Jeff Orr Leadership Blogs


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03-06-2012

This is a thought provoking question, isn’t it? I have been devouring the book “Choices” by Henry Thomas over the last couple of weeks and this is his top question right from the start. What do you want from life? AS he talks about in the book, when he asks this question, very few people are able to answer it definitively. Most have no idea how to answer it. We can talk in great detail about the vacation we want to take, where we will go, what we will do, etc., but sit in stunned silence when we are asked to describe what we want to do or accomplish in five years.

Really stop and think about it. What do you really want in life? What do you really want to accompli...

02-21-2012

I have to admit, when I think of courage, I think of a larger-than-life, muscle-bound hero charging into battle against all odds, guns blazing. His teeth are clenched in defiance of the enemy and his resolve is sure. Not a hint of fear is on his face as he exacts total destruction upon anyone in his way. Though the odds are clearly stacked against him, his all encompassing courage and strength lead him to victory.

It is true that courage is a key character trait in leadership. It is necessary to exercise courage when you face all kinds of challenges in the workplace, in your business, and at home. Whether you are leading employees, clients, yourself or your family, those you lead ...

02-07-2012

As un-politically correct as this may sound, there is at least one benefit to extreme poverty: you lose weight. You lose weight because you can’t afford to buy all the extra food that is marginally nutritious, and therefore, only eat the food that will sustain you. Your daily caloric intake falls below the government’s daily recommended guideline and your body starts living off the storehouse of energy you affectionately refer to as “the spare tire.”

Many of us remember being in this situation at one point or another – usually in college. One of the most useful things I learned in college was how to survive on $10 a week, two packages of Top Ramen, an...

01-24-2012

What comes to your mind when you think of being “grounded?” Not the kind of “grounded” when you were a teenager, but what it means to you to be “grounded” as a leader? Does it bring up images of a “down-to-earth” kind of person? Someone who is realistic? Conventional? Sane?

In the Fall of 2008, at the height of the real estate bubble burst, I sold my house in Rochester, NY of 11 years and moved my family over 2500 miles to Phoenix, AZ. When we arrived, the economy was sinking. Jobs were evaporating quicker than water on hot pavement in the middle of summer. Housing prices were plummeting – which made a great time to buy....

01-19-2012

At the end of the register, in the self-service checkout at our local grocery store, there stood a candy display with a lock box, marked, “2 for 25 cents.” It was full of a variety of individually wrapped candies and was set up to be on the honor system. My 7 year-old daughter was with my wife at the store on one particular day when she spotted the candy. “Do you have any quarters?” she asked my wife. “No,” came the reply, and nothing more was thought of it.

The next day we noticed a small candy wrapped in a strawberry designed wrapper on the counter. Curious as to where this item had come from, we asked our daughter. She confessed that she had ...

01-10-2012

I ran into an old friend yesterday. I have known this friend all my life but we have not seen each other in a good 15 years or so. I remembered somewhere back in my long ago that I always felt a sense of warmth and safety with my friend. There was never a pretense. There was no lying. Just a simple, straight forward friendship. Through many storms my friend would cover and protect me. Through the happy times and celebrations, my friend was always there. It is the kind of friend that stories are made of. The kind that we all want deep down inside. A friend to accept us for who we are, a friend that would listen to us. That’s who my friend was.

I ran into my ...

01-03-2012

No, I’m not talking about the popular view of the end of the world coming in December. I’m talking about what every successful entrepreneur or business professional has had to deal with at one point or another in his or her career: failure. Failure is part of the game. How you choose to deal with those inevitable roadblocks will define your ultimate success.

It’s a fact of life that failures will happen. The question is: How will you face those failures? If you think of them as feedback, you will use the knowledge gained to make improvements in your business and move forward stronger than before. But if you choose to dwell in the setbacks, they will keep you stuc...

12-19-2011

I had the opportunity the other night to enjoy a small but raucous party hosted by a family a few doors down the road from me. The problem was, I wasn’t invited. Nor was anyone else. This party was exclusive to the one family, enjoying the hot tub in the backyard of a corporate-owned rental home. The party was also on a work night and went well into the early morning hours. Not a very pleasant way to start your work week.

Evidently, simple cultural values, such as, respect your neighbors, escaped them. Perhaps they weren’t passed on by their parents. Perhaps they just don’t care. In either case, the two teen-aged children with them will certainly not incorporate ...

12-13-2011

It has happened to all of us at one time or another in the life of our business. You lose a big client – or worse yet, you get fired by a big client. It’s one thing to lose a customer because they aren’t satisfied with a product you have sold. It’s an entirely different matter in a service-oriented business. You, as the owner, are the product! The client isn’t rejecting a tangible product. They are rejecting you, your skill set, your experiences, your talent and expertise. How do you recover mentally from that – especially when you have to get ready to serve another client only an hour after you got fired from the first client? How do ...

11-11-2011

Leadership is a passion of mine. It comes from a combination of a natural talent for it (how I am wired) and a deep desire to see things the way they could be. I love forming a vision in my mind’s eye for something and then working to see it come to fruition. I love casting that vision to others and building a team to bring the vision to life. I love all the in-between details that is part of leading. I love growing and learning new things. I can’t help it. It is the way I am, and I can’t imagine being any different. If you are resonating with any of this, it is because leadership runs in your blood as well. You can’t help it either. It’s why you stay up late...

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