Compromise can be such a dirty word, among purists, in particular. Aside from being the chronic condition of politicians and bureaucrats, compromise smacks of mediocrity, being average, selecting the middle road. The word, as a verb, gets even worse. Think of when your privacy or security has been compromised.

And, yet, the word has an honorable past and intention: to promise together.

When is compromise a good thing?

give take compromise

There are plenty of times when compromise is needed, especially when it comes to gaining agreement. It is the condition necessary to work in a diverse environment, where people come with differing beliefs and perspectives. In modern times, the word is more associated with the settlement “contract” made as opposed to the act of coming together.

Going even further, I thought of a few other ways that compromise is a good — if not necessary — component of success in today’s world. Here are my four great compromises…

1/ Compromise on perfection

But not on trying to improve.{♺ Tweet this!}

As Seth Godin wrote recently, for the vast majority of jobs and sectors, one should not seek to be perfect. Not only is perfection not natural, as a stated objective, it will stall or even kill activity. Beauty lies in accepting one’s imperfections.{♺!}

Truly perfect is becoming friendly with your imperfections on the way to doing something remarkable.” – Seth Godin

2/ Compromise on dogma

But not on execution.{♺!}

In today’s topsy-turvy changing world, dogma is too often based on outdated beliefs. Values should be guarded and treasured, but (some) beliefs need to be re-evaluated. Meanwhile, when it comes to activating your strategy and executing your plan, one of the fundaments of trust is doing what you say.{♺!} And a fundament of transparency, which also fosters trust, is saying (i.e. explaining) what you are doing.

3/ Compromise on knowing it all

But not on continuous learning.{♺!}

lifelong learning - compromiseFaced with such an onslaught of news and new information, it is completely untenable to try to stay up to date with every aspect of every part of the business. One of the best solutions is to have a network of sources and people looking out for you. Meanwhile, it is important to remain curious and be in a mode of ongoing questioning and continuous learning.

4/ Compromise on short-term results…

But be resolute on creating long-term fidelity.{♺!}

Of course, a business has to survive and to take care of its short-term needs. Cash is king and a bankrupt company is of no worth. That being said, the road to failure is paved with companies that are too focused on short-term performance.{♺!}

So, are you ready to compromise? What other great compromises do you propose?

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