind Singapore’s efforts to prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 outbreak and bring life to normalcy.