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March 15, 2011 > Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

In the last three years, you've lost plenty.
You've lost business, first of all, and maybe your job. You lost clients, investments, money, and opportunity. You might've lost your house and your confidence, too.

It's enough to make you lose your mind.

But there's still fight in you and things are looking up. So now it's time to examine your losses by reading "Necessary Endings" by Dr. Henry Cloud. You'll see how those terminations might've been the best thing that ever happened.

Endings, says Cloud, are a part of the universe. They're a reality. You literally can't move through life without any endings because growth demands it.

So when endings are forced upon you - like the loss of job or client - it's important to understand how to deal with them by redefining the definitions of "positive" and "negative". It helps to look at them as a "season": when things end through no fault of your own, it was the "season" to move on.

But what if the decision is yours? Cloud likens endings to a rosebush. When a gardener prunes, he cuts off healthy buds and branches as well as sick and dead ones. Smart businesspeople are like that gardener: they can spot a branch of the company that is doing well, but that isn't the best place to spend energy or funds. They can see if an ailing arm of the corporation will get better or not. They can spot dead wood. And they have the courage to strategically prune all three.

"It's been said that some things die," says Cloud, "and some things need to be killed."

Look for "the moment", Cloud says, when you know you need to make change. Come to grips with the truth and learn to recognize when you get stuck or experience misery that can be alleviated by change. Understand that sometimes, things end. Get hopeless. Learn how to transfer "need" back to the one who really needs. Stay close to the pain. Know that you may not be able to control change, but you can control your response to it.

When economic recovery is on the horizon but feels as fragile as an egg, it's a little scary to think that more loss could come. But "Necessary Endings" puts a lot of things in perspective.

Though most of this book is from the active side of endings (being the ender and not the endee), author Dr. Henry Cloud's words are the soothing balm that readers may need. What's most helpful about this book is that, if you're experiencing loss, Cloud helps you understand that endings aren't the end of the world. And if you're the one who's urging the finish, he clearly explains how to evaluate situations with an eye toward reality and to move from pain to plug-pulling.

"Necessary Endings" is one of those books you'll wish you had three years ago, at the beginning of the recession, but that you'll be glad you've got now. If you want your business to grow anew, read it.

The End.

c.2010, HarperBusiness
$25.99 / $28.99 Canada
256 pages

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