How thin is your ice?
When something goes wrong, how do you respond?
When you own assets, when your position feels secure, when you're playing the long game, a bump in the road is just that. "Well, that was interesting." You can learn from it, and the professional realizes that freaking out pays little benefit.
On the other hand, the middleman, the person who realizes just how easily he can be replaced, the person who can't stop playing the short game… well, he realizes that it's all sort of a house of cards, and often indulges in the urge to freak out, disgorging panic and fear and even hatred on the person that's easy to blame.
The thing is, thin ice doesn't give you a lot of leverage, and thin ice can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The first step for the agent, the middle manager, the hanger-on is to invest in the long term, to find an arc that actually builds an asset that lasts.
And the second is to act 'as if'. All that panic doesn't pay off. It merely makes it more likely that the people you need to earn trust with will do precisely the opposite.