Jason was the very first person I had the opportunity to coach and support when I first opened the doors of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center in the late summer of 2010 on Broadway in Nashville. I'll always remember that first "pitch" he made - and what I saw in his eyes that was pouring from his heart - the passion to make a difference.
Jason and I began with his idea - and I had the opportunity to help him refine his message, craft his business model, and raise his first capital to turn his PowerPoint and vision into a business. Jason, Brian and their team have defied the odds - building a very successful data company here in Nashville serving such industry giants as HCA. It was a beautiful moment tonight - to reflect on their journey, Jason's leadership, and this incredible team.
In any business environment, an idea isn’t worth much - unless you do something with it. This “do something” is all about how we choose to put an idea into practice (how we execute). It involves the moving from the abstract to the real. The pathway is never a straight line - it is a set of twists and turns, barriers that must be overcome, challenges to be faced, and real problem solving of the unexpected. It’s a difficult journey. And to lead such an endeavor is not for everyone. It's filled with ambiguity and uncertainty. It requires an extraordinarily rare leadership trait. This unique trait, the ability to make things happen, to execute through adversity, is the essence of transformative leaders - and it’s called GRIT.
So as I reflect on this journey with Jason - I raise my glass to toast a Jason, Brian and their entire team. Here's to Vision. Here's to Passion. Here's to Perseverance. Here's to Grit!
Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.
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