The Big Idea: Failure Is Nothing to Fear

Idea of the Month

If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?

This month’s great idea comes from Brad Humphries, general manager,  Indiana Security Systems.

Humphries’ Great Idea:

Be prepared to take the chances necessary to realize your goals.

Until a few weeks ago, Brad Humphries was managing his family’s business, Indiana Security Systems, located in Mishawaka, Ind. Founded by Linda and Bill Humphries, Brad’s parents, the company achieved a reputation for being well run and respected in the northern Indiana area. In early September, Bill and Linda sold the business they had nurtured since 1972.

I was there handling the negotiations for the Humphries, and Brad was given the opportunity to stay onboard to help grow the business as its general manager. He accepted. 

Humphries is fortunate. The buyer of Indiana Security Systems is Per Mar Security Services, whose president, Mike Duffy, is acknowledged as one of the most competent and professional managers in the industry. When I asked Humphries how he felt about the sale of the family business he has known since birth, his response was surprising. “I am relieved that I am no longer responsible for the management and the future of a business that my parents and other family members were so involved with. It was a tremendous responsibility. Now I have the opportunity to really spread my wings with a company that can make sure that we have all of the human and financial resources we need to grow.”

Humphries, 35, is one of the bright, young executives in our industry. He has enrolled in the MBA program at Notre Dame to improve his management skills, attending evening and weekend courses. I want to share a few thoughts about why someone like Humphries would have such a feeling – i.e., being free to spread his wings – and what I find so enlightening about his thinking.

The Ties That Bind

When a family-owned business has one of its own kin as a manager, without question there is pressure to perform. When that pressure is alleviated a person’s performance almost automatically goes up. Oftentimes, the credit is given to the event rather than the individual. Frankly, even though there will be a number of changes in the way an alarm company is run, the essential business will go on in much the same way.

My guess is Humphries will continue to grow and take the kinds of chances that managers do in order to be successful. With guidance and direction from Per Mar, it’s a winning combination. With more than 2,300 accounts, Indiana Security is poised to become one of Per Mar’s more significant branches. 

For all of you who may be in circumstances similar to Humphries, keep this in mind: While changes are being implemented as a result of the transition, the real change is taking place in Humphries’ mind and heart. That’s something you can make happen right away. This ties in to my favorite phase in business: “In order to achieve success in any endeavor, you must have a willingness to fail!”

Indeed, that is the common denominator of success in managers today. They have no desire to do anything else but succeed; however, they are willing to fail in order to achieve success. I think it’s called removing self-imposed limitations.

Humphries is going to do extraordinarily well in his new role, and the community will be better served. And just think, it started with someone’s “willingness to fail.” Ask yourself if you are willing to fail in order to succeed. If so, you are one of life’s winners!

Ron Davis is President of Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group Inc., formerly Davis Marketing Group. Also known as The Graybeards, the company is active in acquisitions and mergers exclusively in the alarm business.


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About the Author


Ron Davis is the founder and president of Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group, Inc., a firm that specializes in acquisitions and mergers. He has more than 40 years of industry experience.

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