what will you do differently.

I used to read business stuff. Fortune, Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, management books. I gave up on that habit a few years back.

Last night, however, I saw a picture from by friend Shashi Bellamkonda. It showed several magazine covers, including the latest Harvard Business Review. On the cover, a picture of Peter Drucker.

I looked online for the issue.

In this post about the issue, Ellen Peebles reports on a conversation by business executives in celebration what would be Drucker’s 100th birthday. The leaders discussed four functions of a CEO. After discussing each function, the facilitator asked a Drucker-inspired question: “What will you differently on Monday?”

The question slapped me. I’ve taught a couple times this weekend. I’ve written. I’ve talked with Nancy. I’ve slept. I’ve seen a movie that made me cry and at least one TV show that did, too.

In this middle of all that direction and emotion and clarification and resolve, I desperately need that question. What will I do differently?

Notice, by the way, that this isn’t necessarily a question about my todo list. The question is not just about what  I will do. There are many things that are on the list because they belong there. They are part of my responsibility, my calling, my life.

However, as I look at what I am doing, how will I do it differently?

How will I respond to challenges to love, care, balance, simplify, focus, listen, go, stay? How will I take the Monday that has been handed me this week and live it differently? What, exactly (precisely, intentionally, concretely, specifically), will I do differently today?

Or won’t anything I heard or said matter?

(It can, by the way. Matter, I mean. It’s up to me to remember (and you, too).)

6 responses to “what will you do differently.

  1. Thanks for this. It’s so much easier to be moved and affected than to translate that experience into the next series of actions we will send out into the world.

    Lately, I’ve started a “love list project” on my blog. The point is not just to keep track of what I love–those moments that make me feel like the full person I was created to be–but to also ask myself what it is about those moments, and what I can do differently to get more of those moments in my life. Pushing myself to take those extra steps has been so rewarding.

  2. Thank you for this. I hope to do many things differently always but sometimes find it hard. I think being aware and trying have to count for something right?

  3. Great post. Much more than a to-do list. Life change is a hard thing – but possible.

    Maybe we can think about what small step we can take tomorrow to do things differently… a way to make it possible and not theoretical.

  4. ah, Kristin, but you do work at this in more than your series. You need to know that your post at halfway today, about New York, is having that call to action effect for me.

  5. Indeed, Kathryn. Intention and effort themselves are part of doing things differently. But as I read your comment, I’m reminded that sometimes it isn’t doing many things differently. It is doing one thing differently and sticking with that.

  6. and Paul, you are right.