#154: Embrace Changes and Growth with Passion and Curiosity

Markus Reckling is currently the Chief Sales Officer Post and Parcel at DHL Group.

He was the Managing Director of DHL Express Germany, with DHL Express being the leading international Courier company and part of the leading international logistics provider DHL Group. Markus has worked for the Group for more than 20 years, holding different positions including Head of Corporate Development and Managing Director of DHL Express Turkey. Experienced in leadership as well as in finding individual solutions for different tasks, Markus enjoys sharing and discussing his learnings.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Markus Reckling: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How did Markus get started in the logistics industry, and what led him to his current position as an executive
  • Most challenging and rewarding moments at DHL
  • DHL’s notable challenges and how the team strategize to overcome them, and what were the outcomes or results achieved
  • The most critical lessons the supply chain community can learn from the challenges and successes at DHL
  • Advice for younger talents who aspire to build a career in the logistics and supply chain industry
  • Emerging trends or technologies that will significantly impact in the future of supply chain management

Show notes:

  • [3:14] How did you get started in the logistics industry? What led you to your current career position as an executive?
  • [3:57] In the beginning, it wasn’t really too much of a logistics career. I was dealing with all kinds of business ideas ended up managing a joint venture together with Lufthansa where we were optimizing procurement processes, actually via the new internet methods. 
  • [7:51] So what I heard is it’s a lot of passion to embrace challenges in the logistics sector and it doesn’t sound to me that your career now is really well planned, you just embrace new challenges, get yourself out of your comfort zone. I also heard a lot of experience in on-the-shop floor team leadership, getting the right mentor. Is it correct?
  • [8:21] Definitely you’d go into any passion and curiosity, I think one or two trades that have always been within me. And you know, curiosity always led me to learn faster and to accept new challenges. 
  • [9:45] From strategy to very hands-on operations, how do you navigate them?
  • [9:50] Well, I guess the key point is curiosity. Be curious about people, be curious about processes, be curious about what makes the business successful, and be curious, you can learn fast. 
  • [11:14] What have been some of the most challenging moments you face at DHL?
  • [11:23] The first big challenging moment was probably when I was running that joint venture between Deutsche Post and Lufthansa on electronic procurement things. 
  • [13:59] How did you navigate those challenges? And what were the key learnings? I heard that position, teamwork, and what else would you share?
  • [15:30] What has been the most rewarding moment for you, during your time at DHL?
  • [18:49] What are the most challenges in how you navigate through the different cultures in the organization?
  • [21:04] A sentence that will be emotional in Turkey would be maybe cheesy in Germany, but the mechanics work just as well. And that’s why I think I’ve benefited tremendously lats in how to lead people and how to engage with people during those days in Turkey because it really changed the way I approach things and the way how I explain things. And that was really a bit of a life changer for me.
  • [21:44] Can you walk us through a specific instance, where DHL encounters a notable challenge? How did you and your team strategize to overcome it? And what were the outcome or results achieved?
  • [23:09] In this chaos, you don’t need a discussion, you needed somebody that had a lot of experience with how to fix things, and that also was comfortable with giving some clear directions.
  • [24:27] Could you share with us how these experiences that you share shaped your perspective on supply chain management, and what are the most critical lessons the supply chain community can learn but knowledge and successes?
  • [26:41] We’re not the brainy, we’re the execution people with the doers and we believe in strong solid processes that fit each other and we believe in a strong unified culture and language around the globe. 
  • [27:54] DHL is one of the most successful ones, what is the secret sauce for DHL to manage it well?
  • [28:07] The secret sauce is that we believe infrastructure, airplanes, automation, technology, all these processes are key, and they’re important. They define your right to play but they don’t make you successful, in a business like ours will really make a difference is the people.
  • [30:12] What advice would you give to younger talents who aspire to build a career in the logistics and supply chain industry? Are there any specific skills or mindsets that you believe are essential for their success?
  • [30:35] Believe in yourself, and have self-confidence. If you don’t have self-confidence, why would somebody else trust you if you don’t trust yourself? But with this, believing in yourself comes with resilience. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • [35:15] Supply Chain Tech is booming, and ChatGPT is a hot topic. In your opinion, what are some of the emerging trends or technologies that will significantly impact the future of supply chain management? How can young professionals prepare themselves to adapt to these changes effectively? 
  • [39:08] I think in any way, I believe we have actually an exciting 10 to 25 years ahead of us, where a lot of the technology is more about enabling humans, rather than replacing humans. Well, that will hold for 20-40 years. I have no clue but for the next decade or so, I think it’s much more about assisting the human rather than replacing the human.

Quotes from the Episode:

About the Host:

The host, Fei Yu has over 15+ years of experience in Executive Search and Talent Acquisition & Management, gained from top-tier consultancy and premium executive search firms. She is an advocate of cross-cultural networking and has successfully organized and moderated public events.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

Related Episodes:

#151: Chemicals Supply Chains, Changing Organisations, and Mindsets

#152: Toll Group, Future of 3PLs, Executive vs Non-executive Board

#153: The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and the Future of Work




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