Writing an individual Objective

Objective refers to things that must be accomplished. It is what you want to achieve; that’s why it needs to be inspiring (especially for you).  

Here are some tips to help you write an inspiring Objective:

Do: know the reason behind it

It should be easier for you to write your Objective when you know the bigger story or context behind it. They can imbue your Objective with a sense of purpose, which will come in handy when you face challenges or difficulties later on. A Key Result will serve as the expected outcome you’d like to achieve (your target), while the Objective will remind you of the reason why you are doing it in the first place. The combination of both is magical.

Do: make it personal

Your Objective can be formal (“Exceeds our valuable clients’ expectation by giving excellent service”) or you can make it more personal, fun, and lighthearted (“To put a big smile on all of our customers’ faces who contact our Customer Service :) They should leave feeling satisfied”). It might be easier for you to relate to a personal Objective; which increases the likelihood of you feeling inspired when reading it.

Other examples of personal Objectives:

  • "Taking the burdens off my manager's shoulder because she's out sick."
  • "Make the best first impression considering this is my first week in the company."
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Don’t: copy the Objective from team OKR (or from any OKR for that matter)

There’s usually a difference in cadence between team OKR (quarterly, per semester, or annually) and your individual (weekly or bi-weekly). Thus, it wouldn’t make sense for you to use the Objective from team OKR (that is for a quarter, for example) as your individual Objective (that is for 1 week, for example). The scope would be too big.

This is an example of the Objective for the team OKR that is set per quarter: “Become the leading loyalty program provider in Indonesia.”

Now, if you use that Objective as your own individual Objective for 1 week, do you think it’d be possible for you to achieve that?

Don’t: copy the Key Result from team OKR

Even though the same reason as stated above still applies here (difference in cadence), it’s worth noting that another reason why you shouldn’t use the KR from team OKR as your Objective is because of the structure. A Key Result is quantifiable and measurable. It has its own distinct structure. On the other hand, an Objective is something that should be qualitative and inspiring. The distinction between the two matters, especially if you’re a team lead that wants to inspire and mobilize your team.

This is an example of a Key Result: "30% increase in revenue by the end of Q1." Now, compare that with an example of an individual Objective: "A stepping stone for our company to be the most trusted loyalty provider company in Indonesia."

Do you see the difference? Which one that you think has a higher chance to inspire your team?  


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