It\u2019s happened again. The craziness at work has you frustrated, angry, and maybe even ready to quit.\nIt seems like the decisions being handed down are not well thought out and are causing more problems than they were meant to solve. Morale is low and some of your key players may have left the company.\nAs an IT leader you\u2019re trying to keep your game face on for your team, but you\u2019re finding it harder to do these days.\nHeaded for a shipwreck\nYou used to enjoy your IT leadership job. You were motivated to get up in the morning to go to work.\nBut things began to change. Perhaps it was a reorganization, outsourcing, or consultants coming in with a new way of running things. Whatever prompted the change, your world is different now. And what used to work smoothly before is now fraught with confusion, roadblocks, and unreasonable expectations.\nWork and projects may be falling behind as the organization tries to cope with these new changes.\nThe people may have changed too. They may be uncertain of how they\u2019re supposed to act in this new paradigm, and how these changes might impact their jobs.\nSharing and collaboration has been replaced with self-preservation. Rather than collectively finding ways to solve problems, people are playing the blame game to protect their jobs.\nExecutive management appears clueless about how their decisions are impacting the rank and file. From their viewpoint once a decision is made, the rank and file should just \u201cget in line\u201d and move forward.\nYou\u2019re not the captain of this ship\nYour situation is quite common in the IT world.\nCIOs want and need to find ways to bring value to the company. They\u2019re being asked to impact both the top and bottom lines financially. This includes delivering innovation to drive revenue and finding ways to cut expenses.\nSo as CIOs pursue these opportunities, it might be necessary to do a reorganization, implement new processes or even outsource some functions.\nYet these types of decisions can be disruptive and hamper IT\u2019s ability to be successful if the change is not managed well.\nMan your stations\nSo what should you do in this situation? How can you be most effective in your leadership role? How can you get your groove back so that you\u2019re feeling positive about your job again?\nThe key is to understand your sphere of influence and control in your current environment, and then do your best within those boundaries.\nMy diagram below shows the spheres of influence. The further out you go from the center ring, the less opportunity for you to exert your control or influence.\n Lyria Charles \nThe inner ring is where you have the most influence and control. This typically includes oversight of your team and the projects you are leading. Here, you\u2019re setting the direction and making the decisions. You rarely need someone else\u2019s permission as there is minimal or no impact to other stakeholders outside of your area of responsibility.\nThe middle ring provides you some level of influence and control but requires collaboration with others. This might be a project where you are not the project owner, and the project requires resources or input from you or your team.\nThe outer ring are those areas where you have no influence and no control. The decisions made here may have a significant impact to you or your team, but no one\u2019s asking for your opinion about it. A reorganization is an example of a decision being made in the outer ring.\nSo how do you keep your frustration level low and perform at your best within these boundaries?\nSet your course to success\nAsk yourself the following questions:\nWhy do I care?\nWhen you feel yourself starting to get frustrated or angry at an issue, find out what triggered your response.\n\nIs it because you would have handled things differently?\nMaybe you see the impacts the decision might have downstream.\nOr perhaps you don\u2019t think the decision was an ethical one.\n\nThere could be many different reasons \u2013 the important thing is that you recognize why it triggered you, and if your reaction warrants further consideration.\nWhat ring is this issue in?\nNext, identify the ring the issue falls in.\n\nIf the issue is within the inner ring, you have the ability and the responsibility to affect positive change.\nThe middle ring may provide some opportunities for you to make a positive impact depending on the situation.\nThe outer ring is most likely totally out of your sphere of influence or control. Expending any effort in this area is only going to frustrate you, or even worse, make you appear as insubordinate if you continue to complain.\n\nWhat are my options?\nNow that you know why you care and which ring this issue is in, it\u2019s time to consider your options.\nDepending on the situation you could:\n\nTake action to make the situation better in cases where you have the influence and control to do so.\nComply and do your best to support the decisions that were made without your input.\nRaise the issue with your manager or other appropriate parties and collectively pursue resolution.\nDo nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the best approach, especially in situations that belong in that outer ring where you have no influence and no control.\n\nRemember the Serenity Prayer? Next time you\u2019re faced with a frustrating situation, ask yourself the three questions above, and then read the Serenity Prayer.\nHow do you handle a dysfunctional work environment? 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