I was saddened to hear this morning of the death of James Stockdale (bio here). While most news reports of his death tended to focus on his place on Ross Perot's ticket in 1992, he has a more substantive role.
Author Jim Collins captured this viewpoint, coming to call it The Stockdale Paradox. In short Admiral Stockdale discovered during seven years of torture and solitary confinement as a POW in North Vietnam that those who persevere never fail to confront the brutal facts of their situation, yet also never waver in their confidence that they will prevail. Truly a paradox. Yet one that leaders work through.
Most of us will never face this type of danger. But the Stockdale Paradox remains very vivid and useful.
I hope this is helpful. And thanks, Admiral Stockdale, for your service and your leadership.