Jeff Orr Leadership Blogs

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Who are you following?

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter that came out of a controversial movement in my state known as “Red for Ed.” The discussion came about after digging a little deeper into the background of the movement’s leaders. Should that matter? Should we be concerned about the reputation of the leaders we follow?

In the political realm there will always be things we agree with and d...


One of the many characteristics I have found in studying unstoppable leaders over the years is not only how they lead their business and teams, but also their family. These leaders take their teams and have planning sessions, set goals for the year, and then work strategically to achieve those goals. What caught my attention was that they did this with their family in a similar way. Do you do this?

Your immediate family relationships are your most valuable asset. Yet most of us do not act intentionally to grow those relationships. We just assume they will work o...


I recently was faced with a rather challenging situation with a friend whom I have done business with in the past. He asked if I could help him with a particular project he was working on. It was a big project for his business and time was of the essence. 

In my past business dealings with him, getting paid in a timely manner has been difficult, even when the time frame was agreed upon before the work started. This has put a bit of a strain on our friendship. I have resolved to let the past go, enjoy the friendship, and just not do any more work for them.


I was speaking with a friend of mine recently when the conversation turned to leadership, responsibility, and inequity of pay in the corporate world. He began his argument with the view that everyone in the organization is equally important and should be paid accordingly. He also expressed his frustration with how higher levels of leadership in a company are paid much more than the workers who are making the company successful. His view of middle level managers was they were no more than glorified baby-sitters, having meaningless meetings with their team to che...


At 11:29 pm on a Sunday night, my wife and I were in bed just getting ready to fall asleep when the terror began. Okay, maybe “terror” is a bit extreme. It was somewhere between the “fairly frightening” to “freak me out” category. We heard a very deep rumble accompanied by our house rattling and the bed bouncing up and down. The whole incident lasted no more than two seconds. We both had the same reaction, “What was that?”

For those who have lived through this experience, you already know this was an earthqua...


I had a Daddy / Daughter date with my eleven year old the other day. We went to see a movie together and had a great time. Afterward, she wanted to play one of the video games in the theater’s arcade. There before us was the Fast and Furious race game, perfect for two competitors. So in the money went, and we got set for the race. What appeared next made me wince.??

Surrounding our cars at the starting line on the screen were a group of curvaceous women, dressed in just enough clothing to cover a grapefruit. One had a flag and gyrated as if she were dancing...


Ahhh, the fall season. There is a crispness in the air, different colors on the trees, and the State Fair comes to town. This is a really special time for my family, my daughter in particular. As a tween, it won’t be long before she will want to go to the fair with her friends instead of me. That’s okay. It’s part of growing up. So with great anticipation, we chose the day we would be going and talked about the rides we would experience together. She would get the giggles and I would get the massive nausea due to motion sickness. Oh, the things we endure for ou...


When you think of someone who is “unstoppable,” who comes to mind? A top athlete or sports team on a winning streak? A CEO or other leader who is making an impact on the culture? Perhaps a cancer survivor who has beaten the medical odds. What comes to your mind? I’m willing to bet that you did not think of yourself as unstoppable. Most people don’t. It sounds too pretentious, too arrogant. After all, you typically wouldn’t think of yourself as successful or as courageous as the unsto...


I recently penned a blog about one of my cats who was having an issue regarding fear – specifically, fear about using the litter box for his daily solid waste product offerings. Cat number One, as we shall refer to him by, is the ultimate ‘fraidy cat. This animal is literally afraid of his own breath. My other feline, Cat number 2, is much more subdued – or devious – I haven’t quite decided. To give you a little foresight, we shall refer to her as “She-Devil.”

The issue was, that from time to time, a small pile of ...


January 18th was a special moment in my personal landscaping history. It was sky liberation day.

I hired a company to remove a 30-foot mesquite tree from my backyard I aptly named, “arbol del Diablo.”  It was a literal “thorn in my side” as every time I would trim the tree, I would inevitably be punctured by the 3-inch long, sixteen-penny nails growing out of the wood. No love was lost when it came down. Okay, I do miss the shade it provided – sort of. The view of the open sky is quite nice as well. An added bonus is no longer picking up the ...


