If the Answer is: “An elevator pitch. I am not kidding,” then what on earth is the question? The Question is: What is the fastest and easiest way to improve how you and your team executes?

This is a series of three short posts on the power of an Elevator Pitch. In Parts I and II, I talked about what constitutes an effective elevator pitch and gave an example and an easy way to develop one.
In Part III, I want to describe two key steps to help ensure your elevator pitch leads to more effective execution.

The first one is kind of obvious. For an elevator pitch to help you and your team, it has to be spoken and spoken often to real people and not just to the loofah in the shower. You share it with your team. You share it with your boss. You share it with your peers.

Sharing it everywhere you go is crucial. Don’t believe me? Alan Mulally, who took over Ford in 2006 right around the time it posted $12B loss felt this was so important that every Thursday during his mandatory Business Plan Review, he would introduce himself (!), say his top five priorities and say how he did on them the previous week. As Marshall Goldsmith described in his book Triggers, Alan wouldn’t deviate in content or wording and expected his team to do the same.

But the second step is even more important. Every time you share it, close by saying, “This is my assessment. What do you think?” Invite the people all around you to weigh in on what you are doing. Is that the right mission for your group? Is your performance summary correct? Are those the right goals and are they aggressive enough? And are the priorities for driving improvement correct?

There are so many ways this helps execution. First of all, if your employees or peers don’t agree with some part of this, it creates huge drag on what you are trying to do. Change is hard enough. Doing it while dragging a piano makes work unbearable. Their buy-in can help reduce that drag.

Moreover, if they feel they have had input on any part of this they are more bought in and more likely to lend their shoulder to the wheel. They plan and budget time and money, which greases the skids. And if you start to run into setbacks it is easier to rally support because others have some ownership.
Finally this approach reflects well on you as a leader. You are big enough and confident enough to invite input. And you are seen as someone who puts the organization and effective execution in front of your pride of authorship.

Speaking of inviting input, please share your thoughts below this post or this series.