The Secret Sauce: Objectives and Key Results

As an educator, we certainly know about “objectives” in the classroom.  We also know the term “key results.”  However, in many successful businesses, this is common as well. Moreover, these successful businesses such as Google, Intel, Target, Twitter, Linkedin, and many more use Objectives and Key Results (OKR) to create alignment and engagement within the company.

As a principal and edu-preneur, I tend to read a lot about other successful businesses and then I often find myself making connections with what we do as educators and leaders.  Therefore, my brain is just taking what big businesses do to meet their goals and what I can do as a leader to help my school meet our goal.

So let me tell you about OKR- Objectives and Key Results.

I first read about this in this book: Measure What Matters


The goal formula is very simple.
I will (objective) as measured by (the result).

Objectives are memorable qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve. Objectives should be short, inspirational and engaging. An Objective should motivate and challenge the team.

Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. For each objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. More than that and no one will remember them.

If it does not have a number, it is not a key result.


A school’s success is tied to the school’s focus or lack thereof.  I believe focus is the thing that makes the difference between excelling and flailing about in mediocrity.  It is important to point out that these businesses really only have a few OKRs.  Think about that for just a minute.  One Objective will have 5 Key Results.  If you have multiple OKRs and each has multiple key results, it can get really complicated really fast.  Keep it super simple.  Less is more.


These objectives fit right into your campus and district vision.  These work together to motivate your school with a purpose and an intentional direction.  


The objectives keep your teachers focused, inspired, and aligned to the overall goal.


Having a focus throughout the school helps keep students at the center.  There is nothing more exciting than seeing your entire staff work together to move your school forward.  Moreover, students thrive in this kind of environment.  


The simplicity of the process is great, but the benefits are even better. The method is designed to keep the vision, goals, and objectives of the company or school, team or individual in the forefront. People know what’s expected of them and how their work fits in with the larger tasks of the team or school.

The great thing about OKRs is that they don’t take much time to set up, and they’re easy to use.

Before you set these objectives, do you know your school’s vision?

The vision is one of the most POWERFUL things that we as school leaders can create. The vision matters. It matters to the overall success of your school.

We want to help you create your vision. This is why we are so excited to announce that Discover Your Instructional Vision (DYIV) is now gone digital!

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Plus two coaching calls via #zoom and access to a private Facebook group for daily communication.

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Stephanie McConnell

I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.

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Hi, I'm Stephanie

Hello friend! Welcome to Principal Principles. I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.


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