Showing posts from August, 2021

Has anyone ever rescued you, figuratively or literally?

I credit Dr. Zimmer, my long-time chiropractor, for rescuing me from severe pain, one of the two miracles in my life.  During a vacation in California, I threw my back out and spent an agonizing day laying in bed, barely able to roll over.  It was the day before returning home and the next morning things were no better and I realized I could never make it down the stairs, drive the car to the airport or tolerate a four-hour plane ride to Ohio.  As I laid there trying to figure out what to do, I thought about the position Dr. Zimmer sometimes puts me in while adjusting my back, that being laying on my side, bottom leg extended, the top of my foot on the other leg tucked up behind my knee, and turning my shoulders in the opposite direction.  This position forces my lower back to push forward.  I assumed that position and laid there for forty-five minutes.  Then I got up, all pain gone, carried two suitcases down the stairs, drove to the airport, and flew home.  Dr. Zimmer, plus some divi

What was an unusual compliment you once received, but really appreciated?

While I was working at NewPage Corporation in the Information Technology strategy role, Tom Anderson once told a small group of people, with myself included, that “For most people, we’re trying to get them to think outside the box, but for Paul, we’re trying to get him in the box.”  I guess that fulfills the “unusual” part of the question.  I’ve never heard anyone being described that way.  For most of my career, I was tasked with creating or managing change.  A large part of that is getting people comfortable with that, whether providing the resources, motivation, or atmosphere to move an effort along.   The biggest part of the atmosphere aspect is reducing or eliminating the fear of failure.  A part of being “in the box” is that it’s a safe place, where you do what’s expected of you and not rock the boat.  It’s doing what you know and perhaps learn one or two new tricks, but nothing where the blame can come back on you when something inevitably goes wrong.   I’ve completely changed h

What are you really hard on yourself about?

I’m really hard on myself when I do something stupid.  Not any stupid, but the kind where I’ve told myself what to do or not to do and I go ahead and do the opposite.  For example, I’m doing some kind of task and it has become obvious I need to stop what I’m doing and regroup.  But no, I continue on until I start shouting at myself to stop, often several times, before my body listens to my mouth.  It’s that kind of stupid I can’t stand in myself. Conversely, I’m generally not hard on myself for being wrong, unless that wrong is really stupid.  I’m notorious for poor navigational driving skills.  I turn on the wrong street often and even drive by my own house on occasion.  Being in Information Technology all my adult life, I’ve written many errors into programs, misconfigured hardware more often than I care to admit, and have had to take a whole different approach when a decision turned out to be poor.  I personally think admitting you are wrong is a strength, so much that I wrote on my

What famous or important people have you encountered in real life?

By far my biggest encounter was basketball legend Michael Jordan.  I had just finished a round of golf at the Wailea golf course on the Hawaiian island of Maui and was in the pro shop searching for a golf shirt to take home as a reminder of those beautiful 18 holes.  As I was browsing, all noise in the pro shop abruptly stopped as if everyone left at the same time.  As I looked up to see what was going on, Michael casually walked by and headed to the desk to get checked in for his round.  The place stayed quiet until Michael was out the door, then the noise returned, of course, louder than before.    The second NBA encounter was Larry Bird, another legend, and this one occurred in an airport, Philadelphia probably, but not totally sure.  If you’re not familiar with Larry, he was a 6-foot, 8-inch forward with one of the best shooting touches ever.  When you see him on television he appears to be slim, at least in comparison to the other beefy goliaths trying to guard him near the basket