So, I’m really disappointed in this article, and in how much positive attention it’s gotten. Tick chose a path of isolation because there were no interventions focused on empowering Rick to collaborate early and often.
Where were the retro’s, the check-ins? What did management do to intervene? It’s pretty lazy leadership to recognize the problem after it’s already way too late and say, well, “Rick was the problem.”
Firing people is sometimes the kindest thing to do, but certainly it’s never worth celebrating. There’s room to look in the mirror and ask how you created such a radical dependency on one person, or on their overworked hours.
Your culture enabled this as much as anything else, and without a serious look at the contributing factors early on that enhanced Rick’s need for isolation and created the conditions of depression, anxiety and burnout, you’re likely to have the same situation happen again.
I don’t know Rick. I’ve worked with terrible people before, it’s never an easy thing to recognize you have to let someone go. But I didn’t hear at all about the interventions that were structured so that management could learn and prevent this in the future. I didn’t hear how lamentable it was that you orchestrated a culture of heavy dependency on a few geniuses. Rick might just be the first.
We’re all responsible for what happens to our teams and our processes, few are guilty, but all are responsible.