DON'T REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR
If I reward my dog for soiling the carpet, I am assured a soiled existence for the remainder of the dog's life, if I reward bad behavior at work, I am guaranteed the same thing.
It is a total copout to do what the boss says, regardless of what you know to be true, simply because you will not be fired for saying yes to the boss. "Yes men" are a dime a dozen and are a cancer to the health of any organization. A leader who stands up and says "No, not on my watch" is the cure to what ails most industries today.
The primary area I see this problem is in portfolio management relative to prioritization of programs and projects. That never ending call to "drop everything and work on this project" because of some perception that is seldom verified let alone validated.
Proper prioritization of tasks within projects, within programs and impacting the overall portfolio can never be achieved without stability of higher level priorities from management within the organization. Plan your work and work your plan is impossible if upper management is not stable, consistent, and maintaining a finger on the pulse of the portfolio.
I once had a client who changed the priorities of a massive project based on what he had just read in a technology magazine (a government client, spending tax payer dollars as opposed to his own money). I was able to intervene but not before a huge impact on the motivation of the project team, total panic and chaos associated with "change for the sake of change". That magazine now sits on the carpet, helping to prevent the next round of soiling.
Getting by and not rocking the boat is sinking businesses and organizations through decay and lack of maintenance of the boat, Rock that boat and find its edges, test its strength before a major storm and shore up that which is weak or in need of repair. Learn to say no, learn to lead!