Today I joined the GiANT Impact simulcast with Dr. Henry Cloud. Today’s content was pulled from his new book Necessary Endings.

Here are some of the highlights:

Today may be the biggest enemy of your tomorrow!

  • Who do I want to say goodbye to?
  • What do I want to end?
  • Better question, what do I need to end in order to move forward?
  • Let’s normalize something that occurs in business and life which we will call “Necessary Endings”
  • When we face the reality of delivering on our leadership objectives and applying all we have learned on leadership over the years “REALITY” shows up!
  • “REALITY” is what we discover when we try to take theories, best practices and leadership strategies into our day-to-day worlds and execute them in an effective manner and then run into walls, obstacles, people and distractions that divert us from our end goals and objectives.
  • It is in this reality that “our own issues” show up!
  • It is in this reality that the issues of our team members shows up!

Many times you will have 5 strategies or plans that will work, but in the end it is always about the person.

It is all about the Person!

It is about getting myself and the other team members to do what needs to be done, that is what leadership is all about!

Many times the role of leadership is to step up and end something!

  • Everything has a season or a life cycle to it! Many times we fail to see that this has or is occurring in our organization!
  • Today may be the biggest enemy of your tomorrow!

What is in your life today that will interfere with your success tomorrow?

We are going to try to normalize “season ending” because this does not feel normal even though it is a normal part of life and business. (Eccl. 3)

Question: Why did it take a bankruptcy  judge to shut down brands and factories that had not made money in decades? We all have attachments and emotional ties to things that prevent us from making the right decisions or blind us from making the right decisions.

Rose Bush Illustration: Uses pruning a rose-bush to illustrate the “necessary endings” in our businesses.

1. Produces more than can sustain: business is like this, create and build more than you can sustain. We end up with more than we can sustain. Must be willing to prune in our lives and businesses in order to maximize our effectiveness.

Man bought company and took it from 25 million to 750 million size business in short period of time. He was asked, How did you do that?

I gave away 80% of the company and it was all profitable.

The life of this company is in this 20% of the business, the other 80% was a distraction and a drain, it was taking up resources.

  • Doing this causes conflicts with people.
  • Do we have the stomach to pull this off?
  • Leadership requires that you do! You must or the organization will suffer!

2. Sick = Not Well

Have we addressed it, we know it is not well but do we have the stomach to address the issues and deal with them effectively, too often we ignore or put off doing the hard things we need to do in order for the organization to grow and prosper as it should.

You must examine 3 key components to see if they are healthy or not and then take the necessary steps to prune what is unhealthy.

  1. Strategies
  2. Plans
  3. People

3. Dead, been dead for long time and taking up space.

  • Many times dead stuff doesn’t make noise so we don’t pay attention to it.
  • Dealing with the dead, this is a part of normal thriving. That which is dead must be addressed so the health of the larger organization can be protected. If it is not dealt with effectively the life of the entire organization is eventually threatened (think of GM)

If you are going to thrive you are going to proactively prune.

Example: Jack Welch’s pruning standard

  1. If we are not #1 or #2 in market we will either fix it, sell it or close it. In others words we are going to “prune it”.
  2. He was always pruning bottom 10% of people who are not performing.
  3. He worked to reduce layers in organization.

The reality is that if you do the statistics all good companies are doing this.

You should never have to fire anyone, your standards should do that for you.

  • If you do this well people will self-select. They will come to understand the standards and realize they can’t meet them and will leave on their own.
  • When will we raise the white flag and say enough is enough and finally take action to fix it, address it.

If you have a mental map that will not allow you to execute the plan to reality because your brain will tell you that it is an error. Must change our mental maps in order to meet the demands of reality.

  1. Kevin Wood says:

    Mark, thanks for the review and breakdown. Very helpful to think about the value of ending relationships and projects properly. An important part of leadership.

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