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As vice president of a Los Angeles film-production company in the 1980s, Ronald Kaufman had nearly everything that he'd ever wanted in a job -- great pay, friendly co-workers and interesting work coordinating product placements in films. Unfortunately, he hated the job.
"The owner of the company was a master at intimidation and would scream at everybody. An hour later, he would be a great guy. It made everybody unhappy to be there," says Mr. Kaufman, now an executive coach.
But he knew he wouldn't earn the same salary elsewhere, so Mr. Kaufman committed himself to making his situation work. "You can't really change people's nature, so I changed how I responded to him. I learned to align with his demands, instead of questioning them, and that made my 8½ years at the company so much easier."