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Seven Bad Habits of Highly Defective Utilities

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This paper provides an overview of seven of the worst habits that contribute to the creation of bad water utilities nationwide. With apologies to Steven Covey and his The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this paper focuses not on fundamental character-based traits, but on seven very tangible, real world bad habits which inhibit the effectiveness of utilities on a daily basis.

The seven bad habits addressed in this paper are:

Bad hiring decisions / failure to fire;

Failing to control employee cynicism

Ignoring financial planning and management;

Inadequate cost-benefit analyses;

Falling victim to the choreography of the past;

Poor time / space management; and

Micro Management.

The information is intended to help utility managers to avoid serious mistakes and to benefit from the positive and negative experiences of their peers. If taken to heart, the advice provided can help to transform a struggling utility into one that can competently complete its missions over the long term.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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