Jones: Going Below the Surface

May 3, 2024
The top talent isn’t always at the top of the stack, it's somewhere in the middle waiting to be discovered and cultivated.

David Robinson. Scottie Pippen. Kevin Johnson. Reggie Miller. 

Apart from being NBA Hall of Famers, what do these four men have in common? They were all selected in the 1987 NBA Draft, with David Robinson being No.1 overall, followed by Pippen (No. 5), Johnson (No. 7), and Miller (No. 11). What they also all have in common is that despite their high draft position and subsequent successes—Pippen went onto become a six-time champion and Robinson a two-time champ—none of them were the Rookie of the Year in this draft class. That honor went to point guard Mark Jackson of St. John's University who was drafted by the New York Knicks at No.18—a diamond in the rough. It marked the first and only time in NBA history where the Rookie of the Year wasn't a top pick. 

I tell you this story to remind you that anomalies exist. The Mark Jacksons, the Tom Bradys, the Manon Rhéaumes of the world—NHL fans will remember her—hard-working individuals with a chip on their shoulders looking for a chance to prove themselves perhaps in your auto repair shop. Mining for diamonds isn’t easy, but it sure is worth it.

In this month’s feature “Beat the Dealer," we talked about how Andy Bizub, owner of Midwest Performance Cars, and his business foreman, Brandon Ludwikowski, find and polish top-flight dealership technicians. The leap from the dealership into independent repair can be challenging for some techs. Bizub and Ludwikowski detail how they've been successful in integrating dealership technicians and getting high efficiency from them.

In The SOP, Danica Motors Service Manager Coralee Zueff talks about how to find service advisors and help them get acclimated to the position. She encourages shop owners to get creative and leverage the past lives of their new advisors to help them see the bigger picture to better serve the shop and its customers. 

While every shop owner wants their next hire to be No. 1 draft pick, it’s sometimes those scrappy, hard workers in the middle rounds with something to prove who warrant a closer look. Give it to them.

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