Giving Back

· by Herb Dew

Herb is the CEO of HTI. He founded HTI in 1999 along with John Knight and David Sewell, and remains heavily involved in the organization today.
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As I get older I find myself being more reflective about what’s important. When I was younger I was far more focused on career, winning, money and people’s perceptions. I see this a lot in younger people and understand it. To be successful you have to have ambition. Drive. Be competitive. But what you find as you get older is that the fun is often “in the climb.” I understand the phrase now that “the fun is in the journey, not necessarily the destination”!

I have been blessed. HTI’s journey has been a fun ride and our destination (not yet completed, I hope) satisfying. One of the results of getting bigger has been having the opportunity to hire some bright, energetic people who have a passion for giving back. They have taught me a lot. They have taught me what I have NOT done, as well as what I am capable of doing with the blessings given to HTI.

Last year we formed a team we call the “T3 Team”. That stands for “Time, Talent and Treasure”. The team’s focus has been to channel our company’s charitable efforts in a targeted way, giving back to those less fortunate than us. An important aspect to this team’s focus is that it’s NOT a marketing move. That team[s decisions have nothing to do with our company’s image. It has EVERYTHING to do with reaching those that need reaching.  Our T3 team works selflessly with groups like Meals on Wheels of Greenville, Greenville Humane Society, Safe Harbor, and Honor Flight, among many others.

That team is leading us in ways that allow me to learn…rather than to teach. And they do it quietly. And with passion.

What excites me is how much it challenges me to be a better leader and example. Something that I thought I did well…until I compared myself to many of them. Their volunteerism is infectious. They lead by example.

So I find myself shifting my focus. Instead of sitting on boards and being a figurehead, I now look at my time and ask “am I being sacrificial?” I am excited about giving back. And I’m excited about the younger leaders in my company who are showing me the way!