Think of how often in your life you have seen blunders because of a failure to follow these basics:
- Read the minutes. What happened before? Which actions were deferred or never considered? Which points were raised by the opposition? You won't know many of these if you don't read the minutes. [Also be aware of who is writing the minutes. That job can be extremely powerful when there is creative editing.]
- Get some sleep. Fatigue can produce sloppiness and cowardice. The amount of sleep that you get can seriously affect the quality of your decisions. Make sure your team gets enough rest.
- Study the environment. Know the boundaries. Know which ones are brick walls and which are mere fences. Some may be kicked down, but consider why they were constructed.
- Know your roles. As leaders, we each wear an assortment of hats. It is important to know which hat we have on and whether it matches the occasion.
- Stay off of side streets. Carefully control the amount of time and energy that is spent on matters that don't contribute to the primary mission. Such journeys may be attractive and enjoyable but they can also be a huge distraction.
- Don't expect a cow to be a camel. Carefully fit resources and people to the particular task.
- Know what you are neglecting. Determine if it is the right thing to neglect and how long it can be neglected.