Jeff Orr Leadership Blogs


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10-07-2014

Do you ever get into work with plans in place, excited and energized to accomplish all the tasks you need to get done, only to have your plans derailed with distraction and lack of clarity? If this has happened to you, you are not alone. I have yet to speak to anyone who hasn’t had this scenario played out in their career at one time or another. Most often, it is played out several times a week! You start out the week with a number of “ultimately important” tasks that absolutely need to get done. As each day passes, you find yourself distracted with t...

01-14-2014

It's hard to believe, but January 2014 is just about half over. How are you doing with your goals so far? You have set up your plan for 2014 haven't you?

I have the privilege of coaching some very successful people around the country and all of them have at least one thing in common: they all plan. They take the time to remove the distractions of their demanding business, and take a look at where they've been and where they're heading. They do this so they make the best use of the one thing they can control. Their schedule.

Let&...

06-25-2013

That phrase can apply to so many things, can’t it? It can apply to opportunity, time, or your paycheck. It certainly applies to your kids. For a few weeks now, my daughter has been asking me to take her to the local water park. After all, we have season passes. I have been putting it off, not because I don’t want to go, just the opposite. Business has been picking up and I am taking advantage of the opportunities. I have also been working quite a bit on the weekends. This is not my normal practice as I value my family time. So, I have been mentally putting off the water park a...

06-19-2013

I recently had two separate coaching calls with two partners in a previously successful business. In the not-so-distant past, they had built their business with a particular business model that worked during that time. They were financially doing well and expanded their practice. Over the last couple of years however, new regulations in their industry has caused them to change some of the ways they do business. In addition, their target market has changed in regard to what they are expecting of the service and product they receive. One of the partners decided to rework thei...

06-11-2013

I have never liked this saying. I heard it all the time growing up. Every time I would hear it, I would think to myself, “If I can’t have my cake and eat it too, why have the cake?”  Seems reasonable.

 

Of course, the saying is talking about trying to blend two good, but opposing ideas together. You can’t be married, for example, and continue to date other people. At least not if you want to stay married. You can’t eat a whole chocolate sheet cake with butter cream frosting every night for dessert (my favorit...

05-22-2013

I started the season with great anticipation. This was my first time coaching soccer in a league with over 6000 kids. I decided to get involved in coaching this season (like many fathers) as a way to connect with my third grade daughter. I felt a strong pull, not only for her, but for the other girls on the team to help encourage and train them in a fun sport. I was assigned as an assistant coach to an already established, dual head coach, husband-wife team, and as I said, I started with great anticipation. Or, more precisely, I started with a set of expectations and hopes.

05-14-2013

When I lived in Nashville, TN in the mid 90’s, I did some carpentry work with a talented drummer. Doug had played for years in Chicago and had the experience and drive necessary to break into the closed-knit music scene in the Country Music capital. He was specifically looking to be a player in a touring band or a session player on other artist’s albums. The fact that he was working during the day as a carpenter was not an indicator of his lack of talent.

 

We struck up many great conversations as we both worked together as I too, was an aspi...

05-07-2013

"Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions." - Jim Collins

I think it is human nature to live in a tension of denial and persistence. How many times have you run into an obstacle and chose to keep trying to overcome it until you were successful? That is certainly not a bad character trait. There is a bit of denial in the process, or at the very least, an ignoring of the naysayers, so you can remain focused on your goal. However, when it comes to making decisions, this denial/persistence model ten...

04-24-2013

Once upon a time in my long ago, I was working for a contractor doing basic construction, painting, trim work, etc. It wasn’t terribly difficult work and I enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing a tangible result coming together. However, I did find some tension between me and my boss regarding one particular issue. It stemmed around his leadership style and how I’m wired. All throughout the day he would give instructions to all of us, who was to work where, what they were to do etc. The instructions were typically limited to a particular job that needed do...

04-08-2013

Steven Covey once said, “Character is what we are; competence is what we can do. The reality is that character and competence drive everything else in the organization.”

How is your team in your business or organization aligned for success? Do you have two key components that drive success? I have known many companies who have some very competent people but are lacking in some key character traits. I have also known some high-character people who are not competent in their job – mostly because they are not the right fit. What...

