One book which has had an important influence on me, through the years, is David Maister's True professionalism . In the book David argues - apparently completely unafraid to be seen as naive or idealistic - for an ethical, ambitious, and principles-based approach to doing one's work. I have known this book ever since was published in 1997 and I still agree with the large majority of things in it and I'm still inspired by them. And perhaps more importantly, I think they work. Here are 20 quotes from the book.