This question is inspired by How can I learn to care less because it makes me sick? I recognize a similar scenario as described within this question. However, not with my self, but with my fellow employee.
To give some context: I work at a company which makes software. We are a team of 10 man strong, and enjoy the benefits of having a flat hierarchy. This means that besides not having a boss reigning supreme over us, we are pretty much appointed to do any step in the funnel from obtaining clients till creating and delivering the software. As an incentive, this company offers all employees options in the company once they get their permanent contract.
This team of 10 people consists of people with several backgrounds and skill levels. However, we have 1 developer which is significantly more skilled then the rest, due to his prior experiences, aka, seniority. It is worth to note that he did rich the permanent contract, and hence enjoys the benefits of options in the company.
Due to his seniority, this developer is often consulted for a lot of things. Ranging from very simple questions in regards to his knowledge, up fairly more advanced topics.
However, this very same developer has a tad of a flaw. And that is that he always feels personally responsible for everything and anything that happens within and to the team. And attempts to shelter people from any form of mistake that could be made. Ranging from making a wrong impact, to simplistic typos.
This leads to simple questions become very elaborate stories. Sometimes deviating significantly from the originally asked topic.
He feels so responsible for all of this, that he pushes and forces himself to work significant amounts of overtime for extended periods of time, to pull everything up to the very highest and best standards he can possibly imagine. And to prepare almost everything you could imagine ahead for you.
This somethings leads to scenario's where he almost builds a full framework. After which, he needs to elaborately discuss said made framework with every person in the team involved in said project. Elaborating on each and every design choice made in said framework, just to make sure we have the same high standards as him.
In the beginning everybody in the team let this slide. If he wants to dedicate spare time, who are we to stop him. All though not paid directly, it will earn him some profit through the means of options after all. However, it has reach a point where he dialogues a significant amount of time with nearly everybody in the team. Leading to a lot of close deadlines due to the time wasted on dialogues.
After consulting this colleague several times he himself also stated that he is starting to suffer, both physically and mentally. And mentioned that he is unable to let it go until everybody reaches the same high standards of quality in every part of the funnel. As an alternative he mentioned that he could also step out of every bodies cycle by no longer involving himself with any of the other projects, besides his own.
From a team perspective, his input is very valuable. Hence to fully exclude him would not be feasible. However, we would like to help this teammate to feel less obligated to the point he needs to work himself 90 hours a week.
I should mention that we have tried to talk to the person in question. And most of the things he points out are actually points of improvement that are either being applied to our way of working, or scheduled to be. He is also very aware of this, but seems to be unable to detect it as such.
Hence this question. How can we help our colleague care less? Before he works himself to the grave?