Leaders can be encouragers, decision makers, listeners, teachers, doers, and admonishers. These abilities are required throughout the days of leading others. Dr. Henry Cloud in his book Necessary Endings points out another critical part of being a leader. There are times you must bring a relationship to an end simply because “this isn’t working”.
There are toxic people who will seek to corrupt you, others and the whole organization. These are the easy situations to detect although managing a smooth ending is a daunting task. There are also those less obvious necessary endings that call out to leaders. There are well meaning, good hearted, and salt of the earth people who are in the wrong position at the wrong time or they’ve been accidently promoted beyond their abilities or the organization has out grown them. A leader must discern for the good of the organization. Cloud argues that if you’ve done everything in your power to train, educate and empower the well meaning, good hearted, salt of the earth under-performer a leader gets to say, “I’m sorry but this isn’t working.”
Personally, I like to be the nice guy and I find no joy in necessary endings because I’m then seen as the hard hearted guy who doesn’t understand. But then I realize that not even Jesus tried to work with or rescue everyone who crossed his path in Galilee. I suspect the Rich Young Ruler was a salt of the earth kind of guy but Jesus did a ‘Necessary Ending’ on that relationship before it even had a chance to begin.
It’s hard but sometimes endings are necessary. – BB