why okrs are the rockstars of goalsetting

  OKRs are the Rockstars of goal-setting. Why? – When OKRs are effectively deployed they are future-directed and inspiring, based on collaboration and creativity. OKRs in the hands of leaders and managers whose heads are in perfect rhyme with their hearts leads to a magical performance.     

I’m passionate. What action does your passion lead you to do? asks Bono.” If the heart doesn’t find a perfect rhyme with the head, then your passion means nothing. {OKRs} gives us an environment for risk, for trust, when failing is not a federal offense’


I grew up with U2 and saw many passionate lyrics turned into awe-inspiring stage performances and record-breaking albums. Poetic phrases married emotion stirring guitar riffs that spoke to the eternal. Drum and base the foundational rhythm as an enabler to reach for the moon and beyond.

Passion is the first ingredient to be poured into the cup of goal setting, but it is worth it to reiterate:

‘ if the heart does not find a perfect rhyme with the head then your passion means nothing. Passion that remains lingering as a hidden feeling compounded by emotional thoughts cannot translate into meaningful action that changes the course of organizations and changes the world. Leaders and managers are better when they are passionate and purpose fuelled.

Passion has to be fortified with structure in order to flourish. Intrinsic to this structure must be action, the type of action that perpetually grasps excellence as a yardstick.

The structure must not be too rigid though – as Bill James exclaimed  :

‘Standardization leads to rigidity and rigidity causes things to break

Bill James

That speaks directly to the delicate leadership (inspiration) and management (control) balance. Too much rigidity for extended periods of time at the expense of creativity and collaboration demotivates and tires the very people that you need to be at their best. 

On the other hand, too much inspiration and too few rules (S.O.P.S, safety measures, financial controls) create chaos and damage. It is indeed an art to achieve a healthy balance.

Interwoven through all S.O.P.S and other rules must be respect for people, sincere caring, and a sharing of values and dreams for it to be infused with the right levels of energy to maintain it. Leaders and managers are the custodians of the purpose fuelled culture of the business

A goal-setting framework needs to be flexible enough to allow for collaboration, pivoting when required, creative problem solving, and a positive growth mindset to flourish. 

A decent dose of passion and inspiration must flow through the structure of goal setting in order for it to be a source of energy and motivation culminating in sustainable performance.

As OKR frameworks are future-directed, passion-driven, based on collaboration yet structured this hybrid of habit and passion makes it the ‘rockstar of goal setting.

Why do some Rockstars outperform others for decades, and why do some leaders and managers outperform others? – when the vision and purpose are higher than the self when values ground passionate ethereal thoughts and transform them into practical magic, then, and only then 10x growth can be not only a possibility but a sustainable reality.

Objectives and key results start with a strong why (purpose). This ensures impact and meaningful work. As Objectives are future directed it creates excitement especially when it is meaningful and is a far reach. Key results are specific and add the element of focus. Lazer-like focus is required to achieve greatness and key results are key focus points.

OKRs can be individually applied to self-development, they can be applied to any organization, and are not limited by industry, OKRs are limitless therefore it has the proven capacity to assist in 10x growth spurts (Google and several other case studies).

Become an OKR expert by going through our series of practical OKR courses:


As with any other performance tool, it is only as good as the person or team who deploys it. Leadership capabilities are the single most important factor when it comes to execution.

Sustainable company and or business performance is about a fully integrated ecosystem of elements.

Where there is consistent high performance it is very likely that:

Strong leadership is present (inspiration)

Management is good (controls are in place)

A passion driven pursuit of product excellence is shared

Shared and non-negotiable values are practically applied 

Creativity and collaboration are fostered

Useful change is embraced and not resisted

Learn how the ‘rockstar’ of OKRs, John Doerr sets and achieves them:


Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute