Several years ago, I came across David Maister's book, "True Professionalism". What a great book! I found myself underlining so many passages because I agreed with so much of what's in it.
"Principles (or values) are the most effective management tools a firm can use. Successful firms are differentiated not by their different goals, clever strategies, or special managerial tactics -- these are all remarkably similar worldwide. Successful firms are clearly differentiated by a strict adherence to values, i.e., to professionalism." - page 2
Too often, I pick up the latest management book from the latest management guru and increasingly find myself getting less wheat for the amount of chaff that I have to wade through. The books may offer new concepts and a new framework, but in the end, a firm's ability to execute on its strategy is still dependent on the professionalism of the people in the firm.