For many years, I would start the week by writing – in longhand on a yellow pad – a to-do list of everything to be done. This was onerous, and after a number of years, I realized the top of the list featured items which were repeated every week, and were quite literally, never going to be accomplished. While this endeavor took great discipline, and was proof, largely to myself, of unwavering dedication, the exercise was much less productive than intended. The numbing repetition was not a celebration of success, but the recording of the unaccomplished. Without knowing it, I had created a depressing way to start the week, and I am glad the exercise was a solitary one, and not inflicted on the team. A dozen years later, I abandoned the practice of Monday morning to-do lists.
After the to-do list years, our practice flourished, and in 2016 we succumbed to our success and committed to a long-range growth plan. We leased a second floor above our office home of twenty-two years, and our team has expanded from a head count in the mid-single digits to the low double digits, and we keep growing.
Amongst the dust and upheaval of the expansion, we began holding Monday morning meetings. While nothing compares to the Quaker meetings with their prolonged silence, our meetings have become my personal bully pulpit. My Monday morning conversations with our team sometimes cover recent project developments, but more often, introduce broader concepts addressing the ‘why’ of what we do, a running conversation seemingly without limits. In the chapters that follow, you will have a seat at our Monday morning table, a weekly discussion that every week leaves me “looking forward to Monday mornings.”