03-18-2013

You are heading full steam toward your goals and vision. You endure small setbacks and obstacles. This is all part of the leadership challenge you face each day. Undeterred, you rally your team to focus on the vision for inspiration, and the projects at hand for the momentum. You are confident that your plans and efforts will pay off. And then…

 

A key client pulls their account with no explanation. One of your key leaders resigns. You are hit with some discouraging financial reports from your CFO. And it’s only ten in the morning. ...

02-20-2013

“There are so many things to do in my day. I can’t seem to get everything done. I end up feeling overwhelmed at times and get the sense that I’m not really getting anywhere in my business.”

I hear this quite often in my work as a business performance coach. Well intentioned business men and women who know what they need to do, but often don’t do them when they need to be done. Instead, they find themselves in a rut of answering this email, dealing with that employee issue, making this call, and attending to that client&rsq...

02-04-2013

In the first part of this article, we looked at how a relationship with a co-worker can go wrong. Now, what do you do about it? How do you restore that relationship to health?

1. Own up to your mistakes quickly. Do not think time will fix the problem, it will only make things worse. In the absence of correct information, the mind will fill in the gaps – often with incorrect information – making the relational rift wider and reconciliation more difficult. Don’t look to blame the other person or make excuses. Instead, look to ...

01-30-2013

Leadership is a delicate balance of relationship management. Those you lead must trust and respect you. They can’t trust you until they know you – and you them. Respect comes from time spent working with, listening to, and inspiring your team. They must know where you are leading them. So, you spend time building great relationships with your team. You weather tough times together. You invest in them beyond what they would have expected. Everything seems to be fine until…

A relational rift occurs. Maybe it started as a simple miscommunicatio...

01-23-2013

I wouldn’t normally speak to a political issue in a leadership/business blog, but in the conversation about gun control, there are some leadership and business lessons we can draw upon. In the rush to appear effective, the leaders in New York state have passed their version of gun control. The President has also outlined his proposal for tighter restrictions. On the surface, this seems like decisive leadership. Where it falls short, however, and what we can learn from, is that the facts regarding the premise upon which the decision is based, have been ignored for the sake ...

01-02-2013

It’s official. We’ve all jumped off the Fiscal Cliff and low-and-behold, we’re still alive. We seem to be free falling to our ultimate doom, but we’re still alive. Our duly elected officials have worked tirelessly for the last few days to come up with a plan to avert disaster and set the country on a right path again. Thank the higher-being-whose-name-I-can’t-mention-in-public-so-as-not-to-offend, that we have such well educated, brilliant leaders in Washington to rescue all of us from our unbridled, run-away spending habits.

L...

12-19-2012

Tragedy comes in all forms. Some are the result of human decisions, such as making a bad investment that financially ruins a company, or a decision to take lives as we saw unfold in Newtown, Connecticut. Some tragedies are out of our control, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis. A common thread to all of these horrific events is a question; Why? Why did this happen? Why wasn’t it prevented? Why didn’t someone see this coming? Whatever the tragedy, leaders must rise to meet the challenge. Not the challenge of answering the questions, but the c...

12-12-2012

“You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto,
Let’s call the whole thing off!”

This tongue-in-cheek song, written by George and Ira Gershwin in 1937, playfully looks at how something as small as the pronunciation of words can cause a big relational discord. So big in fact, that the two people involved are ready to quit the relationship. We chuckle at the absurdity of the premise and ask the simple question, “You’re talking about the same thing, just pronouncing it differently. What i...

12-10-2012

Red KettleThe fiscal cliff. Impending global climate change in the wrong direction. Global economic collapse. Food prices going up. The end of the Mayan calendar (and our way of life presumably). Endless war and terroism. Your neighbor’s 60,000-light outdoor Christmas display keeping you up at night. It just makes you want to give up…

Maybe your life isn’t quite this complex, but with all of the current difficulties of life, the holiday season doesn’t seem to help inspire some people. In fact, for some of us, this time of year is marked by extra stress and exp...

12-05-2012

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 ...

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