Using OKRs to redefine Leader Roles & Job Descriptions

person in white long sleeve shirt holding a clipboard with resume

The topic of using Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) for Personal Performance & Development plans is not new. However, using OKRs to re-defined leader roles and job descriptions is more recent and potentially more powerful. This article tackles the WHY, HOW, and WHAT to avoid of this practice.

They WHY is simple: Using objectives rather than activities in job description, especially for leaders, allows us to focus on more inspiring and longer-lasting IMPACT (the WHY) of the role rather the a laundry list of operational (often very boring) activities (the HOW), some of this evolve all the time.

Let’s Start with an Example to make this Real

On the left, I’ve kidnapped a very common Manager job description (from a job board). On the right, I redefined it using outcomes. In practice these OKRs are directly related to organizational OKRs.

Marketing Manager (job board)


  • Create and manage compelling product positioning, messaging, and value proposition
  • Construct comprehensive strategies and requirements to assist in launching new products into market
  • Research competition, market, and customer trends to identify opportunities
  • Guide marketing efforts by understanding the customer journey and marketing roadmap
  • Help achieve success of projects across multiple clients and industries in a cross-functional team environment
  • Partner with key groups including Sales, Product, and Training
  • Perform additional duties related to the position (as assigned)


  • 7+ Years in Product Marketing
  • Experience creating compelling product strategy, messaging, and positioning
  • Strong project management skills to meet deadlines
  • Prioritization and organization skills
  • Prior experience working with all levels of a medium & large organization
  • Track record of analyzing and interpreting market research to build strategies
  • Detailed oriented balanced with strategic thinking
  • Bachelor’s degree in business with post-grad education in marketing or advertising

Marketing Manager (Outcomes / OKR-based)

Key Outcomes you are charged with

  • Make your clients happy by successfully marketing their products
  • Make customers happy by creating strategies that match their real needs with the right client product
  • Make the business happy by keeping projects on time, budget, and quality

Key Metrics & Results to measure your success

  • Client product sales attributed to our marketing efforts
  • Customer Reach (views), Conversion (leads), and Satisfaction (NPS)
  • % of Projects achieved on budget, on time, and on brand (quality)
  • % Growth in client business YoY
  • High Team engagement and low % Team turnover

What you bring to the table

  • Experience & track record of achieving aggressive product sales targets
  • Experience & track record of achieving customer reach, conversion, and satisfaction targets
  • Experience managing projects & track record on ensuring they come on budget, on time, and on brand
  • Experience & track record of growing client business YoY
  • Experience & track record of empowering and leading a high-performing teams with high engagement and low turnover

Now Let’s Compare these two

If it was you looking for opportunities, which job description are you more inspired by and excited by? Why? Do you find spelling out the activities limiting and perhaps even boring?

If you’re the one hiring, would you rather have proof the candidate can fulfill these responsibilities … or would you rather have proof the candidate can fulfill these outcomes?

Even more interesting, if you review the “Qualifications” on the left and “What you bring to the table” on the right, which would you say are more relevant?

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