The Stockdale Paradox

If you spend any time with me, you’ll hear me cite Jim Collins. Whether it’s the Hedgehog Concept or rinsing cottage cheese, his works are a huge inspiration for me, both in strategy and in creative leadership.

But chief among the concepts he brings to light is the idea of the Stockdale Paradox. If you know it, skip the rest of this paragraph. If not, it stems from an insight articulated by Admiral James Stockdale, the highest ranking American officer who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.