I am not a full professor at an R-1 but I am beginning to realize that for a series of reasons having to do with the kinds of experience I have had, I am one of the savviest people there are. I was born savvy and trained that way, and when you add to that the force of things, well then.
One of my people did not make tenure and I could say quite a few wise things about what her errors were, so she will be more aware in her next job, but now is not the time to say anything that could be construed as critical or non supportive.
But the error is having collaborated with another brilliant person, in the same subfield and also straight out of an elite R1, who was less experienced than anyone understood and whose situation was yet more precarious and was more problematic than anyone knew, and who made errors that brought everyone else down.
If you collaborate with someone who has a destructive attitude or who is using you to their ends, or who does have your best interest at heart and yet does not know how things really work, you are riding for a fall.
I have made this error several times, quite destructively although never as dramatically catastrophic. It is easy to do: you and someone else are hired around the same time and have recent training in the same or related fields; you are from the same region of the country and understand those origins and also relate to the other person´s shock in the new regional and institutional culture.
Especially if you are in an isolating place, you are glad to have a nice colleague and friend to work with. You do not realize that this person is also working to weaken and alienate, rather than to strengthen and integrate you.