Q: I'm feeling powerless and frustrated at work. I'm responsible to help execute strategy, but the team of executives responsible for defining it can't seem to agree. It's hard to get things done. How can I handle this?
-- Olin, 48, senior director, operations
A: Don't underestimate your ability to influence the situation.
Building up your resilience is essential to thriving in your current circumstance.
Part of this is physical. Taking steps to be healthy through food, exercise and rest will help you maintain your equilibrium.
Your emotional intelligence is the other key. Think about how well you understand yourself, as well as other people's motivations and behaviors. Invest in your ability to make solid decisions and manage conflict.
Now step back and review the situation.
What is motivating the individuals in the executive team? Each of them will have both their public and private drivers. You may think some of these drivers are dysfunctional, but if you understand them you will be better able to manage around them.
You may also find some of their goals to be inspiring. In that case, it should be easy to align with them to get some motivation.
And, based on what you have said, you will almost certainly find competing agendas among the executives. This is where the art of managing up comes in.