“Poise in the face of paradox is a key not only to effectiveness, but to sanity in a rapidly changing world.” – Michael J. Gelb

Positive Quote: “Poise in the face of paradox is a key not only to effectiveness, but to sanity in a rapidly changing world.” – Michael J. Gelb


Paradox, one would think this is something rarely experienced. Yet, when you work in an operational type environment, it can become more often seen. I agree with this quote in that poise is essential as well as reinforcing a level of saneness.


As an example, many years ago, back when I was a team lead in a help desk environment, there was a store in Michigan where the outside register receipt printers (which had been replaced with thermal printers – I am aging myself) were randomly printing strange characters, partial receipts, and just gibberish, yet at different times of day, and sometimes would skip a day or two, it seemed random. Logically, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Weeks pass, more hands are in the pot trying to figure out what and why this was happening. No other stores were having the same issue. If you swapped a printer with one from inside the store, then that one started doing it to, yet the moved one inside stopped having the issue. Perplexing was an understatement. I was asked, along with a peer, to travel from NC to the store to see if we could see or determine anything. Vendors joined us onsite, we had a troop of people trying to see if it was some type of cyber hack or something. After a few days onsite, we were able to isolate the issue. Long story shorter…. The angle of the sun was hitting sensors in a certain way triggering the issue. Since the sun angle is not the same every day due to other weather elements like clouds, it made it hard to troubleshoot remotely. My peer and I went home, back to NC and the vendor experts got to work, getting a fix in place for the receipt printers.


What did I learn from this…. I learned that part of being calm and poised is accepting that you don’t know what you don’t know. You go through all options to eliminate what the issue cannot be to determine where it could be, no matter how insane or obscure. Then you weigh whether locating a solution is worth the investment of time and resources. In the case above, since war driving was something getting more attention, we (as a company) erred on the side of caution


That is something I do miss about that particular job, I loved traveling across the country to different stores, sometimes for issues (earlier in my career) and later in my career it was for walk-throughs to meet the leadership, see how we (our dept) was doing, and how we could improve or for offsite vendor update meetings.


As you can see, I enjoy this quote greatly. Life is full of things that don’t quite make sense on the surface…how one chooses to react and handle the chaos and paradox of life makes all the difference in the world.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a marvelous Wednesday.



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