I have been reading a book called Necessary Ending, by Henry Cloud. In it, he uses a metaphor of rose bushes and compares them to our businesses, our careers and our lives. He explains that a rose bush cannot support all the buds it creates. And the ones that are beautiful only become beautiful because of pruning. Cloud describes three types of pruning: pruning the good but not great branches; pruning the sick branches; and finally pruning the deadwood. Perhaps the last two types are obvious, albeit sometimes hard to do in life. The first made me pause; really, I need to cut off some good branches for my rose bushes to flourish?

And, as I think about the upcoming independence day, I am noticing the parallel between necessary endings and independence. For some of our forefathers, my guess is the relationship with Great Britain was good, but not great. It certainly had benefits to go with the taxes and other challenges. And yet, despite the benefits, the founders of our country had the courage to recognize that an ending was necessary, declare their independence and fight for it.

So, for each of us, the question becomes…

Who or what do we need to declare our independence from (and perhaps fight to summon the courage to do it) so that we and our organizations can flourish like a well-pruned rose bush?


Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain

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