The Lion King: Scar and his OKR

What do iconic fictional villains have in common? They always lose in the end. In our Villains of OKR series we will analyze the mistakes in their strategy execution and learn from their failures through an OKRs lens.

“As far as brains go, I got the lion’s share.” — Scar

Villain Profile

Name: Scar, The Lion King

Credentials: Mufasa’s power-hungry younger brother. Simba’s envious uncle.

Personality: intelligent, Machiavellian, manipulative, ruthless yet cowardly

Mission

Be the lone royal in line for the throne.

OKR

Objective Take the Pride Lands and break the Circle of Life once and for all 67%
KR 1 Kill Mufasa to become the new King 100%
KR 2 Kill Simba to maintain his reign over the Pride Lands 0%
KR 3 Recruit hyena minions to do his bidding 100%
Task Sing menacingly Achieved
Task Invoke a wildebeest stampede Achieved

Outcome

Scar achieved 67% progress on his OKR. He was unable to achieve his Objective.

OKR Analysis

Scar achieved two of his KRs. He killed Mufasa and recruited the hyenas. Originally, he failed to kill Simba with the stampede. When Mufasa died, Scar lost his resolve. Years later, the hyenas were not able to kill Simba and Nala, Simba’s friend, in the northern border and forbidden land of the Pride Lands.

Ultimately, Scar Hakuna Matata’d his second Key Result and it cost him his life.

OKRs are a superpower made up of five components — Focus, Engagement, Alignment, Stretch, and Transparency (FEAST). All of these superpowers must be met, or the Objective will ultimately fail.

Scar forgot to FEAST. He missed the “S.”

When Scar killed Mufasa, he had an opportunity also to kill Simba, who no longer had a protector in Mufasa. If Scar were to achieve his mission, wiping out Mufasa and his progeny, Simba, was essential. Instead, he suggested Mufasa’s death was Simba’s fault, and Simba ran away.

Scar underestimated the need to stretch on his execution, making a deadly assumption that his non-committal was insignificant.

Yet, Scar should have been smarter about his plan

To succeed, Scar needed to commit fully to Key Result 2.

In Simba’s absence, Scar assumed the throne but his claim was short-lived. Simba eventually returned as a grown lion and his allies fought back against Scar’s regime. When Scar turned on his team, he lost his life. The hyenas were tired of Scar’s treachery and broken promises. They didn’t necessarily want to eat a lion, but they hungered for vengeance.

As a leader, Scar blamed his team.

That is a big no-no. Accountability is vital for leaders to assume for themselves.

Scar borrowed too much inspiration from Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa’s “Hakuna Matata (no worries)” then passed off the failure as his team’s.

When a team loses trust in a leader, the superpower of alignment (through OKRs) is lost. The team may continue to press ahead to achieve the goal or the mission because they believe in it. However, it’s likely the leader in the scenario will be cut out of the loop, with potential miscommunication and political infighting ensuing if a leader is not declared.

Luckily, Simba was there to take the throne back for the kingdom. After all, it is the Circle of Life.

Looking to get started with OKRs? Try Gtmhub FREE for 7 days!