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Be A Player, Not A Victim

Are you a Player or a Victim?

As CEO of Princeton Mortgage, I have three major responsibilities: 1) Get the culture right; 2) Get the people right; 3) Execute. To get the Culture and the People right, we foster an environment where motivated people can thrive. We create an environment where Players want to be: a place with Freedom, Responsibility, Integrity and Purpose.

Our mindset and whether we approach the world as Players or Victims is vital to whether we make the most of the life we’ve been given. Players accept responsibility for their choices and their outcomes, they focus on what they can influence and then get busy doing something about it. They don’t blame things they can’t control (other people, the market, interest rates, competitors, luck, etc.). Players know that freedom and accountability are two sides of the same coin. Power is the prize of responsibility, accountability is its price.

Victims see themselves and their choices as subject to forces beyond their control. The victim is constantly suffering from the consequences of things they can’t control (interest rates are rising – oh no!!) Victimhood, with its feelings of disempowerment, resignation, and resentment, is a virus that can infect every member of a group. There are few things that can kill a company faster than a culture of victimhood.

Do you use Victim or Player language?


“It’s hopeless”

“I’m late because of my last meeting ran over”

“Someone should say / do something”

“It can’t be done”

“You make me angry”

“I had to leave”

“I don’t have time (or money)”


“I haven’t found a solution yet”

“I’m late because I chose not to leave my last meeting on time”

“I could say / do something”

“I choose not to do it”

“When you speak that way, I feel angry”

“I wanted to leave”

“I prefer to focus on other priorities”

The language of the player includes words like “I” and addresses specific actions that they could have taken. Examples of player statements are, “I didn’t follow up with the borrower like I could have,” “I missed my deadline,” “I lost track of time and stayed at the meeting too long,” “I could not establish rapport with the borrower.”

Even when unexpected things happen, we can use the language of the player. Instead of being victims of circumstance we can acknowledge that we did not anticipate and plan for the circumstance that occurred. Instead of saying “we can’t close the loan on time because we lost power,” we could say “we chose not to have a backup system in case the power went out, and because of our choice we can’t close the loan on time.”

The Player is in the game and can affect outcomes. The victim is out of the game and can only suffer the consequences of others’ actions. Players have the power to influence their situation and the integrity to do so in alignment with their values.



*The concepts in this blog post are adapted from the book Conscious Business by Fred Kofman

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