Excellence is an attitude– what the business world can learn from athletes

Excellence is an attitude– what the business world can learn from athletes


There are lots of things the business world can take away from the minds of great athletes. Famous athletes such as Michael Jordan, David Beckham, Anna Kournikova and many more, created successful enterprises when they retired from professional sports. They all share similar qualities in regards to their attitudes and mindsets. 


An attitude of excellence 

Have you ever looked at someone and thought they had it all together? Maybe you admired their confidence or how they speak in public. You might think that it comes naturally to them and or they were just born with it. 

However, it all comes down to their personality and mindset. Anyone can make the changes and choices needed to move towards your personal definition of excellence. Every person has control over what they want to achieve. They will change if their goals are important enough to them. When it comes down to it, a mindset of excellence is simply making the right choice. 


What are the fundamentals of excellence?

Excellence starts with a passion. In order to become better and better, you must be willing to put in the work and the hours. Be confident in yourself, your expertise, and your gifts. Anything is possible, there is no need to wait to go for everything you want. You should have fun and you should also love learning. In other words, enjoy the journey.

Finding a coach or mentor is a great way to keep you inspired and on track to reach your goals. Work harder than you think you have to, the rest will follow. 

Those with an attitude of excellence are sure of themselves and walk with confidence.  They know their purpose and know exactly what goals they are wanting to achieve. 

They are committed to reaching the end and will do anything to get there. 


Excellence word image

In this blog post we are sharing a few characteristics that exceptional athletes displayed in the past and how these characteristics tie into business.

Outworking others

Some of the best athletes are those who are willing to put in the extra time. Whether it be one more lap around the track or one more shot on net. The ones who show up early to practice or stay late. Perfecting their skills and craft was a crucial part to their routine. An elite athlete will have a plan and stick to it.

It might take some sacrifices but the end result is always worth it. 

Knowing what you want and going after it

Both athletes and team leaders have big dreams. They set high expectations for themselves and work to be the best they can be for themselves. 

Being number one or the best isn’t the only ambition. What makes the greatest athletes different is because in their mind their dream outcome is already a reality. It is real before it even happens. 


Professional towards their craft

Having routines set in stone such as extensive preparation or showing up to games and practices early. Being mentally and physically ready shows their dedication to their craft. 

Having goals to work towards in practices or games and working to achieve them makes them different from other athletes. The most elite players would treat every session with a high degree of professionalism. This quality is ingrained in their minds. 


Willing to take high-risks

Some of the greatest athletes know when to take high risks and know when to play it safe. Becoming one of the greats means taking risks when it matters the most. They cannot think of the consequences when doing so. 

Sometimes the risk doesn’t pay off and that’s okay – learn from the mistake and move on instead of overthinking it. If they don’t push themselves out of their comfort zone, they’ll stay stagnant. Nothing grows from a comfort zone. 


How does this tie into business?

The characteristics above don’t just apply to athletes but to everyone. They can help your attitude of excellence! These habits translate into success in other aspects of life as well, including business. 

The most accomplished people in any field all apply these practices. In order to achieve greatness, focus on these elements. As a leader, you can focus on these characteristics and help your team achieve the goal of your organization. These will also help your team outside the workplace. 


Keeping your attitude of excellence during times of adversity

Achieving goals and dreams does not always come easy. There will be bumps along the way. If we don’t put a positive spin on adversity then it is a wasted learning opportunity. These challenges force leaders to make choices about how to respond and overcome them. You don’t always have a choice in the situation but you can choose your behaviors, mindset, and attitude towards it. When facing adversity, remember to stay true to your values. 

We can always learn a way to overcome any challenge we face. The challenges that occur can give us clarity on our strengths and the purpose in our lives. There are times when the direction you want to go is clear and there are times when it isn’t. 

Challenges can be considered a gift for the sole reason they change our perspective on certain events. They are a great reminder to stay humble, grateful, and kind. Another blessing from challenges is that they can help you understand how important it is to live in the moment. Take advantage of every opportunity you are given. 


Emotions and Attitude

Emotions impact our ability to manage our attitude in a successful way. For example, when you are confused about something, write down your questions and try to make a plan. 

If you are sad, talk to a loved one, do something good for yourself, or cry it out. 

Dealing with emotions in a healthy way allows us to be our best selves and create that attitude of excellence. 

Every person has the potential to be amazing. We just need to believe in ourselves even if it seems hard or impossible. 


What characteristics did you find related most to the workplace? How will you use these in the workplace? Leave us a comment. 


At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection. Let’s Connect


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