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The Compromise Trap by Elizabeth Doty, Art Kleiner

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7Define a Worthy Enough Win

I thought I was being petty and territorial,” said the technical program manager for a large government technology project. “They kept cutting my budget, and I found myself in argument after argument. I wasn’t absolutely sure why I was making such a fuss, but some part of me just wouldn’t let it go. It bugged me that they kept cutting systems without a detailed review. Yet my ‘no’ had come across more as resistance than as a truly effective limit.” The manager paused for a moment and looked around. He was standing in a large ballroom filled with other workshop participants: managers, executives, and professionals who shared his challenge with saying no. “But now I get it,” he continued. “Though I didn’t realize it ...

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