I was recently cleaning out a drawer filled with paperwork I've collected over the years, when I ran across a two-page copy of something called "Summary of Key Principles." It's sort of a cheat sheet of key principles for leaders given to us at a management offsite way back in the 1980s, when I was director of administration for a highly successful software development company in Southern California.

As I read through the document, I realized that many of the principles within it are just as applicable today as they were 30-or-so years ago. They're simple, straightforward, easy to understand--and extremely effective.

Take a look and see what you think.

1. Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.

2. Assign responsibilities with reasonable precision and clearly identify the results desired.

3. Hold people accountable for achieving the results desired, and do it in a fair and equitable manner.

4. Prepare accurate performance appraisals.

6. Train, educate, and develop your people. Show interest in their work.

7. Delegate authority commensurate with a person's responsibilities and capabilities. Give people freedom to act.

8. Do not exploit people. Provide fair compensation.

9. Respect individuals. They are your most valuable resource.

11. Be reasonably accessible to others.

12. Keep people informed.

14. Minimize non-productive paperwork.

15. Forgive mistakes; do not forgive hiding problems that should have been reported.

16. Do not substitute systems for leadership and effective day-to-day management.

17. Identify problems primarily through people and good upward communications.

18. Use management-by-exception.

19. Achieve conflict resolution at the lowest possible level of the organization.