The quotes from Tom Peters below are very relevant in today's world. I have bolded the ones I like, and feel are the most important. Tom is one of my personal heroes, and I can't wait to read his new book.
Check out his website for free copies of some great documentation and for more information about all his books.
In any public-sector business, you must become an avid student of "the politics," the incentives and constraints, mostly non-economic, facing all of the players. Politicians are usually incredibly logical if you (deeply!) understand the matrix in which they exist.
Risk Assessment & Risk Management is more about stories than advanced math i.e., brilliant scenario construction.
Don't waste your time on jerks, it'll rarely work out in the mid- to long-term.
Under promise (i.e., don't over-promise; i.e., cut yourself a little slack) even if it costs you business; winning is a long-term affair. Over-promising is Sign #1 of a lack of integrity. You will pay the piper.
There is such a thing as a "good loss", if you have tested something new and developed good relationships. A half-dozen honorable, ingenious losses over a two-year period can pave the way for a Big Victory in a New Space in year 3.
Keep it simple! (Damn it!) No matter how "sophisticated" the product. If you can't explain it in a phrase, a page, or to your 14-year-old ... you haven't got it right yet.
Don't hold grudges. (It is the ultimate in small mindedness, and incredibly wasteful and ineffective. There is always tomorrow.)
Little People often have Big Friends!
Work hard beats work smart. (Mostly)
Phones beat email.
Obsess on ROIR (Return On Investment In Relationships).
Scoring off other people is stupid. Winners are always in the business of creating the maximum # of winners among adversaries at least as much as among partners.
Your colleagues' successes are your successes. Period.
Lend a helping hand, especially when you don't have the time.
Don't get too hung up on "systems integration", first & foremost, the individual bits have got to work.
For Gods sake don't over promise on systems integration it's nigh on impossible to deliver.
It's Relationships, Stupid; Deep and from multiple functions.
Don't over-schedule. Running late is inexcusable at any level of seniority; it is the ultimate mark of self-importance mixed with contempt.
"Preparing the soil" is the first 98 percent. (Or more.)
Be kind. It works.
Opportunism (with a little forethought) mostly wins.
"Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes."
Integrity. Credibility. Humanity. Grace.
Strategic planning is the last refuge of scoundrels
Focus groups are counter-productive
All information making it to the top is filtered to the point of danger and hilarity
"Success stories are the illusions of egomaniacs (and "gurus")
If you believe the "cause & effect" memoirs of CEOs, you should be institutionalized
"Top teams" are "Dittoheads"
"Expert" prediction is rarely better than rolling the dice
Statistically, CEOs have little effect on performance