Welcome to the Wednesday Perspective for 13 January 2021!

Does the name James Stockdale sound familiar?

Well, his experience is responsible for a mindset that you might find useful.

Stockdale was a US Navy Admiral who spent over seven years in the Hanoi Hilton, a prisoner-of-war camp during the Vietnam War. He had command responsibility for all prisoners over a period that at the time must have seemed never-ending. 

One day, author Jim Collins asked how Stockdale had survived the ordeal.

Stockdale: I never wavered in my faith that I would not only get out but also turn it into the defining event of my life that in retrospect, I would not trade. 

Collins: Who did not make it out as strong as you? 

Stockdale: Oh, that’s easy, the optimists, the ones who said we would always be out by Christmas. And one Christmas would come and go, time and time again. They suffered of a broken heart.  

The lesson that became known as the Stockdale Paradox is that you need unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end. And at the same time, you need the disciple to confront the brutal facts, as they are today.

We all face difficulties in building businesses, supporting family and just trying to work life out. Today it might seem challenging and overwhelming, even insurmountable. 

The Stockdale Paradox is not only grounded, but it is also hopeful.

You can put this into practice by having conversations with your team, partner and family about the brutal facts of today all while reminding yourself that you will prevail. 

Because you will. I believe you will and I suspect a great many others do too.

Until next time,


PS – Did this help? Send me an email to let me know, I’m keen to encourage you on your journey.

Join Me

Join Me

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in my email newsletter. Each week, I share one powerful question or idea to help you keep moving forward. Think of this as your one-stop-shop for encouragement and accountability mixed with business school. Over 20,000 people benefit from this email. Enter your email now and join us.