This concept I owe to a colleague at one of my more recent employers.
We all love to be right -- in fact, we love it so much that sometimes we lose track of whether being right is actually important. Knowing when to gracefully accept a loss rather than pushing something to its extreme is an important survival skill in business.
Hence, the concept of carefully selecting your "ditch to die in".
The idea: As you cling to unpopular positions on issues -- usually convinced you're right and carrying that I'll show them attitude -- the stakes surrounding the situation continue to rise. It doesn't take long before you are putting your reputation, relationships, and even your career on the line. So select these battles carefully, making sure they are extremely important, and that you are absolutely positively certain that you are on the right side of the issue and can win the battle.
The consequences of failure are high.
Make sure engaging in such battles is the exception, rather than the rule. While you might be bright, driven, perceptive, and right most of the time, there is a whole world of circumstances outside of your ability to control them, which can still deliver a defeat in a seemingly un-lose-able situation. History is filled with such examples.