There was an intense scene in the movie “The Edge”, starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, where the two of them have no choice other than to confront a 700 lb Grizzly bear. Their situation is dire. Apparently, once a bear becomes a man eater, always a man eater. There is a point of reckoning when Hopkins tells Baldwin about how 11-year African boys kill lions with spears. They also happen to have a dated picture of an American Indian taking on a bear with a spear. In the scene, Hopkins tells Baldwin to repeat his words of, “We are going to kill the bear.” He does this over and over. Then he has him repeat, “What one man can do another can do.”
That scene was arguably the most powerful scene in the movie. It was a combination of great writing and great acting. Such that, I’ve always remembered it, and have since come up with a modified and more broadly applicable version of that line as a mantra. In our twenty-two years as Globalstar, we have run into a litany of situations that seemed insurmountable at the time, but we found a way to forge ahead and ultimately persevere. I vividly remember team members reminding one another that if another person, group, or company could do something, then so could we.
In the movie "The Edge", Hopkins plays a billionaire who was super knowledgeable, and an avid reader. People in the movie catered to him because of his wealth, but he didn’t seem all that comfortable with it. Actually, he appeared to question their motives. What’s interesting is that the majority of people would probably think that a billionaire is pampered and used to getting their way. That idea held an underlying message earlier in the movie, but as things became hauntingly hopeless, Hopkin’s character was able to rise to the occasion because he never lost his optimism.
There is a reason why people are highly successful and it’s not because they give up easily. The great philosopher, historian, and psychologist, William James said, “Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” Whenever things appeared less than desirable along the way at Globalstar, we never lost our optimism, because we were emboldened around the idea that we could overcome any situation, no matter how difficult.