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Five Years of the All-Star Awards

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Milestones are a bit subjective, right? I mean, what’s significant to one person might not be to another. Dates, years, accomplishments—we tend to celebrate those that are most important to ourselves.

Ratchet+Wrench is just a couple months past five years old, so it makes perfect sense that this is our fifth annual edition of the Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards. Still, we find this milestone significant (as you can tell from our cover this month). Although, I’d like to think it’s not quite as self-indulgent as it might seem.

Each year with our awards, we look to celebrate the people who push the auto service industry forward, the progressive women and men who represent everything that makes this industry so great. The awards aren’t performance rankings, built from a long list of KPIs; although metrics can play a role. The awards aren’t a popularity contest, either, but they are based on nominations from you and your peers. So, performance plays a part, but so too does resourcefulness, passion and dedication to improvement.

Just as we do each month with our publication, our goal for our awards program is to highlight the true character of this industry through the people who represent it best. And these are the very same people who inspire us at Ratchet+Wrench to push ourselves, to improve our publication, to diversify the media channels through which we produce content, and to make an overall greater impact.

So, that brings us back to the milestone aspect of this: Mitch Schneider lays out his “we/us” versus “I/me” mindset in his work. It’s a great topic, one that not only is best described through Mitch’s Mitchisms, but also one from which everyone can benefit. In his column, Mitch’s milestone is his retirement, the end of a 52-year run working in a shop. But, as you’ll read, Mitch doesn’t see retirement as an “end” for the work he’s done to push the industry forward.

You’ll have to read his column to get more insight into his mindset, but I bring it up here because of the overarching lesson to be taken from it (and how it pertains to our awards program): Milestones aren’t significant to us simply because they occur, because the calendar continues to turn and we add up the years and months and days we’ve done something. Milestones become meaningful to us (in our own subjective ways) when we take the time to reflect on what’s been accomplished—and how we’ll use that to push ourselves forward.

Our awards stories are some of my favorites we publish each year, and our team takes great pride in honoring the folks who won. Their stories are great reminders of the odds that so many in this industry overcome, and why they fight so hard to do it. And, just as they do for us, we hope they help you to reflect on where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

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