Top Five Books of 2017: #4

Each day this week I'm going to post one book that made my top 5 list in 2017, building up from number five to number one. I'd love to see what your favorite books of the year have been as well, and I welcome your comments!

#4 Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

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This has been the best leadership book I've read in the past couple years, which may not be saying much since I'm a rather infrequent peruser of leadership books. My own inexperience aside, Cloud finely articulates how many of us get stuck personally and how organizations get stuck due to an inability to recognize when something needs to end and acting accordingly. Some of the nuggets that Dr. Cloud gave me in the book: the difference between hurting to heal and hurting to harm, the importance of finding and facing reality, knowing that unending hope in ineffective practices is a curse while hopelessness can be a gift, signs of when we need to persist in a difficult season vs. signs of when something needs to end, recognizing incompatible wishes (e.g., I want to eat all the cake and fit in my same jean size), differences in how to handle wise people vs. foolish people vs. evil people, and how to tackle internal and external resistance to change. This book is a treasure trove of wisdom from a PhD psychologist who has consulted with many high performing people and companies. It will give you a framework for how to approach all sorts of difficult conversations and decisions, and it is a tool that God can use to help you pursue his future, making some endings along the way. So if you're feeling stuck, this might just be the book for you.

Stephen Fincher

Tanner United Methodist Church, 19607 Huntsville Brownsferry Road, Tanner, AL, 35671

Pastor in Tanner, AL with my wife Laura.