The elevator speech

On Thursday I met a colleague for coffee who I have not seen in a while. We have traveled together in Colombia and Chile, and she has been a trusted confidante. She was eager to hear about my next gig. I have been refining my “elevator speech” for my network in the company that are curious enough to ask about what I plan to do.

Many colleagues are surprised I am leaving my current company, as I was labeled “high potential” and typically the company pours a lot of resources into developing their “high po’s” as we call them. But that is actually one reason I am leaving. They want to invest in their top 10-15%. That is supposed to trickle down to everyone else. In an ideal work, I suppose it works. I want to invest in 100%. Or at least in 90% – maybe the bottom 10% do not belong there, that’s up for debate.

elevator wallpaper
OMG, isn’t this the best elevator image ever!?! I love it. Photo credit link

So I decided to write up a core values statement so I can explain to friends and colleagues in which area I will consult. I realized in talking with a VP who controls a lot of resources, when I mentioned what I was doing, he had about 4-5 contacts at the company that may be a source of business for me. Ding! A light bulb went on. I am networking the he** out of my contacts in the last 2 weeks while I am still here, and getting feedback on my ideas.

But since you, my faithful readers, have also given me tremendous support and helpful feedback, I thought I’d share the draft here. Below is a short values statement (~50 words) boiled down to the 3 main principles that will form the basis of my practice.

What resonates for you? In what areas would you like more information or clarification? 

Give me the good, the bad and the ugly. I want you to ask questions and throw mud! Really!!

Core Values:

Diversity Drives Innovation.

-Women are natural leaders. We as women must define leadership more broadly. Leadership is coach-able, and we all have the capacity to be better at it.

-Everyone (on a team) is a teacher and a learner. It is best when we have opportunities to serve in both of these roles.

I am working on mini-manifesto of sorts (less than a page, probably 400-600 words) to expand upon these values in a more concrete way.  I will post that one on Monday. These will go onto my consulting website when I launch it in September/October, along with a concise mission statement, which is another piece.

Thank you in advance for any questions, feedback or eggs you can throw at it. Truly. 

Happy weekend,



10 thoughts on “The elevator speech

  1. I don’t have any constructive criticism on your core values statements, Cristy, because I think they’re very pithy and succinct just as they are! I love what you say about leadership being coachable because this really reflects a growth mindset. I’ve been reading a lot about the growth mindset lately (mainly in the context of education, since I’m studying to be a teacher – but I see it as applicable to just about any area of our lives) and it really inspires me when I see this in practice in other people’s values and actions. I’m curious to know more about the ‘diversity drives innovation’ point, though. I guess it’s self-explanatory to a degree, but I’m looking forward to your mini-manifesto post on Monday to find out what your take on it is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, really good point! I guess I was thinking of a corporate audience, where I like to build teams where everyone makes a contribution. Even if those contributions aren’t “equal” per se, they are all valuable. I appreciate your perspective and your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The first two ‘throw me into my head’, as in, I have to start thinking about whether they are true or not. DOES diversity drive innovation? What is my experience? What are the stats? I’m a bit like that with the second one. ARE women natural leaders? I’m sure some are, maybe most? I don’t know. How about we ALL define leadership more broadly. ‘Leadership is coach-able’, this rings true. And the final statement, totally rings true in both my experience and in what I have read. I hope this is helpful! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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