Jeff Orr Leadership Blogs

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There comes a time in every growing business or enterprise when you cross a threshold of sorts. It is the time you no longer “have to” get every prospect to become a client. You know the scenario. As you start out, anyone with a pulse is a prospect – even if they are completely wrong for your business. You just need the money. But now, your business is at a point where you no longer have to bow down to this distasteful reality. You should be celebrating but instead, you find yourself still taking clients you shouldn’t, engaging in activities that you should let go of, and so on. You have become accustomed to saying yes to everything, that you can’t say no to ...


I was with a group of friends recently and we were going around telling of our favorite holiday. The usuals came out, Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. I have to admit, growing up, Thanksgiving was not one of my favorite holidays. Yes, the food was good, but I found the day to be one of the most boring days of the year. Granted, I’m not a huge football fan so watching endless hours of sports on TV wasn’t appealing. Most all of my friends on the block were either stuck inside with their families or out of town visiting family.

Over the years, not much has changed for me and this holiday. Yes, there is a great deal to be thankful for, but honestly, shouldn&r...


For all the hype, movies, conspiracy theories, books, and endless information surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar (and the end of this age or Earth as we know it – depending on who you believe), there is one end you should be thinking about. The end of your business. Do you have an exit strategy?

You have spent countless numbers of hours on your business, poured thousands of dollars into it to make it grow, and seen the fruit of your labor. What’s next? What do you want to do with this entity that screams for your attention? Are you hoping to someday sell the business? Are you going to pass it down the family line, building a lasting business legacy? If you are l...


Robert loved baseball. It all started when he was 4 or 5 – he can’t exactly recall – when he and his father would play catch in the yard. Dad would teach him how to stand, catch, throw, and hit the ball. As Robert grew, his father took him to some pro games. These were great moments that helped to shape his love for the game. In high school, Robert excelled at the game and was soon the star player. His best friend John was also a top player and the two pushed each other to improve their skills and stats. They would practice everyday together, working on hitting or fielding. When Robert didn’t feel like practicing, John would push and motivate him to get moving....


I have a confession to make. I have acquired a new addiction, one that could have sobering consequences. I have discovered the game of golf.

Okay, laugh all you want. I’m indulging in my own mid-life crisis of sorts. Instead of an expensive sports car I can’t afford, I’m choosing to join the throngs of golf-enthusiasts and learn a new sport. The way I see it, I’m saving roughly $58,295 in start-up costs between the car and the clubs. That should make my wife happy (she doesn’t seem to see it the same way I do).

While I am just beginning, I do recognize that the key to golf is not found in the technology of the club, but in the consistency of t...


A couple of summers ago, my wife and daughter decided to grow an apricot tree from seed. The process involves soaking the seed for three days, then wrapped in a water-soaked paper towel sealed in a plastic bag and placed in a refrigerator for 5 to 6 weeks (known as “forcing a winter”). It seemed like a lot of work to me for an apricot. After all, that’s what grocery stores are for.

After about six weeks the seed had sprouted and it was time to plant. The tiny tree took root and grew quite well over the next few months. When it reached a height of about 8 inches, the tree began falling over. Still growing, the trunk (more like a twig) bent and curved in response t...


There’s nothing like a health scare to help you appreciate ordinary moments on a whole new level. My wife had a health scare recently when, after visiting a specialist for an on-going ailment that had been getting progressively worse, he found a mass. After a CT scan the next day, we had the joy of waiting 5 days for the results.

What I found interesting during the waiting period was how ordinary events in our lives seemed richer. They were more intense. Conversations were sweeter. Moments together were deeper. All the normal concerns and stressors of the day no longer mattered. Now, in my mind, I wasn’t going down the road of “worse-case-scenario”, but the...


I am a firm believer that the Government should tell us what to do, think, feel, and smell like. After all, lawyers who have not seen the light of day in a courtroom in decades and live 2300 miles away from me certainly know what’s best for my business, me, and my family. My higher-educated-years-of-business-leadership-and-common-sense-experience aside, I will defer to their vast knowledge and wisdom that pontificates from behind large, mahogany desks, immersed in the industry of politics. That’s why I elected them.

Personally, I am grateful for the hours of tree-eradicating paperwork I must engage in to fulfill the requirements of small business regulation. I consider...


I was reading a great op/ed piece by Peter Ferrara at Forbes, titled, “The Ongoing Disgrace That Is Obamanomics”, and was struck by one particular fact in our economy. The “recovery” that we have been told has been going on since June 2009, really isn’t. We just aren’t bouncing back the way we have in the past. Now, Mr. Ferrara masterfully describes our country’s situation and how it compares to other countries and their economic demise (I highly recommend the read).

While there are many reasons why our economy is in a very slow recov...


One of the disciplines many of my clients struggle with is consistency. Truth be told, I struggle with this from time to time myself. The discipline to do the right activities that will bring the achievement one wants, seems to be elusive. Have you ever felt this way? You know what you need to do, you just can’t seem to do it. You let other tasks/concerns/busyness-of-the-day crowd out these important, “right” activities.

