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Max Pietsch: Sharing lessons from 40 years at Schneider

Max Pietsch smiles and stands in front of an orange Schneider semi-truck with his arms crossed.

Max Pietsch, Vice President of Intermodal Operations, recently retired after celebrating his 40th anniversary at Schneider.

Max said he was initially drawn to Schneider because the company’s focus on customer service and the professionalism of the drivers he met while working at a distribution center. He felt the company was going somewhere and he wanted to be a part of it.

So, Max took a leap and interviewed for a position at Schneider in Green Bay, and the rest is history.

Top 5 lessons from a 40-year career

A 40-year career comes with a lot of challenges, accomplishments and lessons learned. The following are just a few of the many lessons Max said he learned throughout his extensive career at Schneider:

1. Embrace change - It's key to success.

    “Our company is drastically different than when I started; we dispatched drivers using paper and pencils. Drivers would call us from a phone booth, and we would manually calculate hours for their dispatches. Where would we be today if we had resisted change?”

    “Don Schneider envisioned a company that was ‘Built to Last’ – and we achieve that by embracing change and innovation. As customer needs and the industry changes, so must we; it’s crucial for our survival and success.”

    2. Strive for continuous improvement.

      “You need to celebrate successes, but then you also have to keep asking yourself, ‘What we can do better to meet the needs of our customers, our drivers, and our business results?’ And then challenge yourself to build your skills to be able to deliver.”

      3. Put others first - people matter.

        “Since I announced my retirement, countless people have contacted me to say ‘thank you for listening, for helping, for spending time to help me when I had a question and needed advice,’ – and I had no idea at the time that I was making a difference.”

        “Never underestimate the affect you can have on people; find ways to help others grow and succeed. Ask yourself, ‘How can I be better to in turn make others better?’”

        4. Being a good leader means helping others grow.

          “I have been blessed with some really good leaders over the years who helped me grow; they challenged me, placed me in roles where I could be successful, and they cared about my career progression. I also think showing a passion for the business can be contagious. You would be surprised how a positive attitude can positively impact others.”

          5. Understand that progress comes with challenges.

            “I have given a lot to Schneider, but I have received so much back in return. The work, pace of change, constant improvement of work processes, and solving problems wasn’t always easy, but looking back and seeing the progress, growth, achievement and Schneider’s success is tremendously fulfilling.”

            “Sometimes our jobs can be really challenging – I certainly have spent countless nights lying awake thinking about how to solve an issue. But, as Lou Tice (i.e., Pacific Institute) says, ‘the answers already exist, you just can’t see them yet,’ so have faith in yourself to figure it out.”

            Want to see what it’s like to work at Schneider?

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            About the author
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            Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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