We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made.
Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton

Great article, but the comments here definitely raise valid criticisms. By your description, “Rick” was clearly in a toxic relationship with his organization, but any decent project manager should have sussed this out LONG before it got to the point you described. I think many of the commenters raise a valid point here (assuming you hadn’t embellished the story for the sake of drama), that there was a systemic organizational failure that permissively let Rick dig himself into that hole.

Seems to me like the “collaboration, tenacity, and mutual respect” mantra didn't get invented/applied until AFTER you showed Rick the door.

I’m calling this a leadership failure, not a Rick failure.

NB: My opinion is rendered only in the context of the facts presented in this story as well as my 20+ years of project management experience.

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