This paper is the result of a study aimed at answering the question: 'What makes effective community development practitioners effective?' In it, all the articles published over a 10-year period in the Community Development Journal, International Social Work, Journal of Community Practice and Social Work (South Africa) were subjected to a secondary analysis. This made it possible to identify eight 'habits of effectiveness'. This set of habits can form a credo to guide a practitioner's service delivery. It also provides a list of criteria to help identify ineffective habits and confirm effective ones.