OKR achievement through Effective Manager-Leadership

“ If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to gather wood, give them orders, and divide work. Rather make them yearn for the far and endless sea”

(Antoine de Saint – Exupery)

Truly inspired people tend to act faster and with more clarity as they have a clear vision foremost in their minds. Team members who go to work purely for the sake of earning a salary tend to be de-motivated and take slow or no action.

When true leaders and strong managers engage team members, they will do well to remember that the level of inspiration of their fellow team members is their responsibility.

“ Making your team yearn for the far and endless sea” means to “sell” the compelling and inspiring vision of the company to team members and get their full commitment to it. Once team members have fully bought into the vision of the company attaining other goals, OKRs and KPIs become relatively simpler. Effective Leadership is a key prerequisite to achieving OKRs.

A strong and collective belief in the vision of the company amongst team members can serve as a catalyst that generates momentum towards achieving OKRs.

To practically implement an OKR framework incorporating effective leadership strategies contact us: https://okrinstitute.org/contact/

Purpose-driven OKRs and results

While a compelling vision can act as a source of inspiration to team members a sense of purpose is yet another key driver toward achieving sustainable excellence. Purpose provides meaning to work and makes work more impactful.

Case study A

‘I sell contact lenses’ – says the Rayban rep upon being asked what she does for a living.

Case study  B

‘I help make people more beautiful and confident’ – says the same Rayban rep after finding meaning and purpose in her work.

Embracing a purpose means you no longer merely sell or manufacture products you make an impact, you give personal meaning to your work and act accordingly.

How do our products/services impact individuals and the world? – Lead with the answer to this question when you sell your products as opposed to merely rambling on about how great your product is.

Effective management – leadership – A combination of Competence, Character and commitment

Consistent OKR, KPI, and other goals, macro or micro, are extremely difficult, if not impossible to sustainably achieve without effective management-leadership.

Team members tend to follow what leaders do not what they say – a natural side effect follows that when the leaders’ behaviour is not in alignment with company OKRs, the fallout is that team members’ behaviour follows suit.

Read more about leadership qualities here: https://hbr.org/topic/leadership-qualities

Leaders need to be competent to instil not only hope but confidence in their efforts. Character is the opposite of image – Image is what we want people to think of us; character is who we truly are. When leaders act with courage, determination, competence, and integrity, they foster trust amongst team members. When these actions are consistent full trust can be elicited from all stakeholders.

When strategic objectives are presented to the team, they will ‘filter’ the information through their levels of trust in the leadership, through their emotions, beliefs, and fears. It is pro-active leadership to ensure that all of the above is consistently addressed through leadership behaviours, coaching, and communication with integrity.

With half efforts or halfhearted commitments, very little can be achieved. Leaders need to be the living example of being fully committed to achieving OKRs and other relevant macro or micro goals.

Apathy (not caring) is the opposite of commitment and merely being actively involved does not secure excellent performances either. Only true commitment wherein all resources are applied to their maximum positive force towards achieving OKRs generates a high degree of certainty of sustainable performance.

Executive summary

Inspired and purpose-fuelled work forms a potent combination for achieving excellent OKR results. Excellent Management leadership is an essential requirement to achieve the aforementioned outcomes. Competence, character, and commitment are key character traits of an effective Manager-Leader that consistently needs to be practised as a means to secure sustainable results.

Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute