Fighting chaos is like trying to smooth out the surface of water with a canoe paddle. You may be facing some challenging situations at work, though it won't take much for you to turn them into opportunities. The first thing to do is take a different approach to any turbulence or conflict, which would begin by stepping back and observing. You may not be noticing how your influence in the situation is stirring up your environment. The best way to figure that out is to step back, observe, and listen. The thing to study is relationships. Notice where people's loyalty is invested, without judging it or saying anything about it. This is a matter of facts, not of opinion. The only way to get anything done—whether it's a project of some kind, or your own professional advancement—is to work with others. And that is entirely based on who is loyal to whom, and why. What I suggest you remember about this thing called "work" is that for most people, it's the means to an end called eating. For a few other people, work is a creative endeavor that gives meaning to their lives. For a few others, it's a political game or power trip. Know where you stand, and know who you're dealing with at any time.