Okrs and self-development: 5 ‘actionable cliches’ that will take you to the mountaintop

OKRs and Self-development: 5 ‘Actionable Cliches’ that can take you to the Mountaintop

OKRs and Self-development are synergistic elements of building a strong and future-directed organization. We share 5 ‘Actionable Cliches’ in the form of quotes that can help you to capitalize on the motivating mechanisms inherent in OKR frameworks. The thing about Cliches is that they are often true, and by ‘Actionable Cliches’ we mean to transform these things that are said over and over again, into tangible successes for your company.

Do not get bitter; get better

Tiger Woods

When receiving feedback that you perceive as negative, especially when unexpected can be very tough. What is definitely within your control is how you react to the feedback. It is not a matter of ‘if times will get tough’, during the deployment of OKRs it is only a matter of when.

When we choose to shift the blame when things go wrong instead of asking:

  • Where did I (or the team) go wrong?
  • What is the lesson in this?
  • How can we immediately apply the learnings from this challenge?
  • Who can help us?

We are unlikely to gain anything useful from the experience. We would also likely become bitter and harbor resentment.

By pointing at ourselves first, we have a focus on self-development as well as team development. We have to do this in a healthy way:

We look to the past only to learn from it, not to beat ourselves up over past mistakes. This way we maximize OKRs and Self-development in a synergistic way. Turning ‘do not get bitter, get better’ into an actionable cliché will help you to increase self-belief and performance.

Move, but not the way fear makes you move


Fear can be debilitating and can bring everything to a halt, or at least significantly slow us down. As humans, it is definitely normal to experience fear but we ultimately have a choice – To either live in fear or to live in confidence.

When we build positive team dynamics, collectively pursue shared and co-created goals and visions, and foster transparency, creativity, and collaboration we are building confidence in creating a desired future state of the company. The stronger the confidence (not arrogance), the lesser the fear will be. The success of OKRs and self-development is highly dependent upon the levels of confidence within your organization.

Making decisions with confidence

Taking action with all your might

Believing in yourself and your team

Will support you in turning ‘Move but not the way fear makes you move’, into an actionable cliché.

Never, Never, never, never,ever give up

Winston Churchill

Once we have carefully created our Vision, strategies, and objectives, and we have galvanized our teams around it, we must persevere and jointly overcome obstacles – It is not done until it is done.

Giving up is a very easy thing to do, especially when you feel overwhelmed. When you strongly believe in a purpose and you have created an excellent team ethos it becomes exponentially harder to give up. In addition, when you truly value your key stakeholders, such as your customers, you are not only doing this for yourselves but for the bigger picture.

Resilience is not an idea, instead, it is a skill. With a strong focus on priorities, purpose and key stakeholders we are building the skill of resilience.

Measure What matters

John Doerr

The ability to carefully and selectively say no to what does not matter or is less impactful and say yes to what truly matters is a critical success factor to both OKRs and Self-development. Less is truly more when it comes to OKRs.

A strong focus on a few priorities that are ultimately aligned with the vision of the company is an essential component of achieving excellence. At the OKR Institute, we advise setting a maximum of three OKRs per team as a best practice to ensure that you turn ‘measuring what matters into an ‘Actionable Cliche’.

When you decide on your action plan it is also advisable to decide which actions, programs, initiatives, or tasks have the highest potential yield in terms of delivering on your key results.

We are what our deep driving desire is as our thoughts are, so are our deeds, and our deeds shall echo in eternity


Have a purpose and a compelling Vision. Align your thoughts and deeds to the same purpose, vision, and objectives and you shall build a legendary company. This is easier said than done because the average human being has between fifty thousand and seventy thousand thoughts per day, of which seventy percent are negative.

It matters then, to a high degree, what example we set as leaders and how we go about creating a motivating climate for our people. While deploying OKRs, we would do well to have a strong focus on building positive team dynamics and skills building in parallel. Skills building includes building confidence, resilience, and a growth mindset orientation.

You can support the success of both OKRs and Self-development by bringing the above ‘5 Actionable Cliches’ to life’ in your organization.

Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute