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The Jolly Contrarian’s Dictionary

The snippy guide to financial services lingo.™


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proactive /prəʊˈæktɪv/ (adj.)
A word that has been fashionable in middle management circles for 15 or 20 years now, and appears to correspond, more or less, to “action” yet something more than mere “reaction”. To be “proactive” is to take the initiative.

In any case, in the management argot proactivity has acquired something of a universal virtue — we must all be proactive to all people all of the time — notwithstanding that it is just as “proactive” to start bar fights, break and enter or commit wire fraud as it is to initiate engagement with stakeholders and drive customer success outcomes.

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