The Stockbridge Paradox

Jim Collins in his epic book “good to great” describes a condition each successful leader needs. It’s called the Stockbridge paradox after an admiral Stockwell who was captured at war. Each day he had to reconcile thoughts of indefinite optimism that he would either be rescued or escape, while simultaneously understanding the brutal realities of the situation he was in.

A start up is like that. Day to day there are many things thrown at you which could erode your confidence to the point of doubting the original premise of the business. It’s up to you to understand the scope of the realities and change course as necessary to accommodate them. The one thing that cannot falter is the founders belief that the enterprise will work. If that falters, the shop is directionless and starts to drift off course. It’s a unique set of circumstances and takes some getting used to. I hope I’m strong enough to make it through this.

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