When to Make the Most Difference
Painful endings and uncertain beginnings are the two moments you make the most difference in a leader’s life.
Enabling others to continue on their current course often adds value; facilitating an ending is a treasure.
Endings are like giving birth. They begin with pain.
All great journeys begin with painful endings. Immanent endings are powerful opportunities to to step in and enrich others. Those who can’t end well can’t begin.
High impact begins by helping leaders end well.
Leaders often acknowledge they need change but frequently persist in destructive, ineffective behaviors. All endings are destructive. Destruction hurts.
Bad endings reek of anger, bitterness, and over reactions. For example, quitting a job before another is lined up. Running toward a new future is harder than running from a painful past. That’s where you come in.
Help people end well by helping them let go. Everyone’s stuck till they let go.
Helping people end well includes two contrasting skills, encouraging and Butt kicking. Encourage aggressively; kick butt wisely. Encouragement without butt kicking stagnates. Butt kicking apart from encouragement increases resistance and frustration.
- Provide persistent affirmations.
- Explore what isn’t working.
- Help them identify what needs to end.
- Offer occasional corrections. Positive affirmations empower negative corrections.
Never fix. People build walls to keep fixers out. Fixers undermine confidence, degrade potential, and reject what is. People are responsible for their own development.
Endings without beginnings are empty. “10 Questions that Give Vitality to Beginnings”
How do you help leaders end well?
What are the dangers or pain points of helping someone end well?
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Great advice, thank you for your insights.
Great thinking – to overcome that pain and uncertainty is the mechanical application of “leadership” – so much for the impact!?
I have found that the best leadership enables people to “figure it out on their own” because that process is what really make a lesson “stick”. We can read all day long about how to do something but until we actually go out and do it, we haven’t truly learned a thing.
Great post. Thanks. In your encouragement to help people “let go” as part of the ending process, I think we are called upon to do some letting go of our own. It can be easy to see someone’s choice to “end” something of which we are a part, as a rejection of us. Letting go of our own ego can be a great initial step as we work to facilitate endings for others. Related, facilitating an ending can be a wonderful way to gain insight into aspects of our organization/ team that can stand to change/ grow/ move. The willingness to hear the perspective of the person leaving will serve both as a good chance to facilitate the ending for that person, but also will serve to provide some potentially useful information for those who remain behind. But, as facilitators, we must create an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue.
I agree that leaders should end well. I also think that all well that ends well. So, irrespective of journey, whether it is painful, joyful, roller coaster etc, one should try to end it well. However, things can not end unless they start. So, start is must to end well. Leaders should start first. It is like spark that may turn into torch. Thus, leaders should start to end well. When you delay in starting, it becomes difficult to start. Sooner you start, sooner you will end. Time is very crucial to end well. I think the danger point in helping someone is not starting. It means you cannot help someone who has not started. Dangers also start when people have ego to accept or end well. There is even greater danger when people fear of accepting their weaknesses to end well. It means to end well, one need to accept reality with humility. It will help anyone to end well.
Great remarks Sir, applicale in all tread of life.
Thanks n Rgds / Vinay Rai / Patliputra
Dan, fully agreed on your post. Often I found myself Mentoring people toward an ending instead of the beginning that was the actual task. And yes, ending is painful, humiliating, frustrating and hard work. Then, when the new start begins people have such an energetic drive, positive attitude and confidence that this was the right decision they have done.
Great post Dan – you made me reflect on many issues.
Thanks for this post, again timely as I’ve had to deal with a rather painful resignation from my chorus this week. The member did it in the worst way – stood up during a rehearsal break and basically told us that she was bored and frustrated and there was no fun in the chorus anymore. Oh, and no-one talked to her at the party last week (we were left shaking our heads at that one). I learned something though. I learned to go with my instinct. I had already told the chorus I wanted them to inform me of any notices rather than just saying it when they wanted to, because I wanted to avoid just this situation. I didn’t stop the member from speaking when I should have. Next time, as hard as it might be, I’m going to go with my guts, because they’re usually right!
Do you leaders develop Byronic qualities? Perhaps.
Wow!! Very timely for me.
This is an extremely valuable post for what I’m attempting to lead. There is such huge resistance in Chiropractic toward a Pureness in our profession, and I’ve been contemplating how to be a more effective leader when it comes to helping more Chiropractors move in that direction.
Nice to look at it from a different angle…
I wish someone would have told me this before my last semester of college! My university supervisor was very much so the butt kicker with no encouragement. I felt tons of frustration and was very resistant to her “fixer” qualities of, exactly how you put it, undermining my confidence, degrading my potential, and rejecting my individuality.
You said those that can’t end well can’t begin. I couldn’t begin my new career path until I had forgiven this woman for all she put me through. Another great post; thank you.
The period after an employee gives notice can be painful for that person and those around them.
The person who is leaving may feel they have betrayed the organisation and their peers in some way. They may feel scared and unsure of the future, even if they have an attractive place to go to.
Their peers may feel hurt that the person is leaving.
I have found that taking the time to have a coffee or something with people who are leaving can make a real impact. I think it comforts them and helps them feel Sure, you may not see them again, but I find that it’s an opportunity to make a difference to someone else.
For me, I get a better understanding about life and the organisation I belong to. The things I hear may not make me feel great, but it helps me understand the sort of things that may irritate me and cause my own dissatisfaction. I find it “life expanding”.
In my experience I usually end up keeping in touch with those people in some way, probably directly due to my taking the time to talk.