Discovering Life, Learning and Leadership

Necessary Endings

Dr. Henry Cloud

I don’t like some endings. As such, this was an important book for me to read. I heard Dr. Henry Cloud speak at the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit in 2011 and had previously read two of his books.

In Necessary Endings, he points out that if you are not willing to address the necessary endings in your life and leadership, then you have given up on your vision and have accepted the other vision, … to be average.

This book helped me identify what I needed to put a stop to if I wanted to move ahead and provided execution (pun intended) insights. Among other things, it focuses on employees, businesses and relationships.

Earlier in my career, I watched a leader lose some great talent from their organization by being too quick to let people go.  When I joined Creation Technologies, I was impressed by our people-centered culture. Over the years, I have appreciated how our team works hard to grow and enhance our people-centered culture.  This is the right thing to do, especially if you want to enrich lives, and it brings considerable payback to the company in a wide variety of ways.

However, one of the downsides of being very people-centered is that you may fail to address endings that are necessary, both for the sake of the individuals involved and for the overall good of the organization.  Given that such endings are often rather sensitive, I believe that staying people-centered and demonstrating respect is important and possible. The principles in Dr. Cloud’s book aligned well with a respectful, people-centered approach.

Far too frequently, I have held to a goal or pursued a direction long after the time to let it go had come and gone. I’ve seen others do this as well. For example, a couple of weeks ago someone was asking me about a certain product that, well, had long passed its lifecycle. Sadly, the company (one of my previous customers) that marketed that product refused to accept the looming necessary ending and, as a result, their entire organization was facing unnecessary risk.

It requires boldness and wisdom to embrace necessary endings.  While not easy, you will be glad you did if you do it right.

As I look over my own life, some of the endings that were the toughest for me at the time have turned out to be significant blessings and pivotal turning points.

I highly recommend this book as Dr. Henry Cloud provides wise insights that help you identify and navigate necessary endings.

Are you willing to embrace necessary endings?  Or, have you accepted the other vision, … to be average?

4 Comments to Necessary Endings

  1. Ken LeMonds's Gravatar Ken LeMonds
    Jul 23, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Arthur this is on of the reasons I enjoy the Lexington Business unit. I find that the people here are willing to not accept being average and that as a group we are open to discussions leading to ways to make this business unit stronger.

    Thank you for the read

  2. Jul 24, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I love this line Arthur- “It requires boldness and wisdom to embrace necessary endings.”

    Thanks for sharing your insights from Dr. Cloud’s book; helpful and insightful.

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