The Elevator Speech

In my final year at the university, I learned a principle on how to maximize moments from one of my best girlfriends . She called it-The Elevator speech

I wondered what that meant until she explained it to me. She said -The Elevator speech is that short conversation you have in the Elevator with your Boss,Superior,Interviewer ,Board member or even a Colleague on your way to give a presentation,submit a proposal, market a product or interview for a Job. A short period in the most informal setting that will give a clue of what you should expect where you are going .

I held what she taught within me and hoped that one day when I started working,I would have this experience. For most time,i thought this speech only took place within the walls of WORK ENVIRONMENT ,but I was wrong,as I had mine in a CAR!

So last friday,i had the opportunity of riding home with my boss because he happened to be going my way(who doesn’t like free ride?). Prior to then,i had always admired the Enthusiasm and Passion with which he operated the office ,he had good eyes for detailing and always sought means to improving on his skills thereby delivering value to Clients…by the way my Boss is a renowned Quantity Surveyor and Building Contractor

As a fresh graduate just building my career in that same field, I always wanted to have an “Oprah interview ” with him, to learn what makes him outstanding on the Job,but I never had the opportunity to ask my questions. Not like my boss isn’t approachable, but there was just never a time to talk,its either he is in one meeting with a client or he is out on site checking out work progress .

So back to the car,I knew this was a good opportunity ,to ask my questions and learn from him seeing he wasn’t working and had time to spare!
I got a spark ,mumbled all my questions together and asked-
Sir,what keeps you going in your work,what makes you stand out in your field,what makes you deliver value tirelessly?

He was silent for like forever,and then I thought in my heart,maybe I said the wrong thing,or this is probably not a good time for him to talk…

After 3 minutes,he lifted up his head from the Newspaper he was reading and said- VISION and PASSION (VP).

He explained the need for everyone intending to be successful to have a written down Vision that must be tested and reviewed from time to time
He further went on to talk about passion ,that moves the earlier Vision to action.
The talk was so brief ,but I could deduce 3 key things from what he said :
1.The initial passion required to have an idea in starting out anything worthwhile
2. The Incubation passion needed to put action to the initial vision even when you don’t have an idea of how the vision will work
3. The running passion that acts as fuel to keep the vision going despite all challenges /obstacles on the way

He said much more than having a vision written down in a notepad or social media platform,have a passion that drives you. It is passion that will move your Vision from Point Zero to Infinity.

That got me!!!!

Not like I hadnt heard these things before,but the way he summarized the talk in less than 10 minutes,mehn,i had to duff my hat,short and on-point. He obviously told me what he had practiced for years .

When I alighted from his car,it felt like I had just had an Harvard business speech from one of their top Professors
Thank God,I didn’t keep quiet all through the journey though it was a short ride,i asked questions that was pivotal to succeeding in life , and I got answers.
I learned that day that learning can come through the most informal ways “once the student in me creates a classroom to learn”

I don’t know when next I would have another Elevator speech,maybe it would be with Mark Zuckerberg,Oprah Winfrey,or My Favorite TY Bello,but one thing I am certain of is that,i won’t fail to maximize the moment by asking questions.

About the author

Joyce Olawunmi


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