My Book: Objectives + Key Results (OKR) Leadership; How to Apply Silicon Valley’s Secret Sauce to Your Career, Team or Organization
Leaders need to practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are the secret sauce that drives the largest migration of financial assets and technological innovation ever recorded in human history to Silicon Valley, California, USA, since the 1970s.
OKR Leadership — the process for managers and leaders to practice what matters – is the secret sauce that drives transformational leadership, employee engagement and the next generation of management consulting.
This practical and valuable book will help you practice OKR Leadership in your career, team or organization immediately.
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9758841-6-4 . Published December, 2019. 203 pages.
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How do you keep track of what’s important when you watch sports? Well, you use a scoreboard. Or a timer. Or a finish line. You use numbers to measure what matters. Then you boast about your favorite scores. In short, you know who wins because you know who had the better numbers. This book is written for readers and leaders with the same kind of focus — you need to know what to measure so that you can win.
Similarly, when you drive a car, you stay between the lines to reach your goal. When you drive on an interstate, you somehow avoid risks while hurtling through space at 70 mph with only plastic and 6 inches separating you from danger. You trust that countless strangers doing the same will not hurt you or your loved ones. You trust your strange Uber driver. Even those who drive in Paris, France around the Arc de Triumph somehow avoid risk without lines to guide their driving. When you drive around your local roundabout, you somehow create safety amid chaos. How do you avoid those risks? You collaborate. You assess risk. You make smart choices. This book is also written for readers who need to avoid chaos and achieve outcomes.
When you manage others, you try to maximize their productivity (e.g., effectiveness, efficiency or outcomes). Some days – and some relationships — are better than others. Sometimes you make decisions that make money, reduce waste or create customer delight worth over $1MM. I’ve never met a manager who said, “Yeah, I’ve got all the resources required to excel. I’m all set with adequate time, people, technology, rewards, clear outcomes and metrics…” Yet somehow managers swallow their frustrations. Somehow managers fight against ambiguity. How do managers like you succeed? You assess risks. You make smart choices. You adopt validated processes that work. This book is written for frustrated managers who need to achieve outcomes and measure results.
When I ask audiences, “How many of you are managers?” over 60% of those in attendance raise their hands. But when I ask, “How many of you are leaders?” only 30% raise their hands. Leaders are courageous and careful. Sometimes you raise your hand. Sometimes you sit on your hands. By definition, leaders influence the behavior of others toward a better future. Leaders tell stories from the front of the room. Leaders share public optimism. Do you collect data and anecdotes? Do you assess and recommend? Do you sell and deliver? Do you design and build? Then, do you step back to reflect? Sometimes leaders ask, “Now what?” They think about What’s In It For Others, or WIIFO. This book is written for leaders like you who need to influence the attitude and behavior of others.
This Objectives + Key Results (OKR) Leadership book answers that “What’s next?” question with a validated process that you can implement immediately. Simply put, OKR Leadership is a process that enables managers and leaders to practice what matters. OKR Leadership can help you and your team win by achieving objectives faster, at lower cost, with less waste. It’s fairly easy to describe the OKR process, because it is an open source but deceptively simple process.1 Definitions and examples of OKR Leadership are in the following paragraphs.
This book is written for leaders and practitioners in any-sized organization (e.g., public or private, new or existing, small or large), in any sector (e.g., business, education, family, government, religion, career) in any geography.
This book contains countless examples from my consulting practice, since 1997, with over 10,000 leaders. Examples help people create meaning. About 80% of these examples apply to business and family leaders, and 20% apply to personal or individual leaders. OKR Leadership is practiced at the individual, team and organizational levels.
My primary objective is to provoke you into practicing OKR Leadership immediately. I often say, “Action leads to learning.”
So, let’s get started.
“Doug’s leadership training of the OKR process has been received positively by my sales team due to the coaching being simple, engaging and very effective.” — Terry Fortner, VP Sales and Marketing, North America LKQ Corporation.
“Doug Gray makes the complex understandable. More important, he makes it doable.” — Craig E. Aronoff, Ph.D., author, Chairman and co-founder, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.
“John Doerr’s book “Measure What Matters” describes how OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) transformed Silicon Valley. With this new book, Doug builds on the OKR approach with practical and valuable guidance for individuals, teams and organizations. If you plan on implementing OKRs for your organization, you need this book.” — John Mattox, PhD, author, Head of Talent Research, Metrics that Matter, Explorance
“The top five companies in Silicon Valley have an economic value as great as the United Kingdom. They must know something. Doug has uncovered their secrets in his OKR Leadership approach.” — Jac Fitzenz, PhD, author, Founder Saratoga Institute and Human Capital Source
“Doug Gray provides readers with a ‘moment of truth’ concerning how we can transform lofty objectives into down-to-earth results.” — James Dillon, co-Founder, Emerging Step
“Introducing the OKR framework has not only allowed us to align our company goals throughout the organization, but it has also provided an easy mechanism to give visibility into how we drive operational accountability. That visibility now exists for both our employees and supervisors. OKR Leadership has encouraged broader and more in-depth conversations about the right key results to drive individual or team objectives.” — Justin Jude, Acting President, LKQ Corp, North America
“Doug’s new book challenges me to be a leader and to practice leadership. This book provides a practical framework that will make you a more successful leader.” — David Cardwell, SVP, IT Operations, F100 company
“Finally, a much needed leadership focus on the importance of clear objectives and specific, measurable results. This book will be useful not just for the present but throughout a practitioner’s career.” — Dave Vance, PhD, author, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting
“In his new and exciting book, OKR Leadership, Doug Gray shares how his proven techniques can help you move the needle to achieve the business outcomes you’ve been striving for. If you’re ready for a transformation, then OKR Leadership is a must read!” — Sheri Bankston, VP, Alliance Safety Council
“History is littered with the graves of organizations who had the right strategy but were unable to execute. Lack of execution is a very real threat to every organization’s survival. This is a very practical look at the OKR system to accomplishing results. Written incredibly clearly, Doug Gray has brought OKR Leadership to life in a way that would benefit any organization.” — Brian Underhill, Ph.D., author, Founder and CEO, CoachSource
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