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About the book

How do you inspire a diverse team to work together, going all out in pursuit of a single, challenging goal? How do you get your team to commit to bold goals? How do you stay motivated despite setbacks and disappointments? And what do you do when it looks like you’re headed for failure?

In Radical Focus, Christina Wodtke combines her hard earned experience as an executive at Zynga, Linkedin and many of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies to answer those questions. It’s not about to-do lists and accountability charts. It’s about creating a framework for regular check-ins, key results, and most of all, the beauty of a good fail – and how to take a temporary disaster and turn it into a future success.

Buy book: Amazon

Year published: 2016


Quotes from the book

Radical Focus (Christina Wodtke)

  • The enemy of timely execution is distraction.
  • If everything is important, nothing is important.
  • Solve the problems you have, not the ones you imagine.
  • Impossible goals are depressing. Hard goals are inspiring
  • A mission keeps you on the rails. The OKRs provide focus and milestones.
  • When you are tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it – Jeff Weiner,
  • You don’t need people to work more, you need people to work on the right things
  • Life always gives you plenty to do. The secret is not forgetting the things that matter
  • Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what you need done and let them surprise you
  • We start our journey to our dreams by wanting, but we arrive by focusing, planning and learning.
  • It’s not important to protect an idea. It’s important to protect the time it takes to make it real
  • OKRs are about continuous improvement and learning cycles. They are not about making check marks in a list.
  • It’s that ideas are easier to come up with than you think. What’s hard — really hard— is moving from an idea to reality.
  • A mission keeps you on the rails. The OKRs provide focus and milestones. Using OKRs without a mission is like using jet fuel without a jet.
  • …as an organization scales, the OKRs become an increasingly necessary tool to ensure that each product team understands how they are contributing to the greater whole, for coordinating work across teams, and in avoiding duplicate work.
  • What all too often happens in this case is that the actual people on the product teams are conflicted as to where they should be spending their time, resulting in confusion, frustration and disappointing results from leadership and individual contributors alike.
  • Why We Can’t Get Things Done. One: We haven’t prioritized our goals.  Two: We haven’t communicated the goal obsessively and comprehensively. Three: We don’t have a plan to get things done.  Four: We haven’t made time for what matters.  Five: We give up instead of iterate.
  • One: set inspiring and measurable goals. Two: make sure you and your team are always making progress toward that desired end state. No matter how many other things are on your plate. And three: set a cadence that makes sure the group both remembers what they are trying to accomplish and holds each other accountable.