I remember the first time I came across the Stockdale Paradox. Kovid had just forced our offices to be completely closed. Blame the absence of a commute, or the fact that a large percentage of our customers had run away or fired themselves, but I was finding myself with too much time on my hands. I staged through Jim Collins’s book Best great, And there it was, in all its splendor, the only lesson I would need to get my business past a world epidemic. Little did I know that this was just the tip of the iceberg, I would need to bring a social awakening to my country, before an old election and a million other things that threatened the survival of my agency.
Admiral Jim Stockdale, the highest-ranking military officer at the Hanoi Hilton, was a prisoner of war for seven years. After being asked by the book’s author who set him apart from his prisoner-of-war companions, who were not spared the conditions of severe torture and living, he said: “Despite all those circumstances, I Never move your back. I am confident that not only will I prevail – get out of this – but I will also prevail by turning it into a decisive event of my life that will make me a stronger and better person. ”
Stockdale’s quote touched a cord at the onset of the epidemic and floated in my consciousness after a heap of other global and national events. As the year ends, it holds more importance than ever. As 2020 progressed, our country started grappling with difficult issues like race and politics. Each entrepreneur was bombarded with conflicting messages during the effort: “reaching potential customers; They want to hear from you. “” Don’t reach out to sell your services; It is in poor taste during the try. “” Make connections online to redeem individual events. ” “There is good fatigue and you will work hard to make a good meeting.”
During these events, we did not know which route was left. It was also difficult to implement forward-looking strategies that would adapt to the rapidly changing landscape. Enter the Stockdale Paradox.
This easy-to-reference text holds a global truth that can be redefined as a step to success during trying times: When things seem impossible, never doubt you will win . “You must never, ever, ever be confused, on the one hand, there is a need for complete faith, which you can prevail against those obstacles, on the other hand, there is a need to initiate discipline by facing cruel facts, Whatever they are, “relates Collins as Stockdale.
To put the Stockdale Paradox into action for your particular business, grab your favorite writing pot. Do not allow less than 30 minutes for this exercise. At the top of your page, state what your situation looks like when you prevail. Remember, the key belief here is that you will win. Try to be as short as possible, but don’t go over the details, a short paragraph will suffice.
When you want to find yourself in that situation after the chaos, create a column below that description. Column headers should list cruel facts about your current situation. Do not soften the photo. The more clear your column headings are, the more likely you are to create action steps that clearly create a path forward. After you dump all the negatives at the top of those columns, create short and simple bullet points that help to overcome the chip in solving each problem.
I am not asking you to figure out a formula to solve your biggest headache, but simply include pills that will help you get one leg in front of the other. For example, if wayward finances are a concern, do not give below how you will resolve in full. Instead, include some pills on resources that can help educate yourself financially. You may also want to include lists that have skills in your network that can help you in that area. You want to make a bullet that asks you to call an old friend who now works in finance or an uncle who is a retired CFO. As you go about your day, try to pass as many pills as possible. Do not stress about achieving it in 24 hours; take your time.
After placing one leg in front of the other after one week and passing each small pill, repeat the same exercises from square one. Do not be quick to rewrite your claim at the top of your new page for the week. You need to see it, write it down, repeat it, and finally believe it to be true. The exercise of confronting the brutal facts but having a positive outlook in that realm of reality has to go a long way. Many businesses have died by 2020, and many more will continue to operate as the year progresses. You do not have to be one of them. The Stockdale Paradox will take you the other way, but only if, like Admiral Jim Stockdale, your conviction is firm.