For all the guilt you feel for not getting your act together, let me offer this encouragement. If you consistently do not engage in the right activities to move your business or life forward, you’re at least being consistent. Ironic, isn&rs...


Today starts the official month of Achütoben. People all over the world will be setting aside time throughout the month of August to focus their attention to the proper alignment of mind and body. Children will join hands and sing. Dogs and cats will finally get along. Are you celebrating Achütoben?

Of course, this is a made up holiday. We have so many ridiculous “National Day of…” whatever, that I thought I would create one of my own. My holiday would focus on resetting your mind. Instead of watching endless hours of negative-filled media, listening to other people ruminate about their latest complaint, or reading about this week’s national deba...


John Maxwell once commented on the time table it typically takes to develop your leadership. The first few years in the organization is spent building relationships and showing your worth by the production you do. From years 5 to 7, you begin to see real traction as people recognize your leadership skill and contributions. After year seven, you begin to see results from your reputation in the community. This is why, he points out, if you continually move – from one job to another, from one place to another – you will have difficulty experiencing the larger returns on your leadership. They just don’t come quickly. When you do stick it out, through the good and the bad, ov...


Were you aware that somewhere between July 13 and July 15 is National Cow Appreciation Day? There are so many different events in our collective history that should be remembered as a nation, and as a proud cow-loving-carnivore I say, it’s about time.

However, my thought here is not so much on the joys of consuming a good steak, but on one corporation’s use of the “holiday” to give back to the community. A couple of weeks ago, I took my herd to Chik-fil-A to enjoy a free meal for each of us. Of course, we had to dress head-to-hoof as a cow to get them, but it seemed a fair trade. The restaurant was packed with all manner of bovine dressed people. There was ...


I, like many around the world, was saddened to hear the news that Stephen Covey had died this week. He certainly has been a great influence in the business world as well as for many people personally. His principle-centered living and leadership style has enable millions to be more effective in their careers and personal lives. I have found his writings to be highly beneficial to me and my journey – so much so, that I have quoted him in my own book, Succeed In The New Normal.

He will be missed, but his influence and legacy will live on in the organizations, businesses, an...


I was privileged to be in attendance today at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, at an event with Dan Cathy, President of Chik-fil-A Restaurants. It was an inspiring talk given by Dan (he prefers people use his first name) as he spoke of the history of the company, values, and leadership. Here is some of the wisdom I gleaned during the presentation.

• His father taught him at a young age, “Find work that you love and you’ll never work again.”

• We compete with innovation and creativity, but more so, complacency.

• Lead with intentionality.


I don’t know anyone who wakes up in the morning excited about a full day’s worth of making cold calls. I realize there are a few of you who are really good at it – and actually enjoy it – but we don’t run in the same circles.

I was having a conversation with a business leader who has been handed a directive from the corporate office that she needs to go out into her community and “cold call” four businesses a week in order to bring in new accounts. While this doesn’t sound like a particularly difficult task, it is doomed to failure for a couple of reasons. The first is that she hates cold calling. Second, research shows that of all t...


I was reading the other day some interesting articles regarding three of the top competitors in the 2012 Masters – Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods, and Sergio Garcia. All three had the same hopes and goals in coming to the Masters (obviously to win), yet each one had a very different outcome, and perspective of their performance.

On the 10th hole, Bubba hit a shot that landed far off the fairway and into the trees. In fact, it was so deep, he couldn’t see the green. He was 155 yards out. However, this was his attitude; “If I’ve got a swing, I’ve got a shot.” And what a shot. He hooked the shot to land the ball roughly 10 feet from the hole. A shot goo...


A lot has been said over the last couple of weeks concerning the shooting of 17 year old, Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida. From the President of the United States, to civil rights groups, to the office cooler, discussion has been heated as everyone is commenting on the “facts” of what happened (interestingly, before the facts have even become public in some cases). What I want to focus on here is not what happened that night, but what has happened in the aftermath. In particular, the power of words to change the trajectory of an event.

Shortly after the event occurred, a scant amount of facts were released including the 911 tape. This is what NBC’s ...


The other morning I was enjoying a healthy bowl of cereal – you know, the kind that claims to be made from grains and other natural ingredients, but in reality has the consistency of small rocks. How anyone digests this stuff is beyond me, but for some reason I kind of like it.

As I was munching away and planning my morning schedule, I bit down hard and heard an enormous crunch in my head, followed by the feeling of something like sand and small pebbles on my tongue. I assumed I had bit into an over-cooked cereal flake. Upon further investigation, I discover a rather large hole in my upper back molar where an old porcelain filling had been. Not the most pleasant way to start...


Have you ever had a conversation with someone about a topic you knew very little about? Because the topic is a current hot issue, and you don't want to look uninformed, you voice your opinion on it sounding like you are an expert in this area. Have you ever been humiliated by the other person in the conversation who actually is an expert on the topic? All because you spoke on a subject that you didn't know enough about.

As leaders, it is imperative that we know what we are talking about when we speak out on an issue or communicate to those we lead. It is supposed to be one of the marks of leadership. Yet, we often rely on what others say to form our opinions.

On April...

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