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The Compromise Trap by Elizabeth Doty
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The Compromise Trap

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The Compromise Trap by Elizabeth Doty
Paperback $17.95
Nov 02, 2009 | ISBN 9781576755761

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  • Nov 02, 2009 | ISBN 9781576755761

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“The Compromise Trap will confirm the experience of all who work in systems. It is insightful and well written and aims us in the right direction.”
—Peter Block, author of Stewardship and The Answer to How Is Yes

“Human nature has a strong compassionate, cooperative base that needs to be rediscovered. Elizabeth Doty’s systemic and realistic approach provides guidance on how we can make the world a better place for everyone, not just for ourselves.”
—Napier Collyns, cofounder, Global Business Network

“The Compromise Trap is thoughtful, pragmatic, and provocative and a pleasure to read.”
—Joseph L. Badaracco Jr., John Shad Professor of Business Ethics, Harvard Business School

“Elizabeth Doty has brought greater depth of understanding to one of the major dilemmas of organizational life: what causes people to do what they believe is not right? I hope this book encourages everyone to avoid the compromise trap and provides leaders with insight that will help them create healthy organizations where people and the business thrive.”
—Nancy Southern, Chair, Organizational Systems Program, Saybrook Graduate School

“The Compromise Trap clearly and directly addresses an essential principle for navigating toward a more sustainable economy—acting from the center. Without acting from what is true for each of us, our collective actions may not realize our intentions, which is a great risk indeed.”
—Stacey Smith, Managing Director, Advisory Services, BSR

“An engaging and easy-to-understand analysis of the traps we weave at work and, frankly, in our daily lives. This book is relevant to anyone looking to ‘redefine the game.’ With the ethics breakdowns in business over the past decade, it is a must-read for every business school student and businessperson up to and including the C-suite and the board.”
—Steven F. McCann, retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Longs Drugs Stores

“The Compromise Trap reveals the pandemic of incremental soul- selling in the workplace, as people compromise bit by bit until one day they wake up in disbelief at the full cost. Read this book and liberate yourself and your colleagues from the indentured spiritual servitude that sometimes seems required to earn a living. A how-to on the emancipation of the soul at work.”
—John Renesch, businessman-turned-futurist, senior executive adviser, and author of Getting to the Better Future

“I agree with Doty: you cannot outsource your integrity to your leader. The Compromise Trap is an important book, not only for our corporate lives, but also for our health and wholeness as a society.”
—Roger Saillant, former senior executive, Ford Motor Company

“Elizabeth Doty has touched on one of the often-secret dilemmas of organizational life: how to stay true to your deeper ‘knowing’ as you navigate the delicate terrain of organizational politics, ethical forks in the road, personal well-being, and competing loyalties. Her pioneering illumination of practical steps we can take, both individually and collectively, to embrace the higher possibilities inherent in even the most difficult situations is a great contribution to organizational leaders and members everywhere. Brava!”
—Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, cofounders, The World Café, and coauthors of The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

“Stephen Covey once told me, ‘Integrity is the value you place on your relationship with yourself.’ The Compromise Trap addresses how to deal with the small temptations that chip away at that value and shows us how to protect the integrity and purpose in our lives. The Compromise Trap is absorbing and entertaining, but, most important, it’s a book
for our times.”
—Mike Harvey, Change Facilitator, Dow Chemical Company

“Doty explores the tangles of thought, feeling, loyalty, and pain that we all carry in our hearts. How do I rationalize my values with those of my organization? What do I do when they are in conflict? Can I fully participate in the moves of the organization while still honoring my deepest values? This book offers us a way to think about that trap and six valuable tools for setting our own path, shedding light on a powerful hidden force that slows much of our individual and shared success.”
—Herb Wimmer, retired Facility Manager, Chevron Corporation

Table Of Contents

1. The Compromise Trap
Healthy and Unhealthy Compromise
Healthy and Unhealthy Pressure
Which Game Shall I Play?
The Compromise Trap
Playing a Bigger Game
Personal Foundations
Thriving at Work without Selling Your Soul
2. A Devil’s Bargain by Degrees
An Appreciative Inquiry into the “Dark Side” of Work
General Pressure to Conform
Routine Pressure to Compromise
Making a Deal with the Devil
How Does Playing a Smaller Game Become the Compromise Trap?
How Do You Know If You’re in the Compromise Trap?
Freeing Yourself
3. Ten Misconceptions about Compromise at Work
Misconception 1: Compromise Is Always Healthy
Misconception 2: Good Companies Don’t Create Unhealthy Pressure
Misconception 3: Unhealthy Pressure Is the Leader’s Fault
Misconception 4: You Have to Go Along to Survive
Misconception 5: You’ll Always Know If You’re Crossing a Line
Misconception 6: The Company Sets the Terms
Misconception 7: You Should Just Say No
Misconception 8: Refusing to Compromise Means Fighting Back
Misconception 9: You Thrive When You Get to the Top
Misconception 10: Individual Integrity Adds Up to Organizational Integrity
4. How Do I Play a Bigger Game?
Welcome to the Parallel Universe
What It Means to Play a Bigger Game
Becoming Bigger
Creating Room for Your Bigger Game
Bigger Questions
Do I Have to Leave to Play a Bigger Game?
5. Connect to Your Strengths
What It Means to Connect to Your Strengths
Connecting to Your Strengths in the Moment
Connecting to Your Strength over Time
Where to Go from Here
6. See the Whole Playing Field
What It Means to See the Whole Playing Field
Seeing the Whole Playing Field in the Moment
Seeing the Whole Playing Field over Time
Where to Go from Here
7. Define a Worthy Enough Win
What It Means to Define a Worthy Enough Win
Defining a Worthy Enough Win in the Moment
Defining a Worthy Enough Win over Time
Where to Go from Here
8. Find Your Allies
What It Means to Find Your Allies
Finding Your Allies in the Moment
Finding Your Allies over Time
Where to Go from Here
9. Make Positive Plays
What It Means to Make Positive Plays
The Five Positive Plays
Putting the Five Positive Plays into Action
Where to Go from Here
10. Keep Your Own Score
What It Means to Keep Your Own Score
Keeping Your Own Score in the Moment
Keeping Your Own Score over Time
Where to Go from Here
11. Thriving at Work
The Heart of the Choice
What It Would Mean to Thrive at Work
It Begins with a Decision
12. The Bigger Bigger Game
Larger Forces at Work
Moving toward Organizational Integrity
Let’s Make This Real
More about the Interviews
Individual and Small-group Activities
Activity 1: Finding the Strengths in Your Story
Activity 2: Bigger Game Opportunity Map
Activity 3: Discovering Your Personal Bigger Game
Activity 4: Circle of Allies Conversation Guide
Activity 5: Bigger Game Action Planning
Activity 6: Bigger Game Goal Review
Online Resources
About the Author

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