The Stockdale Paradox: Embrace the Future and Confront the Reality

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In “Good to Great” Jim Collins identified what he called “Level 5” leadership,  a combination of humility and fierce resolve,  as a required and defining trait of those who built great, enduring companies.

One example he shared was the of Admiral William Stockdale, the highest-ranking POW during the Vietnam conflict and how his leadership in an utterly uncertain situation required balancing the tension between the duality of  faith and brutal facts known as the “Stockdale Paradox.”

To help leaders cope with the impact of COVID-19, Mr. Collins recently released a 7-minute video that explores “the Stockdale Paradox,”  which is relevant in the current context.    I hope you will take time for this before starting your week and share it with the other leaders in your organization.

This challenge will pass, and we will come out on the other side.  We also have to confront the current reality and do everything possible to save our companies.

Ask yourself…Am I a Leader?


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