If the Answer is: “An elevator pitch. I’m not kidding,” then what’s the question? What is a fast and easy way to improve how you and your team execute?

I am guessing you’ve heard the recommendation to have an elevator pitch ready to go. The idea is that if the CEO or a senior leader stops by your office or you run into them at a function or yes, in an elevator, you can impress him/her with how articulate you are and that has the potential to be good for your career.

Better for your career is effective execution in every position you are in and an elevator pitch has to be the fastest and cheapest ways ever invented to improve the way you and your organization gets it done.

Here are the components of an effective elevator pitch. The good news is there is not much to it and there can’t be. Though it only has a few parts, each element is essential.

The first component: The Mission. Why does your organization or department exist? What are the key outcomes the company is depending on you to deliver? I’m guessing I don’t have to say too much about why knowing the mission is crucial. If you, your team, your boss and your peers are not aligned on what your organization is there for, it is going to be forty miles of bad road.

Second: The Current Score. Here you have to say something about how you keep score, what is the score, and are you winning, losing, or treading water…an eyes-wide open look at how you are doing. Knowing the score and publically stating the score is crucial. It shows you see reality. It shows you have the courage to talk about it. At a minimum, this buys you time to address your organization’s performance challenges.

Third: What does winning look like? There needs to be a statement of how much better you are going to be and in what time frame.

And finally: how you plan to win. Here you need to state the two to three top priorities that are going to lead to those improved results. Elements three and four together telegraph that you are reaching beyond where you are and you have specific plans to get there.

That’s all there is too an elevator pitch because you have to keep it short. Beyond 30 seconds, people suspect a soliloquy and will start checking their phones.

In Part II, I will give you an example of an elevator pitch that pulls together these elements and a pain free way of developing one that won’t add any demands to your already impossible to accomplish To-do List. In Part III, I’ll share the key to ensuring your elevator pitch actually does lead to improved organizational results.