The Power of Personal OKRs — Hear it from a Guitarist

April 23, 2021
6 min read

Hey everyone! We hope you and your families are staying home and safe during these times. If you have been following the Fitbots Spotlight series, you may have loved our most recent video on Navigating your business during unprecedented times, by Krishna Kumar Natarajan, GP Mela Ventures.

This time we have covered a very critical aspect that many ignore in the process of achieving professional objectives—a Personal Growth Story. OKRs most often are associated with business outcomes. However, the joy of setting personal OKRs and achieving them is equally unmatchable.

The Fitbots team caught up with the very energetic and talented Winston de Rosario, Head of People & Culture, Clover Ventures, a demand-backed supply chain platform for perishables. Winston takes us through his journey of setting personal OKRs during the pandemic.

Winny with his daughter

Q: [Fitbots Team] Tell us a little bit about yourself, Winston.

Winston: I am more commonly known as Winny. Although I started as an accountant, I have now spent more than 15 years of my professional career in HR. I believe in the principle of having Gratitude in everything we do. As a member of People Function, I always believe that having a purpose in life makes a huge difference. ‍

Q: [Fitbots Team]: Let us talk about purpose. You are leading the HR team, which is believed to be co-located soon. How then do you motivate your teams during this phase of remote working?

Winny: I have always believed that people should be able to work from wherever they want. However, the fact that technology has become a big enabler and the quick adaptability of people definitely contributes to people’s ability to work and contribute productively. An added advantage is people can work from wherever they want. Since, we are in the essential services, supply chain, and warehousing we were anxious regarding the management when companies started going remote. 

We told our employees to come out with ideas on how they can make a difference, look beyond their departments and collaborate more to contribute to a larger outcome. For example, I am spearheading the Bengaluru task force for delivering essential commodities. As part of this group, my main task is to communicate, and collaborate with everyone. We also keep track to see how everyone feels that they are contributing to the overall company and society at large.

Our biggest challenge is to keep our teams continuously motivated and initiate new learning opportunities. Additionally, we realized that this time can be utilized to create better versions of ourselves. 

Q: [Fitbots Team]: In times like today, when people feel that they are trying to manage both work and home at the same time, how do personal OKRs help people keep up with both in a positive manner?

Winny: Over the last 9 months I have been reading a lot more about it and following many articles by Fitbots to gain more understanding of this framework.

I feel OKRs have got me to think long shot and focus on achieving the key result. I took the challenge of setting a personal OKR for myself during this time. That impacted my relationship with my daughter. I am a guitarist and my daughter is 14 years old. I took up this OKR to train my daughter to play the guitar.

I can’t get more specific than this, but this is a very enjoyable phase. Moreover, I love the progress we are making in her guitar lessons :) I am so excited to see that we are ticking off this item from our Bucket List.

Q: [Fitbots Team]: How did you go about setting and achieving this item on your bucket list?

Winny: My biggest takeaway from OKRs was that it is all about the inspirational objective, the metric, and the initiatives you take up. The first Key result I focused on was her playing a full song she picks (this was measurable). The second key result was that I wanted to spend 30 minutes uninterrupted with her to create memories. And this Saturday, my daughter played a full song on the guitar!

My biggest takeaway from this is that OKRs are not for the ordinary, you have to take a moon shot approach. Incremental is a safer bet approach. I have now started thinking in the same manner for a lot of things even in my professional space.

Q: [Fitbots Team]: How do you prioritize your work commitments and personal OKRs in the current situation?

Winnie: You have to first accept that it takes extra effort to prioritize, by filtering what is necessary and what is not, focus on what is necessary and what matters. Accept that sometimes, things may not always go as planned, but you could re-center your focus back to what your priorities are and drive yourself to achieve them. But it’s not easy, there are times it gets overwhelming, and the key is in not giving up.‍

Q: [Fitbots Team]:  While on this journey, what was something amazing you experienced?

Winnie: My daughter, also set her KRs. She took it upon herself to spend quality time with me during this time. She told me she realizes that she didn’t thank me enough, so she set her KR on measuring how many times she thanked me for everything I did. So, I believe my bucket list wish of being the Best Dad is close to getting accomplished. I felt this as she thanked me and said to me "you are a good dad."

Her stretch goal is when she will be on stage and have 1000 people in the audience cheering for her.

Wow, Winnie, you implemented your OKRs with the 3 key golden rules

  • You are building the culture with even your daughter taking KRs
  • You both check-in quite often and exchange feedback
  • You are prioritizing what matters

Q: [Fitbots Team]: What was key learning on the professional front from this journey?

Winnie: A CEO recently got in touch with me when he saw my post on personal OKRs on LinkedIn. He realized my personal OKR worked because I was focusing on doing it with somebody who mattered to me. Due to this ecosystem, we were able to achieve our goals the way we wanted to. He mentioned that his efforts at implementing OKRs for his company would probably work better, by trying out with pilot groups which could create a larger impact and help step up the culture and adaptability.

He now wants to experiment OKRs with smaller pilot groups that can focus on achieving what matters before getting an all-out implementation.

Q: [Fitbots Team]: Any sign-off message for our readers?

Winnie: The only thing I would tell everyone picking a personal OKR is to not go with just anything ordinary. Pick up something WOW, something stretch which creates a big and positive impact on your family and close circles. That is where you will see the real benefits of your personal OKRs working.

Thank You, Winston, this was an amazing discussion. We learned a lot on how we can go ahead with not only just setting our personal OKRs, but also achieving them.

Want to set your personal & professional OKRs? Get in touch with Fitbots today.