Friday, June 10, 2005

Climbing to Greatness with Jim Collins - continued

Another interesting point is that the term "stoic resolve" has been repeated few times in Collins' articles. Stoic resolve was used to explain the Stockdale Paradox, the resolve to never give up no matter how strong the opposition. Stockdale Paradox is named after Admiral Jim Stockdale who was the highest ranking US military officer imprisoned in Vietnam. He was held in the "Hanoi Hilton" and repeatedly tortured over 8 years. Apparently Collins lunched with Stockdale and tried to find out how he survived the 8 years of torture. Here's how Stockdale put it. "I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade." According to Stockdale there were the optimists who did not make it at the end, he said "The optimists. They were the ones who said 'we're going to be out by Christmas'. And, Christmas would come and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. Then they died of a broken heart." "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." That was why in Collins article he keeps repeating the concept of "Facing the Brutal Facts" and separate probability from consequences. James Stockdale may be himself is a supporter of Stoicism as his profiles and article can be found in Stoicvoice

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