In July of that terrible year 2011, things went from pretty bad to even worse: one of our most senior developers told us they were leaving. This was a critical employee, a seasoned enterprise software developer who ran our back-end engineering team. Once the developer left, the rumor mill started. Because Todd and I were struggling to figure out how to right the ship, we hadn’t shared the company’s situation with the team. In the absence of information, they assumed the worst. They weren’t far off. The company was going to fold if we couldn’t find a way out of this mess.

Todd and I decided to do something we had never done before: be fully transparent. We would explain exactly where things stood. Throw numbers up on the board. ...

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