Fisherwick-ism #2: The Power of Compromise

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I took this photo of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in the Summer of 2014.

Happy to have some ‘found time’ to post – sitting in Ottawa airport after a productive part-day of meetings here, and now en route to Vancouver for a short sub 40-hour business trip there.

I’ve been thinking of this quote a bunch lately – and not just because our family is catching up on episodes of “The Voice”, where Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) is a judge.

I had a conversation with a friend/colleague today where we talked about the ‘judgement culture’ we seem to live and breathe these days.  The one ably aided-and-abetted by social media where the speed of your pronouncements is a (somewhat perverse) measure of success.

It’s a very male thing — or at least, in the gender-stereotypical vernacular, it is held out to be — to have a need to “be right”.  Being a man, I can attest that the facts weigh heavily in favour of the prosecution on this – a summary judgement wouldn’t be out of the question; we men have a hard time admitting being ‘wrong’.

But it’s not only a guy thing; it’s an all-of-us-kind-of-thing.

The idea that giving in, reducing our take, giving over to the ‘other’ in any given discussion, or relationship, is somehow a sign of weakness is a pretty tough test for anyone to measure up to.

Having standards that high leads to inevitable feelings of embarrassment and shame.  And, as Brene Brown would remind us, that keeps us from living a full and open life – and experiencing Joy.

I worked in and around politics for a long time – a decade and a half.  Too often I saw, lived, embodied and gave life to the stereotypes about why compromise is ‘weak’; why it’s a bad thing, and why we should judge those who do it; those who refuse to hold firm, and give no quarter.

The more distance I get on that phase of my life, the more I confirm my belief in how we have the wrong frame on success, the wrong frame on what authentic leadership is (and can be) and the wrong frame on what comes from creating — rather than claiming — value.

So – yeah, compromise.  The world could use a little more of it, wouldn’t you say…?