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What do Google, Intel, and Bono all have in common? They all implement a goal-setting system called "Objectives and Key Results," or OKRs. This system was created by Andy Grove, and it's all about the execution. Grove believed that results have to be simply measurable. Did you achieve your goal? Yes or no.  According to him, it matters less what you know, and more how you execute your plans.

So how do we set audacious, measurable goals and use them to hold ourselves and others accountable?

According to venture capitalist John Doerr, the first step is to "develop a clear and compelling sense of 'Why?'"

"...a compelling sense of 'Why?' can be the launchpad for our objectives," said Doerr in a TED Talk.

"Objectives are significant, they're action-oriented, they are inspiring, and they're a kind of vaccine against fuzzy thinking."

Doerr thinks that OKRs should be seen as transparent vessels, crafted from the "Whats and Hows" of our ambitions. But what really matters, he claims, is the "Why?" that we pour into these vessels. When the fundamentals are in place, Objectives and Key Results are what can take your goal to the mountaintop.

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