In his book, "The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done", he summarizes his findings on the practices that effective executives have in common. They seem pretty straight-forward on the surface, but implementation of them take some effort and focus. The most effective leaders followed these eight practices:
1) They asked, "What needs to be done?" Constantly. An effective executive only focuses on one goal, maybe two, at a time. Additionally, at regular intervals, he is re-evaluating those priorities to make sure they're still on track toward the RIGHT objectives.
2) They asked, "What is right for the enterprise?" Not shareholders, not the Board of Directors, but what will make the business succeed. Then the profits and pleasing stakeholders falls into place.
3) They developed action plans. They figured out what needed to be done and who should do it...methodically.
4) They took responsibility for decisions. The buck stopped with them. They held people accountable, but in the end, it was their responsibility to be sure everything stayed on track.
5) They took responsibility for communicating. They didn't expect people to just "get it". They arranged meetings and weaved the messages and goals into everyday conversations.
6) They were focused on opportunities rather than problems. A problem is seen as a way to meet a need that is currently not being satisfied - either in making a customer for life or in providing a product that is superior to what's currently being offered.
7) They ran productive meetings. This often means not having meetings at all. Discipline is one of the keys here. Since time is our most valuable commodity, we are best suited to manage it as such.
8) They thought and said "we" rather than "I". Enough said - TEAM!