Performance Perspectives Blog

Word of the day: contumacious

by | Aug 21, 2009

I recently came across the word “contumacious.” Not being familiar with it, I turned to one of my favorite websites ( to learn its meaning:

stubbornly perverse or rebellious;
willfully and obstinately disobedient

I suspect there are some who would give me this label, given my sometimes headstrong views about various topics, including the issue of time- versus money-weighting.

When discussing this topic in class I often reference the movie The Poseidon Adventure; not the remake but the original from 1972. There’s a scene shortly after the boat “did a 180” where the fallen away former Episcopal priest (played by Gene Hackman) instructs his small band to go in the direction opposite of where everyone else seems to be heading. Ernest Borgnine challenges him, asking why he thinks he’s right when everyone else seems to feel that the other direction is best. As it turns out, the majority are heading to their death, while Hackman is correct.

Following the crowd is very easy; it’s difficult to stand alone. I’m pleased to be joined by the likes of Stefan Illmer and Steve Campisi in my quest to see the IRR achieve its rightful place as the measure that should most often be employed. While we have a ways to go, we are definitely making progress.

I suspect that some of my views regarding the proposed changes to GIPS were also not well received by some: but I believe there are times when it’s important to be forceful and direct. Five years ago there were some who pushed for mandatory verification, but I refused to give up in my opposition. Others joined me, and we prevailed.

Our industry remains at its infancy; we cannot be silent when we feel there are better ways to do things.

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