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Leaving a Place Better Than You Found It

January 9, 2009

As we enter 2009, I deeply wish for everyone renewed hope, good health, and the best of what life has to offer. I know that each person’s journey in life is different, and we all face unique burdens and challenges. And in the current turbulent global economy, many around us are struggling just to stay afloat.

I feel very fortunate to work for FedEx and to have such dedicated, hard-working team mates around me. And in return, I do my best to give my all every day. In my personal time, I try to make a difference in the Memphis community, through a variety of charitable work.

I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions—I see self-improvement as a continuous cycle without a beginning or end. But looking back on the past year and knowing that 2009 is not likely to be much better for many people, I am challenging myself to reach even further to help those around me. FedEx, like companies everywhere, has a huge focus on meeting critical revenue enhancement and cost management objectives, with an intensity rarely seen in our 35-year history. Knowing the pressure we’re all feeling, I plan to lead my teams counter-cyclically, providing a cushion of support as we navigate the rough waters in the coming months—whatever I can do to buoy spirits and keep a positive focus.

The counter-cyclical approach isn’t new for me, but I want take it to new levels this year. In both my professional and civic endeavors, I will actively look for ways I can be of help to those around me. Whether it’s connecting two people I know with the hope that one might help the other find work or recruiting a colleague to join a committee to help better our city, I am determined to find ways to give more of myself.

I’d like to challenge each of you to look for ways to stretch a little more this year too. Financially, it may not be a time where you’re able to help non-profit agencies by donating money. But if you aren’t in a position to contribute money, why not share your talents with someone who can benefit? Whether it’s becoming a role model for a young child through a children’s non-profit agency, helping build homes for the homeless, or something as simple as helping someone who desperately needs a job spruce up his or her resume—these are all gifts that will mean even more this year.

I have confidence that we’ll soar—I know many of you FedEx team mates personally and am amazed by your talent. Always be confident: You can be a spring in someone else’s step, as what you have to offer is in credibly valuable. It is my aspiration to see all of our talents bloom at work. And where it matters most, helping others around us.

 

Comments

    Seth Travis says:

    Tom,

    You got me thinking with this…

    “something as simple as helping someone who desperately needs a job spruce up his or her resume”

    Have you seen the recent Hyundai auto ad that’s made the news for it’s inovative marketing tactic? That company is vowing that, (with the current economic climate’s uncertainty in mind), if any new owner of a Hyundai loses his/her job within a year of the car’s purchase, it’s owner can return the car to the dealership, hassle free.

    This was covered by seemingly all the major news outlets, and you can see the ABC News article covering this ad, here:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=6580891&page=1

    Why can’t FedEx Office use a similar srategy, and show that we’re all in this together, by advertising free/discounted resume layout or prints?? This would be current and topical, and would automatically get people talking. Not to mention help fulfil FedEx’s commitment to community.

    And the best result might be simultaneously helping to improve upon the company’s reputation and potentially grow more business by getting people in the centers!

    Just a thought!

    -Seth
    Dist 83

    Tom Schmitt says:

    Seth,
    Your suggestion gets at the very heart of my message — thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am taking your idea to my colleagues at FedEx Office.

    Best of the new year to you!

    Tom

    Veena Samuel says:

    I was really touched by this wonderful step taken by our company to help the jobseekers by printing 25 copies of their resumes free of cost. In the present economic scenario, I am sure, this compassionate as well as bold step must have moved people’s heart, making the unknowing know what FedEx is all about – committed to the society in which we all live and whom we serve.

    I would like to thank and congratulate Seth for this beautiful idea, which he took the courage to share with his management without any fear of rejection, as most of us at times keep quiet and do not share such valuable ideas for the fear of rejection putting everyone at loss – the benefactors and the beneficiaries both.

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