Rich's writing, presentations, and example of overall conceptual discipline and maturity have helped me focus on the essentials in ways that I could not overstate. I'm glad (but not surprised) to see so much appreciation for him around here, even among non-Clojurists (like myself).
At the risk of fanboyism, I am constantly referencing his ideas* to my team, and I give them my blessing to watch any of his talks as soon as they come out.
* That is, the old but sometimes obscure ideas whose importance he's brought to his audience.
But, although my current manager is excellent at supporting his team and would never think such a thing, let alone say it, the truth is that, unless you're a professional researcher, you really do have to do the hammock-driven thing on your own time, either by working it into your routine or by taking a long sabbatical (as Rich did). It's something I struggle with, even at a very good workplace.
"Nothing is more precious" than the chance to think through a problem over a long term, and as things stand, the best tool for thinking is still the mind, not the keyboard. I can see how that takes a leap of faith when your chief deliverable is code.
Anyway, maybe a better introduction for your typical manager is,
> The most expensive problems are problems of misconception.
That would be code as carpentry development model. Often encouraged by career managers.
There are plenty of those in the industry, people who have had rapid promotions before they could do non-trivial engineering work.
Standards must be low if that's now "deification" :)
Listen to some of his talks and you will see why people respect Rich.
funny that you should say that - I've met Rich Hickey and had some great conversations with him - and what I always tell everybody is how normal, humble, human, down-to-Earth he is. (Which is probably deifying him even more, from your point of view).