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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

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,857 ratings  ·  389 reviews
“If you’re hesitant to pull the trigger when things obviously aren't working out, Henry Cloud’s Necessary Endings may be the most important book you read all year.” —Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover

“Cloud is a wise, experienced, and compassionate guide through [life’s] turbulent passages.” —Bob Buford, bestelling author of Halftime
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Harper Business (first published January 1st 2011)
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 ·  3,857 ratings  ·  389 reviews

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Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-book-list
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
June Sparks
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Ann Jones
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Henry Cloud. Much needed solid advice! One of my favorite quotes from the book, “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 ...more
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Parker McGoldrick
Jun 07, 2021 rated it did not like it
If I thought that being a pastor was similar to being a CEO or similar to breaking up with a boyfriend, then this would have been a perfect book. But they aren’t the same thing, hence my low rating. Take it with a grain of salt because I was handed this book to get ready for “ministry.”

I’m continually frustrated when pastors-in-training are handed pointless “leadership” books like this to prep for “church ministry” or learn how to “deal with people.” I could write an entire essay on this topic,
Steve Poling
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Debbie Petersen Wolven
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
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. Riveting, foundation-shifting and freeing.

Of the 28 books I have read so far this year, this book is the clear #1. Necessary Endings and Made to Stick are the best of the best I have read so far this year, and Necessary Endings is by far the #1 of those 2. And of the books I have read in the last 10 years, this is in the top 5, for sure.

Hope and perseverance are viewed as positive characteristics, and they generally are. But there are times when we have false hopes and persevere in the
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, practical advice about knowing when to end things---whether relationships with people, pet-projects at work, or professional positions. Solid audio, easy to follow and understand.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure why I felt it was important to read this, but I did. I admittedly fought the ideas in the book for almost the entire first half. I could see where this might be important for business leaders and that part made sense. However, I felt it was too simplistic for relationships. After all, relationships are more nuanced and complex. Plus, as a person of faith, I feel like I'm told never to give up on people since God never gave up on us. Where is the love, faith and hope in giving up or ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Anita Howard
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Cyrus Carter
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are contemplating a change in your life, this book may help structure some of your thinking. Whether professional or personal, any change requires an "ending" which can be difficult but will likely be liberating in the end. I recommend the book for its ability to add a sequence to the process; I do wish the editor had taken a red pen to about 25% of the material as it was repetitious at times. ...more
Apr 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Like most of this genre of books, you need to take what's helpful and leave what's not.
Probably could have been shorter.
Kristen Dabbs
May 09, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5. Helpful book about transitions: when, how, and why they are good and healthy. I’m still new to the audiobook world and I think I could’ve gotten more out of the hard copy.
Julia Doherty
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, this book needs to go into my top ten of all time favourite books. If you are feeling drained by life or by your business then this book is a must read. For me, it clarified some decisions that I have made in the past, which has enabled me to reach the point that I am at today.

There was one chapter in the book that resonated with me, and this was the way in which you deal with different people when ending something or trying to implement change. When I reflect on how I have done this in t
Neil R. Coulter
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I was in administration, I regularly read leadership books. Most are not great, many are repetitive (that is, repeating what's in other leadership books, or repeating itself within the same book. Steven Covey does all of that!), and it was rare to find one that's helpful, well-written, and thought-provoking. One of the books that met that standard was Henry Cloud's Integrity. Cloud is a good author, very grounded not only in reality but also in compassion.

It's been some years since I read i
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Ericka E
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a great book for the everyday working person. We don’t see how important some endings are or how to end some things that are long over do. This books really explains the why and how of necessary endings. I enjoyed seeing the different approaches and the views of others. We all tend to feel stuck sometimes and we trying everything to change that but we never think we should end the thing we are stuck in. Seeing how not everyone deserves your trust and how to see which people should be trustw ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was okay. I understood what the author is trying to convey to the readers. About new beginnings and all but it is mostly repetitive throughout.

I basically just skimmed most of the book because the information keeps repeating itself and i didn't really learn anything new from chapter to chapter.

May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an amazing and extremely important book. It isn't an easy read, because you probably won't progress very far before thinking about aspects of your life that may require a necessary ending. And, that is a huge part of why this is an important book.

The author applies his ideas to personal relationships and business decisions and even lifestyle choices. Many examples are given from his decades of counseling and executive coaching. You are likely to find some of your own life experience
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author has an easy reading style and he writes with a Christian perspective.

In a nutshell necessary endings is removing whatever it is in our lives whose reach is unwanted. I liked how he further broke it down...”given your abilities, resources, opportunities, etc. are you reaching your full potential, or are you drifting toward a middle that is lower than where you should be if you were getting the most from who you are and what you have?”

His section on the 3 types of people was excellent. The
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sog
People who should read this:
- anyone responsible for their [company's/ team's/ colleague's/ own] performance
- anyone who makes hiring/ firing decisions
- anyone who can't seem to leave toxic [work environments/ relationships/ friendships]
- anyone who struggles with the sunk cost fallacy
- anyone who needs clarity on whether an ending is necessary or not
- anyone seeking practical advice on how to carry out necessary endings
- anyone who struggles to find the right words to end things
Demetrius Rogers
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Tempted to give this 5 stars, but felt it could've fit into a 150 page book. Super helpful though and very well executed. A great resource to reference in the future. ...more
Petra Valjan
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book, the one to keep and open from time to time to learn more and more. Very useful and insightful.
Luke Middendorf
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very practical and insightful about how necessary endings lead to new beginnings, both in personal and work life. One of my favorite Cloud books for sure. I listened on audiobook, and this is the type of book I would like a print copy of too so I could go back and read it again in a year and take notes.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Incredibly helpful book for both personal and professional life. Thoughtfully written with much practical application. Definitely passing this on to friends and coworkers.
Lori Koppelman
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Necessary reading. Especially loved the discussion about wise, foolish and evil people and how to work with them. Good examples throughout.
James Kling
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Good concepts. Could have read a summary.
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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

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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.” 59 likes
“Getting to the next level always requires ending 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.” 33 likes
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