I've been re-dipping into one my bestest ever pop-management textbooks, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

It's an accessible little read and I would thoroughly recommend it. He's also done one called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, which I find placed mysteriously on my pillow every night. It's got lots of bits underlined and highlighted yellow: I think that someone might be trying to tell me something.

It also got me wondering if all the best things in the world come in 7s, what with habits, dwarfs, brides, and brothers. But more importantly, it got me wondering about the 7 habits of highly ineffective people. So, based on 1000 years of observational research within the NHS...

  • Saying "What we did at St Elsewhere's was...". This becomes a significantly more ineffective habit if the offender stopped working at St Elsewhere's 17 years ago.

  • Lamenting the old days, ie when junior doctors did an honest day's work and nurses wore frilly hats. And when people died of rickets and the waiting lists were ten miles long.

  • Drawing inappropriate parallels with the private sector, eg "In the City they have a much more sophisticated approach to managing financial risk."

  • Doctor bashing and manager bashing. That'll sort it.

  • Stating the bleeding obvious and bleeding unhelpful in one sentence, eg "If we had a full electronic patient record in place then we wouldn't have this problem."

  • Being late. These people should be hung, drawn and quartered, for 'tis timeliness and not cleanliness that is next to Godliness

  • Writing blogs: the province of the badly dressed and the serial underachiever.

Any more for any more?

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