Please accept my gracious welcome to my first blog about my first book. While I won’t profess to be a literary expert, I do confess to being one who cares much about the events of September 11, 2001. My office was on the 77th floor of the South Tower. UNDAUNTED is the unique and true story about a company that was headquartered high in the South Tower—Baseline Financial Services.
The Infamous Day we must Never Forget
The horrors of that infamous day will be with us for a long time. In fact, I would argue they need to stay with us. Not for some moribund reason to keep us all depressed about what happened, but rather to live life in a way that honors those who fell that day. The numbers are staggering—2,977 innocent lives were lost in four grossly evil acts of mass murder. The perpetrators, nineteen operatives from the terrorist group Al Qaeda, engineered four unprecedented acts of deception in horrific concert. To date, the world has enacted far stricter flight regulations, building security is at an all-time high, and financial institutions are now required to collect voluminous amounts of data on customers. None of these precautionary measures save us time or provide extra convenience, but in this new world of ours they seem acceptable means of protecting people from new waves of physical harm and cyber-crime.
In addition to the evident changes in security measures around us each day, there have been several notable actions that show the world that the United States is not going to simply lie down and accept the incidents. First, at Ground Zero (the World Trade Center’s 16-acre site) an amazing, and heartfelt, Memorial and Museum now stand in tribute to those 2,977 souls as well as the six that lost their lives in the 1993 attack on the same structures. Second, on the same campus, a new World Trade Center tower (One World Trade Center) was opened in November of 2014. In a proud display of American resolve, the architects and developers ensured that the antenna tower above the structure would reach exactly 1,776 feet into the sky—an obvious connection to the date of American independence on July 4, 1776. Thirdly, the United States pursued the terrorist group, and other international harbingers of hate, to the far reaches of the globe. That persistent struggle continues today, although a measure of satisfaction was gained in 2011 when US forces stormed a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden.
The Baseline Story must be Told
While I have just shared a macro view of the global events surrounding 9/11, UNDAUNTED is not just another overview of the tragic day. It is more accurately described as the story of one group’s journey through that tragic day—before, during and after. The heroes that I witnessed at my company who had the courage and resolve to stand up, fight for their teammates’ survival, and then quickly attempt to raise a sunken ship was nothing short of amazing. Their actions were indeed “undaunted.” So, too, were the actions of Baseline’s founder who persevered for many years to create this successful enterprise. Rob Patterson did that by honing his product vision and creating a special corporate culture that, in my opinion, aided the heroic team-oriented response to the day and its aftermath. Here are some additionally descriptive words taken directly from the book’s Introduction:
“My objective is to show how elements of the human spirit can create a successful business, overcome near death certainty, transcend disaster, and bind a team together at a time of great crisis. I will share details about the courageous acts of colleagues, the dedication of first responders, and the emotional toll of losing friends. I will also recount the risk taking of an entrepreneur, the funding of his business, the honing of his vision, the management of accelerated growth, and the grit and determination of an entire firm to rebuild. Simply put, this story is about leadership and overcoming adversity.
Undaunted! intertwines the story of 9/11 with the story of Baseline and describes how its corporate culture helped influence its employees’ reaction to the events of the day and the months that followed. Leaders existed at all levels of the organization. Together, they refused to allow tremendous adversity to stand in their way.”
Given that we had lost four colleagues that day made their response all-the-more impressive. My associates balanced mourning with resolve. Of course, the challenges and opportunities of a business “pale in comparison to the loss of innocent life and the devastation at Ground Zero. However, from my perspective, both 9/11 and Baseline are indelibly linked. Forever.”
UNDAUNTED will be published by Koehler Books on September 11, 2021—the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. Pre-orders will be available. I will notify everyone via this website, and via email to those who have signed-up to join the UNDAUNTED community.