I have a cat. He does not have a hat, or play with Thing 1 and Thing 2. He does, however, have a problem with fear. He is the ultimate “fraidy cat.”

Normally I wouldn’t concern myself with the emotional misgivings of a feline, but this fear is impeding on my life. You see, my cat has a fear of his litter box. It stems from a time when he went to do his business and ended with a piece of his droppings attached to his plumage. This led him to the false belief that the litter box was somehow attacking him. He responded then (and still does) by running full ...


A monument only says, "At least I got this far," while a footprint says, "This is where I was when I moved again."

I have been striving for something my whole life. A pursuit that has shaped my worldview, my view of myself, and my value. For as long as I can remember, I have had a deep need to be important –to be needed and wanted.
To belong.
To be noticed and have value.
So far, nothing necessarily wrong with these needs.

Over the years, the need has warped into a singular focus on my w...


I went kayaking. On a Monday. It cost me $2000. At least that is the opportunity loss due to me taking the day off. But I gained something worth far more than $2k.

I have been speaking with a great leader friend of mine about the topic of what fills our tank. As we lead our businesses and organizations, we talk a good game in this regard, but do we really believe what we say? I’m sure you’ve heard these lines (I’ve said them myself); “Time with my family fills my tank” or “Reading a good book refuels me” or “I...


My father was in the hospital a while back for treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke due to a rare condition he has. Fortunately, the stroke did not cause any permanent damage, only a temporary 80% loss of vision in one eye. While his vision is slowly coming back, he is frustrated (understandably) dealing with what he can’t do right now that he used to do before. The condition that is causing the strokes has no treatment or cure. It will probably kill him, although there is no timetable attached to that prognosis.

During one of his frustrating moments, I spoke to him abo...


I was speaking with a good friend of mine about a new aspect of his business he is considering. During the coarse of our conversation, the topic turned to golf. He played professionally in his career so I listened intently for anything he said that I could use to improve my game. He said there were two mistakes he made early on that, when he discovered how to correct them, were game changers. First, was keeping his eye on the ball. Sounds simple, but many people don’t keep their eye on the ball the whole way through their swing. When you keep you eyes focused on the ball ...


On a recent business trip, I decided to rent a car from a different company than I normally rent from. I did this as they were part of my airline’s reward program and I wanted to take advantage of the additional points to my account. As I went through their process of attaining my rental, I couldn’t help but to compare them to the other company I usually use. Customer service was okay. Friendly, but not overly so. I would say they “met expectations” – kind of &n...



Every society has a certain set of rules to govern the way people relate to each other, otherwise known as manners or civility. The following list is not comprehensive by any stretch, but is my top five civilities that our culture has lost – and needs back.

1. Don’t call anyone after 9pm.
I grew up before the dawn of email and texting, so this one makes perfect sense to me. There is a boundary that should be respected when it comes to talking with your family and friends after hours. Everyone needs d...


At the start of each year I reflect on how the previous year went, the goals I reached or failed to reach, and the main lessons learned. I have found it useful to identify a theme for each year of an area for growth. It might be deepening relationships, focusing on, and living out my core values, and so on. This year my theme is intentionality. I have been recognizing a trend in my life for the goals not realized, and that is intentionality. I have not put resources to the ...


Tis the season for the end of my daughter’s basketball games. It’s a non-competitive league (don’t get me started on that one) but she is growing in her skills and having fun. This past week was the Tournament Games, which they do keep score to determine who the champion will be. They played very well the first game with my daughter contributing 3 baskets for the team win. It was close, but well played. The next day, we played another team. If we were to win, we would go to the championship round to play for first place.

It was a classic under...


“Daddy, why do you talk to your clients with more respect and treat them nicer than you treat me?”

This was the question my 10 year old daughter asked me the other night. She had done something I thought she should have known how to do by her age, and I told her so. Looking back at it, I see now that I spoke harshly and rudely to her. I didn’t think anything of it at the time until she became quiet and started walking away. I stopped her and asked why she was quiet.

That’s when she dropped this bomb on me. “Daddy, why do you...

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