✨“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou
A number of people have expressed curiosity as to why I chose to record the events related in The Intrepid Brotherhood and to make them available for general consumption. Some have speculated that I wrote the memoir for me, sort of the “get it off your chest” scenario. Some suspected that I imagined I would realize significant financial gain. Others have wondered if it wasn’t simply motivated by a desire for revenge. You can well imagine that I wrestled with all of those questions as I got closer to making the decision to embark on that project.
One of the first things you learn if you intend to write a memoir, or any non-fiction auto-biographical work, is that the product may be “about” you, but it is not “for” you. You are writing for an audience. To enlighten, educate, entertain, or motivate a certain portion of the population. If your only impetus for writing is to achieve “closure” for yourself you may want to reconsider whether something like a book is the proper avenue for that.
Another lesson learned very early on in this field is that very few self-published authors ever recover their investment or realize any net profit. Once a fledgling author has realized that very few manuscripts get picked by major publishers, and that writing, editing, self-publishing and marketing costs a lot of money, the decision to continue basically comes down to “how much do you want to pour down this rabbit hole” …… and for how long?
The analysis regarding the revenge motivation was pretty easy for me. I intentionally waited to write this story until I was fairly sure that anything that could be perceived as negative would not significantly damage the careers of those I mentioned. The events related in book represent lessons that can be learned and, used in conjunction with the podcasts that I have participated in and this blog series, there are plenty of references to material to help organizations and individuals avoid the same circumstances.
Still, I suppose, the question remains: why did I write this book? The lead-in quote from Maya Angelou above provides a partial answer. These events had never been accurately or completely portrayed. Participants and observants had different and incomplete memories of what transpired, alternate narratives if you will. No one had invested the time and effort to glean the truth from the vast store of records that had been compiled on these events. That was the “untold story”.
In the same vein, a famous quote from an unknown source says “when you write the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen”. Or, put differently, “don’t let anyone else write your history for you”. The Intrepid Brotherhood accurately conveys what actually transpired and who was involved, down to the “Colonel Mustard with the Candlestick in the Conservatory” level.
Perhaps the most noble motivation was to encourage people to seek knowledge. My belief is that anyone reading my book should come away wanting to know more. They should be asking: who are these toxic leaders; what are their recognizable behavior characteristics; how can we keep them away from power; and why organizations keep putting them in positions where they can destroy people and institutions”?
That is “why”.