AND at the same time
Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
The Stockdale Paradox really defines the optimism that is most important in becoming a resilient person and that is, when you’re faced with a challenge or a trauma, you look at that challenge objectively. You might make the assessment, ‘I’m in really big trouble.’ You have a realistic assessment of what you’re facing. On the other hand, you have the attitude and the confidence to say, ‘But I will prevail. I’m in a tough spot, but I will prevail.’ That is the optimism that relates to resilience.
The key elements of greatness is deceptively simple and straightforward. Great leaders are able to strip away so much noise and clutter of information and just focus on the few things that would have the greatest impact. Such leaders are able to do so in large part because they operated in both sides of the Stockdale Paradox.
The moment a leader allows himself to become the primary reality, rather than reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocrity, or worse.
This is one of the key reasons why less charismatic leaders often produce better long-term results than their more charismatic counterparts.
Indeed, for those of you with a strong, charismatic personality, it is worthwhile to consider the idea that charisma can be as much a liability as an asset. Your strength of personality can sow the seeds of problems, when people filter the brutal facts from you.
You can overcome the liabilities of having charisma, but it does require conscious attention.