Ringing the Victory Bell

· 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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Creating Good Times and Embracing Victories

One of things I hope to accomplish for myself out of this current crisis is simple: begin to appreciate the small things again, the things we have started to take for granted over time. As a businessperson, the last 10 years has been unprecedented. Wild growth, big victories. Even bigger victories. The ability to invest in technology and add new branch locations. Take vacations to cool places. Etc, Etc.

But all of that is just “stuff”. Somewhere along the way, I forgot the value of the “little” victories: fixing a problem that a customer had. Gaining a small account that needed us. Game night with my kids. Reading a good book. A cool discussion about leadership with a younger leader. A picnic with my wife (yes, we did this last week). Not huge things…but important things. In a way, the stuff I appreciate now is more substantive; more personal.


Looking back at when the company was much smaller, I remember celebrating more.

We celebrated all kinds of moments as a company when we were smaller. Marriages. Births. A problem solved. An idea tried, even if it failed. I’ve realized through all of this how much I miss that. And whether I like it or not, this pandemic has forced us back to a similar time. Now ANY news that’s DECENT – we celebrate! But maybe its not just “decent”. Maybe we lost sight of celebrating things that were MOST IMPORTANT – parts of the journey. Maybe that’s what all of us can learn through all this. Its not about the victory. It’s about the journey. The fun. The people. The things that really matter.

This week on our daily Covid-19 Response Team agenda I added a new topic: celebrations. I want to shift our mindset as a leadership team, and pass that thought process down to all of our operating groups. Instead of just discussing risks and vulnerabilities, I want us to take the time to remember the blessings and small victories. I want us to CREATE our own “Good Times” now to remember. We remember when things were tough. And we all learned to prioritize what is important.


At HTI, we have a bell that has been here since the company started.

It’s the Victory Bell. When a deal is closed or something happens that should be celebrated, the team responsible for the victory rings it for the rest of the company to hear and celebrate. Over the last couple of years, the sounds of the bell have dwindled – the bell only rings when a BIG deal closes. That’s going to change. This abrupt situation has refocused what’s worth celebrating. It’s the small, in many ways, the more important stuff that requires the bell to ring.


There are Good Times now. And I for one am going to find a reason to ring the bell whenever I can.