- Assume that everything is being done sub-optimally. Probe everything.
- Push people to explain things as simply as possible.
- For anything complex, ask people to write things down in plain English.
- Get perspective from people with different technical competencies.
- Frontload your thinking on a project.
- Define the API before moving too far out.
- Do less. Do well.
The unspoken golden rule: hire competent people. Other virtues matter but competence generally matters the most in technical roles.