This blog opens a series pulling from my storytelling roots. In the months to come, I will share a run of conversations with indomitable spirits blended with stories from the yesteryear schooling us in leadership, innovation, and doggedness. Dive face-first with me into an examination of revered traits with the series: GRIT. Grime. Guts.

Let’s dissect safe, popular and obvious choices, limp-wristed leadership and a growing vortex that sucks creativity and rugged individualism into the abyss of ordinariness. Those won’t be the narratives we applaud.

As we see the world celebrating those who spin a good angle, raise a gazillion dollars and produce sound bites in the stead of change, we will take the opposing path. Let others revel in those who create headlines. We will hail quality, impact, and change.

“GRIT. Grime. Guts.” celebrates doers, those not afraid to fail and believe. We will tell the stories of scrappers and the GRIT that drives them. Win, lose or push, we will tell tales of authentic everyday protagonists and you just might learn a little about what inspires GRIDSMART along the way.

I believe entrepreneurs and leaders are created inside out. If you require validation from others or work to promote your success instead of something bigger, those aren’t the traits that define greatness. Nobody ever had to tell Teddy Roosevelt he was good enough.

Harvard Business School created a 12-word definition of entrepreneurs. HBS says “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” “Corporate Bill” says that entrepreneurs are self-sufficient, comfortable with risk-taking, recognize opportunity, and are self-motivated.

I own a lot of labels, many not proper for print. A tag that I embrace is BlueTech. Being blessed to start and sell a handful of technology companies, but still firm in Detroit gruff, some defined this as BlueTech. I like that one. BlueTech Bill (the dark cousin of Corporate Bill) says entrepreneurs eat what they kill, risk failing epically to succeed gloriously, see what you don’t and dig deep for the GRIT to take it, mark it and own it.

Corporate Bill says leaders inspire, effectively manage, and focus people and resources around them. I know, yawn. BlueTech Bill might say that leaders make you go where you think you can’t and do what you thought (past tense) you would never. Entrepreneurs build the ship, leaders captain it. Those with GRIT sail right past the unremarkable………..

Mashup leadership with entrepreneurs and get transformational entrepreneurs. Those who change the world, even if the soundless submissive don’t understand it and can never appreciate it.

The common denominator in creating a transformational entrepreneur is GRIT. Grime. Guts. GRIT is courage, resolve, strength of character. Grime is the detail and sacrifice rolled into one to achieve the improbable, if not the impossible. Guts deliver from Grime to Glory (someone’s unrecognized glory) through GRIT.

I hope you elect to take this walk with me and be inspired. If not, it is all right, I have never feared going at it alone. Either way, God is with us all.




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