1.) Careers do not come with instructions. There are no "hard and fast" rules, no simple formulas for success. This is because you will work for - and with - other human beings, and people are complex and confusing creatures.
"I'm powerless, too." It's tempting to think your boss - or his boss, or her boss - has all the power. That's not how it feels to them. Everyone feels stuck in the middle. Even your CEO must contend with the board, investors, regulators, and the media.
I like simple principles that people can remember. Too often, we receive advice that is so hopelessly complicated and convoluted that you can't even understand it, never mind live by it. (How many times have you walked out of a meeting confused by what, if anything, was decided?)