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A Message from Gardant’s CEO – February 2022

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From the Desk of the CEO 

Rod Burkett 

Not too long after writing last month’s article about the importance of maintaining optimism during challenging times, I read an article that offered a different slant on the optimism concept. 

This article featured a concept discussed in Jim Collin’s bestselling book, “Good to Great”, entitled the ‘Stockdale Paradox’. US Navy Admiral Jim Stockdale was the highest-ranking officer held captive during the Vietnam War. He was repeatedly tortured during his eight years in prison, and he had no idea of when this captive hardship would end. 

In the book Collins questions Stockdale as to how he was able to not only survive this elongated horrible ordeal, and even thrive after he returned to the States. Stockdale’s answer was straightforward. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.” “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.” 

Collins further asked Stockdale to elaborate on those who did not fare so well. It was the prisoners who were overly optimistic…those who counted on being set free by the next holiday…or the next holiday…or the next. Many of these perished due to the cumulative toll of such serial disappointments. 

Therefore, looking forward into the remainder of the year, none of us are assured as to where the COVID finish line will be. It is important to maintain a positive attitude, but not fall prey to blind optimism. Balance a strong faith that you will have the stamina to prevail in the end, with the reality of what is on your plate today and tomorrow. 

Wishing you Strength and Peace in 2022! 

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