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The Compromise Trap by Elizabeth Doty, Art Kleiner

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6See the Larger Field

In my early career, my nickname was ‘body bag,’” said Tom, the former division head of a global snack food company who now ran a small specialty food company. “I gave a speech one time about sending our competition home in body bags, so the nickname stuck. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and everything was competition to me. Sales was about ‘bringing home scalps.’ I could count it; I could understand it, and it was very simple. As long as we were selling more product every day, we were doing what we were supposed to do—so ‘don’t bother me or confuse me with the facts’ was my attitude.”

Tom grew up working for this company, following in his father’s and his uncle’s footsteps, working every job, from the factory line to ...

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