Our Values

We are humble

Adjective | hum • ble |: Freedom from pride or arrogance.

Check out Brian, founding partner, and his humility story.

Throughout my career, the common denominator of when I was most satisfied at work is when I was serving my clients in the background on meaningful projects that had clear lasting value.  Behind the scenes delivering great work that helped fundamentally good people become their best selves at work.  

This is the overarching ethos we strive for at Pioneer.  Striving to make our clients better without curtain calls or accolades.  Successes are celebrated to be certain; but quietly. 

This approach helped fuel rapid growth in the early days of Pioneer. The growth was fun, the work was intensely engaging, and it was messy (growth almost always is!). 

“Nobody Cares, Work Harder” became and still is one of my favorite sayings.  It holds meaning to me beyond the powerful obvious message of work hard and don’t complain – which is right most of the time. 

But ‘Work Harder’ became my mental trap.  It didn’t matter how much we were growing, my mentality was that every challenge, no matter what can be overcome with simply working harder. And it worked until it didn’t… and a resounding dose of humility was served through some critical failures.  Failures that occurred because I thought I could handle all aspects of a growing business by myself.

I am grateful every day for those tough lessons as they propelled us to where we are today. The right leadership with diverse and complementary talents coupled with an incredible group of consultants.

With humility in our hearts, we are structured to serve our clients and develop our team for the long term.          

 

We are hungry.

Adjective | hun • gry |: Strongly motivated (as by ambition).

Checkout Lane, one of our partners, and his “I’m hungry” story.

Throughout my career, I have continually sought out opportunities to learn, grow, and prosper. When I first joined the Pioneer team, I came with a varied background of residential construction, wind energy development, venture capital, and corporate finance. Pioneer embraced this diverse background and taught me how to channel my talents into a structured approach of problem solving, communication, and business leadership. It was the smartest group of people I ever worked with and the best “job” I ever had. 

Therefore, when a unique opportunity to become the CEO of a struggling health care business presented itself, it was difficult to imagine leaving the team. When I brought my dilemma to Pioneer management, they said “opportunities like this don’t come by often…go out and crush it!”. With this vote of confidence, I embarked on my CEO journey, turning around a nearly bankrupt company and tripling its value with an exit to private equity within 24 months. This success would have never been possible without my experience in management consulting, and the guidance I received along the way from my friends at Pioneer. 

Post CEO position, I happily returned to the Pioneer team and my hunger to learn and grow is fed every day. We work on some of the most complex challenges facing our corporate clients, and the ability to deliver exceptional results to them, while having fun with our team, is a remarkable gift. 

 

We are connected.

Adjective | con • nect • ed |: Joined or linked together.

Checkout Simba, one of our senior consultants, and his “Connected” story.

A quick search on Google Maps will reveal that 9,800 miles of land and sea separate Pioneer’s Downtown Minneapolis office and the Southern African city of Harare, Zimbabwe. By most measures, the two are disparate locations on the expansive global panorama. No direct flights. No direct rail lines. No direct road network connecting the two.

Yet, to me, these two locations could not be more connected. Not by road. Not by rail. But by 7 years’ worth of life experiences that brought me from one, to the other. Harare was home for the first 16 years of my life, and Pioneer has been another kind of home for the last 5. In-between: a series of life experiences that shrunk the barrier of 9,800 miles, one opportunity at a time. 

First, came two years spent at an international boarding school in the mountains of Montezuma, New Mexico, musing on the wonder of cultural multiplicity with like-minded teenagers from over 90 different countries. Then followed a four-year Economics degree program, which concluded with a one-year internship at a leading electric utility in Minnesota. By then, a passion for internationalism, politics & business was fully brewing, but needed a platform to develop relevant practical skills that would make me a more effective global citizen. 

When a job interview with Pioneer’s founding partner came along, it was clear that I had found that platform. The years of Management Consulting experience that have followed at Pioneer, with the challenging yet pulsating client engagements, have only continued to enrich the growing chain of my life’s interlinked opportunities, in an environment where my diversity of culture and thought has always been embraced and celebrated.

WHY DID WE CALL OUR TEAM PIONEER?

With the work we do, we often find ourselves out front charting the way. It’s what we’re best at and like most.  Hence, the name Pioneer.