AO1 Consulting’s Team Lead, Alex Hylla, once specialized in machines. From gears and mechanics to human psychology and connection, Hylla has adapted better than most in a major career shift and created a record of success that is beyond impressive. Hylla joined the AO1 Consulting team in April of 2021 after a long road, beginning in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This month, we sat down with Alex to discuss his past as a Boeing inspector, his future as an entrepreneur, and the best advice he’s ever received.
What was your childhood dream job?
“As a kid, I wanted to do many different things, but the theme always involved helping other people. When I’m older and have made all my money I plan on teaching high school and giving back in that way.”
What did you do after high school?
“I graduated from Technical College after studying Non-Destructive Testing. After college, I moved to Washington State, near Seattle. From there I moved to St. Louis, Missouri to work for the Boeing Company as a quality inspector. Traveling on my own taught me to be the persistent and focused person I am today. It also made me value my hometown and my friends and family even more.”
What values are important to you in a teammate or hire?
“I value people who are open minded, kind, and love to learn new things. I hope to be the kind of leader that inspires loyalty and respect.”
How do you respond to criticism?
“Probably with a little attitude, and then grudging acceptance. In all seriousness, I value input from people who know things I don’t—or those who have a better perspective than me on certain things.”
What is your favorite thing about AO1 Consulting?
“My favorite thing about my company is not only the constant positivity and encouragement from my teammates, but all the learning that happens here.”
What drew you to your company in the first place?
“I worked in a lot of manual labor jobs, with machines and what not. To say I was desperate for a more fulfilling opportunity would be an understatement. I believe ending up here was sort of meant to be.”
Are you a planner? What are your short term and long-term goals?
“I do consider myself a planner. My short-term goals are to get out of debt and continue to grow my career. I want to do my best to develop myself and my leadership skills. My long-term goals are financial freedom and growing strong meaningful relationships. What I mean by that is being married, having more of my family close by me, as well as being there for colleagues to help them reach their goals.”
What business advice would you give to people hoping to start a career?
“Don’t settle. Move around until you find out what you want out of a career. It’s worth it to go through hard times to make life meaningful for yourself.”
Would you recommend this career style to young leaders?
“Absolutely! The sales psychology I’ve learned here enables me to be able to sell anything I want. These skills are transferable, and so is the leadership attitude that comes with it.”
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment to date?
“I would say moving away from home to go to Washington, and then eventually St. Louis, and supporting myself is my greatest accomplishment. I don’t know anyone else who’s done that sort of thing at such a young age without their parents. Doing that made me a stronger person and gave me a lot of perspective on what I want from my life. Turns out it was just about having my friends and family nearby, and finally finding a job that I enjoy.”
How do you measure your own performance and success?
“Honestly, for me it’s all about peace of mind and body. When my relationships are solid and content, I feel successful. When I exercise and eat right, I feel successful. When I do my job well or help someone else, I feel successful.”
What important lesson has a close relative, friend, or mentor taught you?
“Wow. I feel like I could answer that a million different ways. My dad always told me that no one deserves anything. You only get what you earn from life. Also, there are only two things in the world you can control– what you say, and what you do. That’s all you can control so just focusing on that and being disciplined rather than worrying about things you have no influence on.”
Who inspires you?
“My girlfriend is the kindest and most loyal person I’ve ever met. She inspires me to be better to people, and to be a better partner.”
A common sentiment from our sales superstars, Alex Hylla says this career has fundamentally changed him. From introvert to extrovert, Hylla says that before his sales career, he was a total introvert. In his time with AO1 Consulting, he has become more than an extrovert—he has become an outgoing, inspiring, compassionate, and hard-working person who values human connection over all else.