Attached (here) is an essay written by VADM Jim Stockdale USN (ret) from his book “Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot” in which he shares the five qualities he believes are essential in leaders during turbulent and difficult times. Now, I understand there are a lot of leadership books out there, but VADM Stockdale’s views are particularly compelling because they were shaped by the seven years of “death and hopelessness” he endured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. His story is one of great struggle and determination to lead and guide his fellow prisoners (he was the senior officer) under the most challenging conditions imaginable and stand by his convictions (he would rather die than submit) during the most perilous of times (read his bio here).
I want to share this essay with you because I believe (as I’ve said here many times) that the times are indeed changing and VADM Stockdale’s message concerning the essentials of leadership is just as relevant and important today as when he wrote it for us in 1985.
All the best, JCHjr