You perfectly encapsulate all that I often see people that say they changed, or improve them selves. I know you were talking about work and business, but I see the same with people in their normal daily lives.
Eventually they all regress back to the mean and find themselves right where they were when they started their “change.” Habits make up whom we are. You must change them and your whole approach to and philosophy about life to really change whom you are as a person.
As you say I have noticed that the same is true when you consider workplace habits and ways of doing business.