What is “Stockdale Paradox”?

James Bond Stockdale was a United States Navy vice admiral and aviator awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, during which he was a prisoner of war for over seven years. Commander Stockdale was the most senior naval officer held captive in Hanoi, North Vietnam.

His sheer ability to survive during tough times and come out triumphant has inspired Jim Collins to make a mention about “The Stockdale Paradox” in his book Good To Great.

The Stockdale Paradox is stated as follows:

“Retain faith that you will prevail in the end , regardless of the difficulties


At the same time confront the most brutal facts of your CURRENT REALITY , whatever they might be.

A great organization powered by a Level 5 leader never loses hope during tough times.They know that these are part & parcel of the infinite game of business and face the brutal facts of reality to rejig and come back stronger.

This paradox is not only inspirational and applicable for organizations as well as individuals.