Summary of The Compromise Trap

How to Thrive at Work Without Selling Your Soul (Bk Business)

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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The Compromise Trap book summary
You don’t need to sell out to excel at work. Find out how.


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How do good people lose their moral compass? Elizabeth Doty interviewed business professionals and drew on her own experiences as a corporate consultant to find out. She concluded that some people fall into the “compromise trap,” yielding to unhealthy pressure exerted at even the best companies. Doty explains that you must develop personal resources that allow you to stay true to your values. She recommends finding a higher purpose, a beacon, to steer you away from making decisions that conflict with your beliefs. Doty’s “key concepts” and “individual and group activities” provide practical exercises for integrating her theories into your day-to-day behavior. getAbstract recommends this book if you’re feeling compromised, wrestling with a moral dilemma or seeking expertise in business ethics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How people fall into the “compromise trap” at work and sacrifice their principles,
  • How to “redefine the game” to align your actions with your values, and
  • How to draw on six “personal foundations” to help you resist unhealthy pressure and stay true to your belief system.


The Nature of Compromise
“The compromise trap is the gradual erosion of vitality, passion and confidence that occurs when you deal with unhealthy pressure by playing along...and compromising in unhealthy ways.” When you play this game, you may make what you believe are minor concessions...
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About the Author

Elizabeth Doty is the founder of WorkLore, a coaching and leadership development consultancy which specializes in helping leaders increase engagement, alignment and integrity by keeping their commitments real.

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