What's in a Name?
The story behind "Graywolf" in Graywolf Productivity Solutions
Wolves get a bad rap. I mean, really ... every image you see portrayed in the movies, books, cartoons, you name it ... wolves are generally characterized in a very bad light. Blood thirsty, lurking, calculating, aggressively and unrelentingly hunting, scavengers, cold-blooded wildlife predators. Just the epitomy of carnivorous behavior. Am I right?
When I started my business and came to the point of choosing a name, without hesitation my immediate thought was to include the word "Graywolf." You might be thinking to yourself right now, "Did it cross your mind what that might connote to your potential customers, given the stereotypical images most people have of wolves?" The answer is yes, it did. But, cultural perceptions not withstanding, I went with it ... unabashedly and proud to do so. Let me explain.
My ancestory includes a variety of nationalities and colors. Native American, African-American, Euro-American (English and French), and traces of a few others ... I often refer to myself as a "rainbow man" because of that fact. But, the most signficant portion of my cultural heritage is that of my Native American roots. Specifically, the lineage of my Dad's side that traces through a small southern Rhode Island tribe called the Narragansetts ("people by the sea"). Though small in number today, these tall and resourceful warriors played a signficant role in days gone by, both among the community of tribes in the area and during this country's colonization period of what is now known as the New England region.
I spent many a summer as a young boy and teenager with my paternal grandparents, Harold S. Mars Sr. and Laura Fry Mars (both having passed on). My grandfather was the "Chief Satchem" of the tribe, a spiritual leader actively involved in tribal leadership and a "storyteller" - one in whom tribal traditions and folklore would be passed on verbally to the next generation ... including a young wide-eyed and willing receptacle named Harold S. Mars III.
Part of Narragansett family tradition, as with many Native American tribes, is to give names to young off-spring through a traditional naming ceremony. My grandfather honored me with that ceremony at one of our annual "August Meetings" ("Schemitzun" in the Algonquin language, or the probably more familiar term of "Powwow" to the general American culture) when I was 8 or 9 years of age. The name he gave to me on that memorable day before a full tribal gathering was Graywolf (Mingan, or Ma-hei-gan, in the Algonquin language), a particular species of a very large taxonomic class. "Why Graywolf?" you surely are asking (you are, aren't you?).
Well, in Native American folklore, the wolf is a very venerated creature ... not at all looked at from the vantage point of the characteristics I recounted in the opening above (though there are "fear" elements in some tribes). Though the folklore attributes and nuances can vary widely among tribes, common threads as it relates to the wolf are a veneration for its strength, cunning, bravery and collaborrative prowess. The wolf, and particularly the graywolf, signifies endurance in the face of difficulty and seemingly insurmountable odds, and a powerful instinct linked with an almost human intelligence. They are seen as fierce protectors and ferocious warriors, yet tender and caring to those in its familial and extended circle (or "pack", its socializing context). As a "power animal" (the spirit or essence within the actual animal), wolves are seen as carrying intrinsic beauty, solitude, and self-confidence, with the ability to keep its composure in a variety of socializing situations and blend in with with ease and grace.
Not a bad list of qualities, huh? Though not explicitedly expressed to an adoring and awestruck youngster (I certainly venerated and looked up to my Grandfather ... I miss his wisdom and guidance to this day!), I like to think that "Gramps" had many of these attributes in mind as he laid hands on me, bestowed my name, and pronounced his blessings. I'll never forget his enduring gift to me that day, and the character and qualities of the man who passed it on. And I like to think that those positive attributes inherent in the graywolf have bourne themselves out in who I am today ... and I hope Gramps looks down with a smile.
That's why I proudly include my native heritage name in Graywolf Productivity Solutions, LLC. With every client served and with every interaction, the qualities and characteristics of the graywolf are put to play for you ...
- Confident and competent strength of knowledge in empowering your small to mid-size business with the best of productivity tools and methods that enable you to do what you do best.
- Engaging and collaborative prowess to work with you and your team at any and all levels, and in any business environment, to assist in making the advantageous transformation to more effective and productive workflows, processes and business intelligence.
- Fiercely protecting your ability to experience maximum productive efficiency, and ferociously on the offensive to get you to where you want to be ... a better business and a better life.
So ... I hope you have a better appreciation of the name within the name, Graywolf Productivity Solutions. Come run with us ... I'm confident you'll be glad you did.