Chapter FiveManaging with OKRs

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE was a man named Gus who got in over his head with debt and was way behind on all his payments. Exhausting every source of credit, and not knowing where else to turn, Gus goes to church one day, kneels at the altar and prays to the Lord that he might win the lottery to right his financial ship. “Dear Lord,” he pleaded, “Please let me win the lottery. I'll be a new man, I promise.” A week went by with no lottery jackpot for Gus. Back to church he went. “Lord, just let me win this week and you'll see, I'll turn over a new leaf.” Another week passes and Gus is no richer. Frustrated and close to tears, Gus returns to church, “Lord, I don't understand, I've prayed, I've promised to change, why won't you let me win the lottery?” Suddenly there came a loud clap of thunder, and the Lord spoke, “Gus, meet me halfway: Buy a ticket!”

Poor old Gus could have spent an eternity praying for relief from his debts, but without taking action the most he could expect were faded hopes and a set of sore knees. Creating OKRs and not rapidly sharing and reviewing results is akin to hoping to hit the lottery without going to the trouble of buying a ticket. You can't “set and forget” goals and hope to achieve any of the OKR benefits we've chronicled throughout the text. The modern business offers countless distractions to divert your attention from what matters most—a hundred fires you can fight every day—but to execute successfully and take your ...

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