Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
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Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  95 reviews
End Pain.

Foster Personal and Professional Growth.

Live Better.

While endings are a natural part of business and life, we often experience them with a sense of hesitation, sadness, resignation, or regret. But consultant, psychologist, and bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud sees endings differently. He argues that our personal and professional lives can only improve to the deg...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by HarperBusiness (first published January 1st 2011)
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21st out of 43 books — 11 voters
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Perhaps the best book I've read thus far this year. I highly recommend this book.

A few insights:

"Getting to the next level always requires something, leaving it behind and moving on. Growth itself demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them."

"Good cannot begin until bad ends." Endings are not only part of life, they are a requirement for livin...more
I should just buy this book, and highlight.

I find it sometimes hard to read books by Henry Cloud, and this one seemed mostly applicable to business, but the more I read, the more helpful it was. Following are the most helpful (to me) excerpts:

page 49: "I have watched well-meaning people literally waste years and millions of dollars trying to bring someone along who is not coming. And often the person may have lots of other talent that the leader doesn't want to lose, or he likes the person so mu...more
Steve Poling
This book is about ending relationships between people. Saying that brings to mind romantic relationships, but this book applies equally to business relationships as romantic ones.

Should you quit that job? Should you leave that church? Should you break up with that girl? Should you fire that employee? Should you excommunicate that parishioner? Should you divorce that spouse?

These questions are answered in the affirmative when it is a "necessary ending" to the relationship. Thus it's important to...more
June Sparks
This is a book to read slowly....very slowly. Read Chapter One and then spend a week thinking about it. Do that for each chapter - meditate on it. There is so much good advice dripping from every page. So many times, change = loss in life. Many times the change is necessary, whether it be moving to a new place, taking a new job or cutting ties with someone in your life. We mourn the loss created by the change, whether the change was good or not. This book provides insight into our feelings and m...more
This is a must read! A truly excellent book full of wisdom. True, endings are necessary and they do take courage and faith, and this book is one to help you through it. Take courage, endings are not all bad and they are indeed very, very necessary. This book will remain on my shelf for the rest of my days. I will read it again and refer to it often.
Helpful coverage of the internal and external aspects of bringing closure to life's passing experiences. With eternity set in the human heart by our Creator, we naturally find it difficult to bring an end to things that have out lived their useful life.

Cloud helps navigate the complicated landscape of what I heard Peter Drucker call "Systematic Abandonment." Drucker said, "For every new thing I pick up, I must ask myself, "What will I set down?""

Necessary Endings shatters the "no one has ever be...more
Gail Welborn
Necessary Endings, by Dr. Henry Cloud, Harper Business, 2011, 256 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0061777127, $25.99

"Toxic, hurtful or problematic" describes many personal or business relationships that should end, writes Dr. Henry Cloud in his new release, Necessary Endings. Whether from fear, regret, anticipated consequences or conflict that might arise from life-altering decisions, unhealthy relationships continue.

Dr. Cloud, clinical psychologist, leadership coach, and best-selling author of Boundaries,...more
Apr 21, 2012 Mikejencostanzo marked it as to-read
I have not yet read this book, but I've read with interest the book description, and would love to read the book itself very soon. One question I'd like to explore in my reading: How does Necessary Endings apply to a situation like that of historic figure Charles Simeon (following taken from a sermon by John Piper):

"The vicar of Trinity Church died in October, 1782, just as Charles Simeon was about to leave the university to live in his father's home. Simeon had often walked by the church, he te...more
Debbie Petersen
To get to the new beginning you need to make the necessary ending first.

I wish I had read the book 20 years ago. He makes the point that in the day-to-day, it isn't too hard to put up with something that is no longer right for us. We make it through one day, then another, and the days turn into years. We have an incredible tolerance for pain, especially if we think it will "get better." So, we tell ourselves little lies like "It will turn around" or "it's not always like this." We numb ourselve...more
Great read - lots of great advice and is helpful in helping you think about all the [un]-necessary "stuff" in your life that you should end or get rid of, which is causing you all kinds of problems. Deals mostly with business-related endings but also touches on personal relationships. In the end, it's about sustainability and and the overall trajectory of our lives - how overwhelmed and/or stressed out are we, over decisions we know we need to make (or perhaps don't know) but for whatever reason...more
Jerry Fultz
I'm immediately adding this book to the Mount Rushmore of leadership books. It's Top 10 stuff. If you or your organization is stuck, this is how to become unstuck.

