Be determined. Be willing. Learn.
These are the ideas that Jonathon Hull, District Team Lead, holds dear, and the qualities that NAPA found within him.
Jonathon has had a long history with NAPA in various positions over the years. “My journey started with NAPA about fourteen years ago,” he comments.
I did one year of college and was looking for a rewarding career. My father told me NAPA was hiring, so I filled out the application and they called me for a Driver position, so I took the position and liked it. About seven years later I went to Counter Sales, and the rest is history. I’ve been District Team Lead for the last five years.
The move from Counter to DC is a common story at NAPA (where we try to promote from within as much as possible), but the choice is different for each person. How was Jonathon able to make that career change?
My work ethic. The previous manager left and they brought a new manager over. They reviewed seven other candidates, and out of the seven candidates, they picked me because of my work ethic.
The ability to put in the work is another characteristic that resonates with Jonathon. He believes the top traits NAPA is looking for in their leaders is a good work ethic, a strong will, and determination.
Those ideas play well with how NAPA keeps up with innovation. You need all those traits to help a company move up in the world, and as Jonathon says, “We are always looking for new ways to advance. We’re always researching new products.” Research, as well as determination, is a huge NAPA value.
Now that Jonathon has progressed along the NAPA career ladder, he has time to reflect on his personal growth and how he achieved his accomplishments.
It’s easy to advance if you’re a hard worker. In my experience, everything I’ve done, I’ve earned it through hard work. I’ve never been a slacker. Even from a management level, I still get my hands dirty like I did when I was on the counter.
But now that Jonathon is a Team Lead, there is a substantial leadership aspect to his position, and he knows that communicating and bonding with his team is a vital part of NAPA.
I often treat them to pizza. I let them know they’re appreciated. It’s not even about the things you do; it’s about when you talk to them. They tell me I should run for public office because I shake so many hands around here.
If you’re looking for that kind of easy camaraderie in a workplace, a job with IBS may be perfect for you.
The culture is more personal with IBS than a regular NAPA store because we’re dealing with the same customers day in, day out, so you build better relationships on a store level.
IBS—Integrated Business Solutions, for you novice NAPA-ers—primarily provides service for all city vehicles, in Jonathon’s words. “We supply them with the parts they need, making sure all the parts are up-to-date and coming in a timely manner,” he explains.
But what does it really mean to be a NAPA/IBS worker? What does it mean to be part of this team?
I started with NAPA in 2005. From that point, I’ve grown to be passionate about what I do because this is my career. I’m a hard-working individual and I feel like NAPA has given me the opportunity to be the person that I am. I’m passionate about working for them because they care; they actually care. They do things to show you that they care and that they want you to be successful. They give you tools to be successful. Oftentimes you work for companies that SAY they want you to be successful, but they don’t supply you with the tools you need. NAPA does. It’s up to you to use those tools to be successful at NAPA.
Jonathon describes how he attended one of the many training classes NAPA provides for all of their employees. One class in Naperville took special care to teach Jonathon and other go-getter classmates how to effectively lead; which can be a difficult task, when you take in the large quantity of NAPA employees and the various backgrounds they come from.
Jonathon regards NAPA’s diversity glowingly:
The diversity with NAPA is great. It’s a great group of people. It helps with the success because we have everyone. We have every nationality. NAPA builds bonds with the employees, and I’ve learned a lot about different cultures through people I’ve worked with. It brings a lot of people together from all walks of life, so it’s great in that aspect.
With such wide-ranging people on board, NAPA is working on getting the very best and brightest under their professional wing. Above all, NAPA and Jonathon Hull are looking for one thing in their employees: a great worker. That person can take many forms, but that person should have a willingness to learn above all.
“Learn new systems,” Jonathon advises. “Learn who you work with. Learn your customers. Learn to adapt to different environments.”
In short, learn what it is to Bleed Blue, and maybe then you’ll be the Team District Lead in your very own NAPA family.