A conversation with Morgan Hertel, hosted by TMA NextGen Co-Chairs Ryan Brady, TRG Associates, and Jessica Lambert, General Monitoring Services, on  October 12, 2021

Brought to you by TMA’s NextGen, we are pleased to introduce our second episode or our exciting virtual meeting series – Meet Your Mentor. Each broadcast will welcome a respected TMA leader in an informal, interview-style format that invites attendees to ask questions and share comments.

Invest in yourself.

As he was poised on the threshold of assuming the presidency of TMA, Morgan Hertel, who currently holds the position of Vice President of Technology and Innovation for Rapid Response Monitoring, graciously shared with NextGen chairs his insights into the people and experiences that shaped his career path, as well as his aspirations for his two-year term.

During Episode 4 of TMA’s Meet your Mentor interview series, like previous guests, Hertel is quick to acknowledge the inherent goodness of the professionals who work and lead within the security and monitoring business sector—many of whom he is humbled and proud to call close friends.

When reflecting on the course of his own career in the industry, Hertel calls attention to the investments he made as a young professional that enabled him to advance. “You have to take time to go out and network. Take courses. Gain an understanding of others’ problems,” he says. He proposes those entering the industry should actively engage in online professional communities and read trade publications. “I used my vacation and my own funds to attend industry trade shows,” he shared.

Hertel follows-up his investment tips by stating, “If you are successful, make a difference.” Herein lies a core belief that drives just about every single one of Hertel’s thoughts and actions. He gives back to the industry he loves consistently and intentionally and encourages others to do the same. He notes the return-on-investment is well worth it, “The dividends are 10-fold.”

It won’t come as a surprise that Hertel is the epitome of a servant leader. According to a 2018 article on the subject published by Security Management Magazine, its editor Mark Tarallo writes, “Servant leaders are a revolutionary bunch—they take the traditional power leadership model and turn it completely upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people—or employees, in a business context—at the very top and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving the employees above them. And that’s just the way servant leaders like it.”

His leadership philosophy was formed in his early childhood as he witnessed his mother’s unique management style. “Her job was to help others reach their pinnacle and to encourage others successful before her own,” explained Hertel. He learned that micro-management wasn’t a very positive course and that raising one’s voice wasn’t going to bring about the desired outcome. “You can step on people’s toes without ruining the shine on their shoes,” Hertel recalled his mother saying.

Today, Hertel commutes about 35 feet to his desk that sits within his home that is nestled in the majestic hills of Tennessee. Prior to Covid, he routinely spent 50% of his time traveling to meet face-to-face with clients and partners. Recognizing that the industry is based on relationships, he looks forward to when it will be safe to travel again.

While he feels disconnected to a degree from his network, Hertel believes that Covid has, surprisingly, brought managers and employees closer together. “Senior management had to spend more time with staff. Seeing faces via Teams has dramatically changed relationships.” When it comes to a work/life balance, Hertel says professionals need to be intentional. He encourages hobbies outside of the business. He himself enjoys taking four-day weekend getaways. “Ours is a 24-hour business. Everyone is different. Everyone needs to find that balance.”

Looking to the future of TMA, Hertel is questioning the organization’s future growth. How do we grow? What does TMA need to be in the future? Questions like these are being asked of TMA leaders and members in small focus groups as part of a Long Range Planning exercise that commenced in early 2021 under Hertel’s guidance. “TMA needs to change. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. I am confident we will be successful,” stated Hertel.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be part of an industry that’s really about helping others,” expressed Hertel. “The changes in our world over the last 18 months have shown us how fragile life can be. Enjoy life!”

The next episode of Meet Your Mentor will take place in January 2022 where the NextGen committee will interview Shannon Woodman, more information to come.

To view recordings and register for an upcoming episode, learn more about this group, or to join TMA NextGen visit us online.

Interested in sponsoring Meet Your Mentor? Contact Illeny Maaza, 703-660-4918 or membership@tma.us.