Rescuing the Victim

The cynic in us has two first cousins, the victim and the bystander. When we ask those around us to join in the reform effort, victims will claim that it is not within their power to make the changes required. Patriarchy breeds helplessness, and victims are the product of the governance systems we live in. Bureaucratic behavior is the act of avoiding choice and giving control to some other person or some unchangeable policy. A good example is the sales manager saying, “Partnership can’t work until we change the salary system for field salespeople.” Another favorite is, “We cannot contract as partners as long as I have to fill out the performance appraisal forms required by HR.” Or, “Nothing will change until my boss learns ...

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