Let’s end things right here

Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships that All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, by Dr. Henry Cloud, published by Harper Business 2010 (www.harpercollins.com), 237 pages

Book Review by Rachel H.T.  Mendell

Dr. Henry Cloud says there are three kinds of people: Wise People, Foolish People and Evil People, and “you cannot deal with everyone in the same way.” Simply stated, “When truth presents itself, the wise person sees the light, takes it in, and makes adjustments, “The fool tries to adjust the truth so he does not have to adjust to it,” and evil people want to hurt you – on purpose.

Cloud presents the argument that good cannot begin until the bad ends. This book is a study in what bad looks like, how to know if there should be an ending and how to go about ending a bad situation in a good way. Cloud says that many businesses (and relationships) are stuck because they are still trying to make something work due to an emotional attachment, fear of failure or a distrust of new things.

He begins with an all-too-familiar scenario in which a man sits out in his car dreading to go into work, his passion and drive to succeed replaced with heaviness and fear. On this particular day he decided to drive to a park, sit on a bench and think. There were things happening in the office that he didn’t want to deal with so he worked all the harder, masking the problem with activity. As he analyzed his job and his feelings he came to realize the reason for his dread. He knew what was wrong. He knew what he had to do about it. He knew it would be difficult and THAT was what he was dreading. As he sat on that bench he made the decision to accept the inevitable consequences and go forward with what he knew had to be done. As he walked back to his car a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. He had decided to make a necessary ending.

Cloud gives much needed encouragement to those of us that are stuck and are looking for a way to get unstuck. He tells us that endings are difficult, but necessary and how to prepare to make them. He also guides us through the murky waters of letting someone else make a decision which is really not ours to make.

I recommend this book to everyone. Cloud’s ideas empower us to make decisions with confidence. He shows us the light at the end of our tunnel.

I would like to leave you with some of his wisdom (p.143):

“Sometimes in a workshop or in leadership training, in teaching about these three categories of people, I will summarize the methods of dealing with them like this in order to introduce the concept of the evil person:

“1. With wise people, talk to them, give them resources, and you will get a return.

“2. With foolish people, stop talking to them about problems; they are not listening. And stop supplying resources; they squander them. Instead, give them limits and consequences.

“3. With evil people, to quote a Warren Zevon song, the strategy is ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money.” The reason? You have to go into protection mode, not helping mode, when dealing with evil people.

“Lawyers, guns, and money usually get their attention. That introduction is not only for effect. The truth is that I am not kidding.”

To see what Dr. Henry Cloud is up to, go to https://drcloud.com/

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