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Answering The Bell…With A Question.


I never hide my love of Peter Drucker’s work.

And, each year, I restart reading what is essentially his Page-A-Day calendar, The Daily Drucker.

Each year, I reread the introduction by Jim Collins.

This year, as I worked through the introduction…I was struck by the simple question that Peter Drucker says drives him, “What can I contribute?”

I know that most of us can find it very easy to be challenged by thoughts of mission, monetization, and value.

To be honest, I’m not sure that these questions ever subside.

But how would our way of viewing the world change if we were to rephrase our questions into one of contribution?

I think the shift would be dramatic.

Over the last month, I spent a lot of time reading up on the idea of “positive psychology” that is famously created by Dr. Martin Seligman from the University of Penn.

In his book, Learned Optimism, Dr. Seligman talks about controlling the way you talk to yourself.

Not in a lovey dovey way, but in a practical, “if you are allowing the worst voices and the most negative thoughts to control you, what is really going on with you” way.

For me, that idea was overwhelming in its power.

Because for me, the idea of just being a realist and allowing frustrations to pile up had become easy.

The same could be said for our focus on things that might not allow us to contribute.

Maybe we spend so much time on getting credit for things that we don’t actually contribute anything.

Maybe we are so worried about someone “stealing” our ideas that we don’t contribute any ideas.

Maybe, just maybe, we are so worried about making an error that we don’t ever take a chance to contribute.

In rethinking how I can deliver value to my clients and prospects, I have come back to the idea of contribution.

How can I contribute?

That’s the question I want to pose to you about me, but more importantly, about you.

How can you contribute?