There are several books that forever changed the way that I do things in my personal and professional life. On of them is called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was written by Stephen A. Covey. He referred to his habits as "powerful lessons in personal change." Years after reading it (and listening to the author's great CD set on the same topic), ideas, phrases, and values that Covey identifies are sticking with me.
(The following summaries are paraphrased from an interpretation of Covey's work by Lou Adler* the CEO of the consulting firm called The Adler Group.)
Be Proactive. Take the initiative. Don’t wait for things to happen. Put in effort to operatiionalize new ideas and/or make things happen.
Begin with the End in Mind. Identify what you hope to accomplish. Define preferred outcomes before you engage in your process. Success often results from some kind of plan.
Put First Things First. Prioritize what’s important, then get to work on it. Do not be ensnared in reactions to what’s urgent or sounds more enjoybale. Prioritize different activities and balance competing objectives. Result = get more significant stuff done and make better decisions.
Think Win-Win. Consider the impact on all of the stakeholders in a situation, especially potential conflicts.
Ignore the generic. Think collaboration and teamwork whenever possible.
Seek First to Understand, and Then Be Understood. Listen carefully. Know and assess the circumstances. Don’t offer solutions or assume your approach is the best. Understand the problem (situation) first.
Synergize. This is team skills on steroids: working with, influencing, coaching and developing people.
Sharpen the Saw. Constant self-improvement is how a person remains current and relevant. Seek in all ways to become better at what you know and what you can do.
The book: http://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/1451639619/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384878068&sr=1-1&keywords=7+habits+of+highly+effective+people
* Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring.