Necessary Endings

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Necessary EndingsDr. Henry Cloud spoke at this year’s Leadership Summit. His talk was based on his recent book Necessary Ending: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward. After hearing Cloud’s message at the Summit, I finished reading the book. It has so impacted my thinking about leadership and life that I’m going to incorporate it into my future coaching networks, and we’re going to read it together as a staff team at the Carterville campus.

Here are some quotes from my reading that grabbed my attention:

  • “They have realized that their success depends on having the time and energy resources to go deep with a few relationships, and they have to end the wish to go deep with everyone, as it leads to skimming the surface with almost everyone.”
  • “Failing well means ending something that is not working and choosing to do something else better.”
  • “If your map says that you are responsible for other adults as if they were your children, then something is wrong with your map, and no doubt some well-needed endings are not taking place.”
  • “There is a difference between helping someone who is disabled, incapable, or otherwise infirm versus helping someone who is resisting growing up and taking care of what every adult (or child, for that matter) has to be responsible for: herself or himself. When you find yourself in any way paying for someone else’s responsibilities, not only are you stuck with a delayed ending, but you are probably harming that person.”
  • “Make the concept of endings a normal occurrence and a normal part of business and life, so you expect and look for them instead of seeing them as a problem.”
  • “In the absence of real, objective reasons to think that more time is going to help, it is probably time for some type of necessary ending.”
  • “Hope is not a strategy.”
  • “The person who ultimately does well is the one who can learn from his own experience or the experience of others, make that learning a part of himself, and then deliver results from that experience base.”
  • “You cannot fix people who will not take feedback, because from their perspective, they do not have a problem.”
  • “Nagging or any other kind of repeated attempts to get someone to listen should never have to be done, and if you are having to do it, something is wrong.”
  • “There are some people whose desire it is to hurt others and do destructive things. And with them, you have to protect yourself, your company, your loved ones, and anything that matters to you.”
  • “Sometimes a person’s performance is not going to get better if you continue to have her doing something for which she has very little giftedness, ability, or inclination.”
  • “Sometimes people are indeed operating in their area of strength, but their character issues are so formidable that their strengths are neutralized.”
  • “We need structure to organize energy, contain it, and direct it toward an effect.”
  • “Getting people to finally see the stark incompatibility of certain desires is often what finally gets them unstuck.”
  • “This is a fundamental truth about endings: you have to be able to face losing some things you might want in order to be free to do the right thing. If you can’t, you are stuck.”
  • “Everything I have that is of value has come from being willing to end something that I was doing and go to the next step.”
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About Author

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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