Don’t start without a plan. Bush began crafting his plan before the vote count in Florida was finished. This helped him to hit the ground running when the dust settled. The lesson is clear: Establish a plan, and implement it early. That might mean the difference between success and failure.
Make the organization fit your personality. Bush imposed his ways on the Oval Office, not the other way around. He starts and ends meetings on time, insists on a suit and tie, yet simultaneously imposes a certain degree of informality with staffers and journalists. That’s his way, and he uses it to his advantage.
Keep focused on the task at hand. Bush watches the small things to sharpen his focus on the key tasks at hand. After September 11, 2001, Bush focused virtually his entire presidency on fighting terrorism. He understood that his administration had a new charter, and made sure that his inner circle brought the same degree of focus.
Develop your own leadership style. One of the key lessons that can be learned from Bush’s first years in office is that leaders must develop their own style. All presidents and leaders have their own idiosyncrasies and preferences. Do not simply assume the role of your predecessor. It may sound obvious, but it’s a point that’s often missed: Being true to your own style may mean the difference between success and failure.