It validates and expands upon Godin's "Linchpin" and "Switch" by the Heath brothers. These 3 books, along with Lencioni's "The Advantage" provide just about all the fodder needed to advance your organization from here to there. And as we all know, the best leadership books are really the best life books.

I've never given a book a high...more
A thought provoking book that opens up the reality of people around you and helps you place them in categories: Wise, Foolish and Evil. Learning who falls in these categories teaches you how to and when to make necessary endings with them. Written with a heavy business perspective in mind the book is also useful for everyday relationships.

We all need a little friend pruning in our lives and this book is an easy read that teaches you how to make those endings. I found this book to be very applic...more
I always knew there "is a time and a season" for everything. What I didn't know is what prevents us from accepting the natural endings in our lives. Endings of all kinds -Of work places and relationships, of jobs and programs and stages in our families and our lives.
Henry Cloud explains why we resist endings and change and offers clear direction on how to participate in and accept these natural endings before we stumble into our beginnings.
Excellent book to tuck into your "keep handy to grab an...more
The only thing I didn't love about this book was that sometimes the author repeated the same thing a couple or three times using overly simplified language. But the content is spot on: whether in business - if you're an owner or manager - or in life, the ideas around Necessary Endings are motivational and freeing (especially for those of us who struggle with making difficult decisions and/or acting on them). I just wish more people would read this book who need to. The world would be a better, h...more
Anita Howard
I think this is a great book. Since I am no longer in the workforce, I wanted to skip through some of the business related illustrations, but the personal material was fantastic. I especially liked chapter 7 on. I would love it if Henry Cloud would modify the book so that those of us not dealing with the work sector would be able to benefit as well. I would recommend this book to some people, but I think it is difficult to wade through the business examples. Don't miss the last chapter. It is gr...more
While there was a lot of helpful, practical information in this book, it has some fundamental flaws. Cloud speaks to the necessity of gathering some fortitude and dropping the ax on certain toxic initiatives and people in our lives in order to move forward to healthier beginnings. In many ways, this is very true. However, the methods he employs here are not altogether healthy.

Cloud's approach to endings, especially as it concerns other people, are more retributive than restorative. While I sympa...more
Charisse Tyson
Dr. Henry Cloud is the Solomon of today. As always, after reading this book I feel like I've learned enough to fill a tankard. The wisdom I gained will help me to make many of life’s big decisions. I bought Necessary Endings because Dr. Cloud mentioned it in Boundaries for Leaders, another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. He is one of the few authors that can write a self-help book that I just don’t want to put down. He totally “Gets it,” and when he explains it to me, a light bulb goes off in my...more
MsSmartiePants the candy...
Probably one of the most practical of Dr. Cloud's book, in my view. While I found the first few chapters were generally background for the ending process outlined in the rest of the book, I feel that reviewing these concepts is very helpful to keep me mindful of timeless principles.

The middle and last parts of the book were great! Why? Because it's difficult to smoothly and wisely end relationships, jobs, professional connections, vendor contracts, etc. etc.! Sure, I can do most without being of...more
Claire Kennedy
This book is for everyone. It deals with not only the relationships in your personal life, but in your business life as well. The great thing is that this books lays out clear steps how and why to end or keep relationships, and explains the reasoning behind each step.

In a world filled with not-wanting-to-hurt-anyone's-feelings at the sacrifice of the rest of us who are doing the work but without having to go to war to get the credit/rewards of our work, this is an excellent read. Cloud (of the...more
Darian G.
I have always found Cloud's books helpful. However, this one in particular came at a time that was desperately needed. I had wasted three years of my life investing untold amounts of loyalty and time into a professional ministry relationship that was pointless. Cloud's review and definition of a fool allowed me to finally make the break from toxic disloyalty, arrogance and foolishness that had inflicted untold pain into my life and family, severely damaged my spiritual life, and almost ended my...more

It's about ending any relationship. Particularly the professional. I wish I would have found a book like this in my late teens early twenties. It took most of my early twenties to come to the conclusions on my own that are so simply written by Dr Cloud.

