Jones: A Culture of Winning

Sept. 7, 2023
What shop owners can learn from the team culture of the Miami Heat

Despite the Denver Nuggets winning the NBA Finals in June over the Miami Heat, it was the Heat whose story took center stage throughout the NBA Playoffs. 

While one story was the Heat’s historic run—the lowest seed in the Eastern Conference and only the second eight seed to ever appear in the NBA Finals—the real story centered around Heat Culture.  

Anchored by legendary Hall of Fame NBA coach-turned-executive Pat Riley, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA titles in the ‘80s and the Miami Heat to its first in 2006, Heat Culture is built around that yesteryear toughness Riley instilled in his Showtime Lakers and his early Heat teams. Here are the four principles of Miami's Culture: 

  • Dedication. Players are expected to be dedicated to the team and committed to winning. 
  • Accountability. Players are held accountable for all actions. 
  • Community. Players are expected to be active in the community and to give back. 
  • Work ethic. Players are expected to work hard, be physically fit, tough-minded and do what it takes to perform at their highest level.

It’s no wonder why this team has had two NBA championships and six Finals appearances in the past 15 years as it continues to outlast better opponents. You’ll find these same four tenets at play in the three shop owners featured in this issue—Perry Adams, Rachel Spencer and Joe Rush. 

This month, our feature (p. XX) recognizes our Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Award Winner and two runners-up.  

Perry Adams of Adams Automotive in Houston, Texas, is this year’s winner. Adams has instilled a winning culture in his multi-shop operation where they refer to themselves as professional business athletes.  

Rachel Spencer of Spencer's Auto Repair & Alignment in Klum, Texas, is one of our runners-up. Spencer entered the industry in 2004 with no automotive experience. Since stepping into the owner's role, she has developed a reputation for her thoughtfulness and caring culture.  

Joe Rush of Rush Automotive in Round Rock, Texas, is the final runner-up. Rush relies on the strength of his team’s knowledge and skill—ASE-certified technicians with over 100 years of experience—to help him live out the shop’s mission to be “crucial to the community through service and giving."  

The moral of the story: Culture—when it has a mission and full team buy-in—wins. Culture connects. Culture inspires. What’s your culture? 

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