To avoid leaving anything to chance, I take upon myself to create my own goals. However, what should they be aligned on? Most personal goals in business are aligned with organizational goals. Is there anything more off-putting than having to align personal goals to support more revenues or lower costs. It isn’t very exciting.

In order to create goals that stimulate and motivate me, I tried using a concept that was popularized by the company Spotify. The “Definition of Awesome” is a list of elements one judges necessary to master in order to be considered Awesome. Nothing less. This can apply to individuals as well as teams or even organizations. The idea is to answer these questions: If we were the world’s best team, what concepts would we master? What reflexes would we have? What would we do that we’re not doing right now? Without necessarily aiming for perfection, while staying on the verge of utopia without falling in it, it is a challenge to identify a set of behaviors, knowledge or reflexes we would have if we were the best at what we do.

An awesome beacon on the horizon

The purpose of the exercise is to create a destination point on the horizon. A point of reference that we will recognize at all times, and will guide us. When an obstacle will rise between us and our destination, we can go around it and find our way again. One can even use this as a guide in a dilemma where multiple courses of actions are possible. All in all, it’s a beacon we need to keep an eye on.

When our Definition of Done is defined, we can even add milestones to it, or create SMART goals that can help us measure our progress towards Awesomeness.

I will end this article by sharing my own personal Definition of Awesome, that I printed and displayed near my desk, as a reminder to myself. For those who want to experiment, I created this infographic with Canva.

What Is Your Definition of Awesome?Olivier’s Definition of Awesome

  1. Work is not delegated as teammates volunteer
  2. The team is focused on achieving excellence
  3. Olivier supports the team that is mostly self-managed
  4. More developers want to work here than we can hire
  5. Other companies talk about the Marine Press culture

Now, what is YOUR Definition of Awesome?

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Olivier Fortier
OLIVIER Fortier is first and foremost a believer in human beings. Owner of the blog Primos Populi -- which is Latin for People First -- his focus is to find innovative ways to bring back (and keep) people at the core of businesses, and ensure they can thrive. A manager, agilist, servant leader, facilitator, and former Scrum Master, all of these interesting titles and roles represent only the means to achieve what he truly believes in: cultivating people's awesomeness. His favorite things to reflect on are leader-leader relationships, psychological safety and the right to fail, career and personal development, humanity in recruitment, and how to lower the center of gravity of decision-making processes. Considering that businesses wouldn't exist without people, can one imagine how powerful it would be if all employees wholeheartedly wanted to be in their organizations, and wanted to do what they do? This is the work world Olivier wants to live in, and the goal he set for himself.
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