What do you need to stop doing?

So many people love the classic Vince Lombardi quote, “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”  But hold on a second, are you sure that’s true?

Most of us view quitting as something negative, but sometimes quitting is strategic and your best possible decision. Getting to the next level always requires leaving something behind. Endings are built into the very fabric of growth.

And yet, most people get stuck when they need to end something. People and organizations don’t often know how to end things well.

The iconic management consultant Peter Druker had a term for ending well: purposeful abandonment. His test for whether to continue a certain business or programmatic activity was the answer to the question: would we still do this if we weren’t already doing it? His belief was if your answer was no, then you must try to stop doing whatever it is.

Organizations rarely stop to ask, “What do we need to stop doing?”

And that’s a shame. That question is just as, if not more, critical than the more popular “what new initiatives do we want to start?”

There’s a season and cycle to everything, There’s a time to be born and a time to die. Make endings a normal occurrence and a normal part of business instead of seeing them as a tragedy.

At your next board or team meeting ask “what should we stop doing?” You might be surprised at what you hear.

Amy Varga

Amy Varga


Amy Varga is a beloved fundraising trainer, coach and consultant. She and her team at The Varga Group have guided over a hundred nonprofit clients to raise millions of dollars through their services in capital campaign counsel, major gifts training, leadership coaching, and board development projects.