RE: "Opportunistic"

Subject: RE: "Opportunistic"
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Stuart Burnfield" <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>, "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:00:20 -0500

The first definition of opportunism in my copy of The Concise Oxford
says:
the adaptation of policy or judgement to circumstances or opportunity,
esp. regardless of principle.

It's the final phrase that's key to the tone.
Put that up next to the Golden Rule (treat others as you would have them
treat you), and you see why it has negative connotation.

So, "enterprising" is a good choice.

But, I see nothing at all wrong with taking advantage of a situation for
my benefit - that's being enterprising. If you had said something about
"to the disadvantage of third parties who had never given cause" (or
similar), then I'd have agreed with your definition of opportunistic.

- Kevin





> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stuart Burnfield
> Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 11:15 PM

> "Opportunistic" suggests taking advantage of a situation for
> one's own
> benefit (just as an opportunistic infection takes advantage of a host
> organism's poor health or weakness). So to me, an opportunistic
> employee would be one who acts out of self-interest, not in the
> employer's interest.
>
> I agree with Nancy's suggestion: enterprising.
>
> I also think you might be better off with different words for the
> "seeking out" and the "following through". The first requires
> a bit of
> inspiration, of intuition; the knack of making connections between
> seemingly unrelated things. The second requires someone who is
> thorough, diligent; someone who can see things through to the end.
>
> Stuart
>
> > The idea people want to convey is a certain attitude they want
> > employees to have, an attitude of seeking out opportunities
> > ... and then following through on those opportunities
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: "Opportunistic": From: Stuart Burnfield

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