1. Think gray: try not to form firm opinions about ideas or people unless and until you have to.
2. Think free: train yourself to move several steps beyond traditional brainstorming by considering really outrageous solutions and approaches.
3. Listen first, talk later. And when you listen, do so artfully.
4. Experts can be helpful, but they’re no substitute for your own critical thinking and discernment.
5. Beware of pseudoscience masquerading as incontrovertible fact or unassailable wisdom; it typically will do nothing to serve your interests or those of the organization you are leading.
6. Dig for gold in the subtext while your competition stays mired down in trade publications and other ephemera. You can depend on your lieutenants to give you any current news that really matters.
7. Never make a decision yourself that can be reasonably delegated to a lieutenant and never make a decision today that can reasonably put off till tomorrow.
8. Ignore sunk costs and yesterday’s mistakes. The decisions you make as a leader can only affect the future not the past.
9. Don't unnecessarily humiliate a defeated opponent.
10. Know what you are willing to die on, and realize that your choice may at some point require you to retreat from all the surrounding hills.
11. Work for those who work for you; recruit the best lieutenants available, and then spend most of your time and energy helping them to succeed.
12. Many people want to be leader, but few want to do leader. If you are not in the latter group you should stay away from the leadership business altogether.
13. You as a leader can't really run your organization; rather you can only lead individual followers, who then collectively give motion and substance to the organization of which you are the head.
14. Don't delude yourself into thinking that people are intrinsically better or worse than they really are; instead work to bring the best in your followers (and yourself) while minimizing the worst.
15. You can't copy your way to excellence; rather true excellence can only be achieved through original thinking and unconventional approaches.