I'm often amazed at the degree to which otherwise smart people mess up on the basics over and over again, despite that fact that it is costing them serious business. I know that many prefer the technical aspects of their field over the running of a business, be it their consulting business or their personal "business within" the corporation they work for. However, doing some basics well is important in making the distinctions necessary to transcend the look of a potentially-outsourced skillset to one that is a competitive advantage for the company. The company could be the company one works for or the clients they are working for.
It's almost true that "all I really need to know I learned in Kindergarden." Different basics I've seen that need some work lately include:
1. Not responding to email the same business day
2. Not responsing to voicemail the same business day
3. Not being courteous and understanding of the other's situation, keeping the focus on their issues
4. Parading knowledge that's irrelevant or is about self-interest
5. Looking to partners to take care of you
6. Doing easy, low-risk, last-decade activities and calling it marketing
7. Fear to actually consult or take risks versus being directed by largely misinformed guidance
8. Fear to learn new methods for achieving client success
9. Spening inordinate time in comfortable relationships with those who cannot make things happen for you
10. Treating others as antiseptic barriers to your goal instead of the people they are
It seems like the basics, at least to me.