Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Wednesday, 06 May 2020 17:02

Day Job/Night Job: Shop Manager Becomes Author/Industry Consultant

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John Stuef added the titles of industry consultant and author to his extensive resume in collision repair several years ago, and hasn’t looked back. John Stuef added the titles of industry consultant and author to his extensive resume in collision repair several years ago, and hasn’t looked back.


Detroit native John Stuef’s family was all-in when it came to the Motor City’s No. 1 industry.

His father worked as a design engineer for Ford Motor Company and his grandfather had a body shop for decades. When Stuef was only 12, his grandfather, Ben, died, and Stuef got his tools in the will.


After completing a collision repair program in high school, Stuef landed a job as a painter’s helper before holding every position available in a body shop. The first car he painted was a 1970 Camaro in orange with stripes, like the car from the TV series “Starsky and Hutch,” and the rest is history.


Stuef’s resume includes a stint as a regional manager for an MSO, as well as owning and operating his own shops for years. Today he lives in Tampa, FL, managing a shop and pursuing his other interests.


His collision career has taken him all over the U.S., including Wyoming, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, in addition to his beloved Detroit.


His interests include working as an industry consultant with a rapidly-growing social media following, and as the author of "From Doing to Leading: Your Guide for Inspiring People on the Front Lines," written with Dr. Amy Bradshaw. The book has been well-received by the collision repair industry and has been getting national acclaim for helping managers in all types of small businesses, not just body shops.


Sharing all of the knowledge that he’s accumulated during his four decades in the industry, Stuef focuses on leading leaders to success.


“If you’re in management, this book is a must,” he said. “We provide real guidance and focus on tangible things that can be used immediately. Too many leadership books offer theories, but no solutions and they don’t tell readers deliverables.”


Stuef has been successful because he knows what he doesn’t know and isn’t afraid to ask questions. He’s also an avid reader and a fast learner. When he was ready to embark on writing the book, he looked for a co-writer to introduce behavioral science in conjunction with his advice and accompanying stories.


“We wanted to analyze why people act a certain way and in the end, much of is it neurochemical,” he said. “Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins are described in the book and how they affect us. Once you can learn why people act a certain way, you can develop solutions, and our approach is the purple cow in this book.”


Four years ago, Stuef was managing six collision shops in South Carolina when he began thinking about a book that could help managers and other administrators.

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