The book was recommended to me by my executive business coach to help me end a relationship with an employee that was much overdue. Couldn't have been more perfect for getting my mind around taking continued ownership of the my business and the v...more
Rajesh Kanaparti
Very unique topic. The hardest thing in life is giving up things that most matter to you. It can be your dream business idea or letting go of an employee who is also your friend. This book talks about those hard to take decisions and how it will help you or your business in the long run.
Okay...this book was recommended to me because it is showing up on some "church reading" lists for leaders.

Interesting call, to say the least.

It is a great book, well thought out in its ideas of presenting a way of looking at endings in a positive and natural way. However, I have a feeling that most church folks will have a really, really hard time making the connection between the writers ideas and what really needs to be on the change block in churches.

Now, even with that said, I highly recomm...more
Very clarifying. You've got to know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em. Practical advice for living the best life possible. Not for the weak in heart and mind. Best read in MONTHS!
Really wish I had read this book a few years ago. It is chock of full of very useful and practical information. Though a lot of it is business focused, it is really applicable to personal relationships. I liked that the emphasis was not just on ending relationships, but steps to end cycles and patterns in relationships that are destructive. I'm pretty sure that I could read this again in a year and take as much away the second time, but notice different things that fit where I am at. If you are...more
Kelly Mc Math
I loved this book and I'm planning to re-read it. It's so relevant to anyone in business or for your personal life. I love the allegory that Dr. Cloud uses about pruning a rose bush, because it makes the concepts that he discusses that much more easy to understand. It's kind of like reading an excerpt from an updated version of the book of Proverbs. There's quite a bit of wisdom packed into the book.

This is a must-read for anyone who sometimes struggles with knowing "when to say when" in busines...more
Very practical, not at all preachy and not psychobabble, just friendly advice to decide your next step.
Good book. I actually enjoyed more than I thought I would. Starts a bit slow and Cloud spends a decent part of this time repeating his point. But, there are some good nuggets. Understanding change is a part of life and endings are a type of change creates a healthy perspective. There are some good tips in dealing with challenging people and situations. I appreciate the approach and suggestions.

I would recommend this book for anyone in management and for folks that consistently find themselves in...more
Like most of Cloud's books, he has a basic premise that is outstanding. In this case, the basic idea is that some things need to be completed, brought to a close. This may apply to everything from firing someone to throwing out old tuna salad in the fridge.

But, as with all Cloud's books, he takes something that is essentially as complicated as a few articles rather than enough content for a book. However, Cloud does make it interesting enough to help a reader get all the way through. It is a sl...more
Jeff Bobin
This might be one of the best books I have read in years. I can think of no one that shouldn't take the time to read this and think about the challenges presented here.

This will not only make my Books Worth Reading List but is now one of my Books Everyone Should Read.

One of the reasons we find it so hard to change something in our life is our unwillingness to give something up to make room for the growth possible. This helped me focus my thinking about many things that should end so I can grow...more
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Dr. Cloud has written or co-written twenty-five books, including the two million-seller Boundaries. His most recent books are Boundaries for Leaders and Necessary Endings. He has earned three Gold Medallion awards, and was awarded the distinguished Retailers Choice award for God Will Make A Way.

As president of Cloud-Townsend Resources, Dr. Cloud has produced and conducted hundreds of public semina...more
More about Henry Cloud...
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life Boundaries in Dating Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

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“Page 142: "When a spouse says to the alcoholic, "you need to go to AA," that is obviously not true. The addict feels no need to do that at all, and isn't. But when she says, "I am moving out and will be open to getting back together when you are getting treatment for your addiction," then all of a sudden the addict feels "I need to get some help or I am going to lose my marriage." The need has been transferred. It is the same with any kind of problematic behavior of a person who is not taking feedback and ownership. The need and drive to do something about it must be transferred to that person, and that is done through having consequences that finally make him feel the pain instead of others. When he feels the pain, he will feel the need to change...A plan that has hope is one that limits your exposure to the foolish person's issues and forces him to feel the consequences of his performance so that he might have hope of waking up and changing.” 15 likes
“Page 99: "...unless something changes, the future that you can expect is more of the past. Sorry or becoming committed does not make Jim Carrey a great golfer, or made Jack nicklaus funny. Recommitment does not make a person who is unsuited for a particular position suited for it all of a sudden. Promises by someone who has a history of letting you down in a relationship mean nothing certain in terms of the future.” 5 likes
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