Mar 24, 2022 | 2 min read

Embracing Failure and Authenticity with Kayne Grau

By: Patrick Emmons

Embracing Failure and Authenticity with Kayne Grau

How do we learn from our failures? Kayne Grau, CEO of Uptake, reflects on the highs and lows of his career in this week’s episode dealing with authenticity, leadership, and staying open-minded in your career path. He shares advice to his younger self about finding balance and embracing the lessons that emerge in difficult moments.

Before joining Uptake, Kayne had a long career building brands and growing companies. He’s a self-described “product guy”, who relishes opportunities to engage with the people side of business, whether that is by getting face time with customers or picking up the phone each day to connect with team members. Listen in as Kayne joins Pat and Shelli to explore cultivating employee culture in a remote world and the idea that there is no set approach to being visionary.

  • (1:17) Providing critical data with Uptake
  • (4:27) “Crash-course MBA”
  • (6:30) Advice to your early-career self
  • (8:34) Learning through failure
  • (11:20) Accelerated learning
  • (13:29) Being an authentic leader
  • (18:42) Leadership in remote environments
  • (20:30) Keeping employees engaged
  • (22:26) What makes a great visionary?
  • (28:09) No right or wrong path
  • (30:30) Staying open-minded
  • (31:34) Appreciating other roles

About Our Guest

Kayne Grau is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Director at Uptake, the leader in industrial intelligence software-as-a-service. Before Uptake, Kayne held various senior executive positions at KAR Global, DRIVIN (co-founder and CEO, acquired by KAR Global in 2017), Music Dealers,,, and Allstate. Kayne also sits on various advisory boards, mentors local startups, and invests in technology-based companies in Chicago and Dallas.

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.

Recent Episodes

We interview leaders from early-stage start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises who distill their lessons from their victories and their failures. Learn how these high-performing leaders organize their teams, establish a growth-minded culture, and leverage new technologies such as DevOps and Cloud.