Columnists

Jones: Walking Their Talk

Order Reprints
Jones Column Sept-1.jpg

Ever been told you can’t do something?

Up until the 1987-88 NBA season, the entire league knew Michael Jordan could score at will, but it was said he couldn’t play defense. And as the meme inspired by the Netflix documentary “The Last Dance” goes, he took that personally.

During the ‘87-’88 season, Jordan won not only the Defensive Player of the Year award—which he did just that once in his career—but he took home the league scoring title and was named NBA MVP.

He elevated an already high level of play—he averaged 35 points per game that season—all because he was told he couldn’t do something.

This brings us to our 2022 Ratchet+Wrench All-Star winner—John Cayer of Premier Auto Repair in Worchester, Massachusetts. As he told Ratchet+Wrench in this month’s feature story “Two-Bay Titan," being told he couldn’t make $1 million in a two-bay shop without adding shifts lit a fire under him. He tapped into his resourcefulness, refined his shop’s processes, and pushed himself and his team out of their comfort zones to do what was considered highly unlikely.

It wasn’t hitting monetary goal alone that earned him the 2022 honor, but everything aforementioned—vision, leadership, service—plus comments from his peers, such as “John's shop is the most impressive two bay shop I have ever seen”, “ He helps set the bar of what can be obtainable with determination”, and “John is doing what many told him couldn't be done!”  

I think that’s the mark of a leader and a champion—they take it personally, they fan passion into flame, the quiet the noise, and they inspire not only their team and customers but their peers as well. Congratulations, John.

You’ll also read about two shop owners who earned the distinction of being the 2022 All-Star award runner-ups—Mike Woodie of Woodie’s Auto Service and Travis Troy of Honest Wrenches.

Woodie grew up working in his father’s Esso service station shop. He took over the shop from his father and grew it into a 14-shop empire in and around Charlotte, N.C. to make his stores the largest independently-owned shops in the state. Troy went from repairing vehicles between college classes in a storage unit to 24 employees in two thriving locations in Des Moines, Iowa, in less than a decade.

And while we’re celebrating, let’s not forget this month’s Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference in Dallas, Texas. There, you’ll meet many of the people you’ve read about and learned from throughout the year. It’s an opportunity for you and your team to network, learn, ask questions, and get inspired. Who knows? Perhaps next year, after you’ve applied some lessons you’ve learned at the conference, we’ll be honoring your shop in these pages be it as an All-Star or Best Workplaces Winner. 

Anything is possible when you believe. Ask John Cayer.

Related Articles

Jones: Getting Out of Your Own Way

Jones: The Economics of Small Towns

You must login or register in order to post a comment.