With the 2016 Summer Olympics in full swing, we’re all watching in awe at the power and skill of the Olympic athletes as they compete on the world stage. The physical talent is obvious as these athletes break world records, but what impresses me the most is the focus, mental stamina, and commitment displayed. Behind each sprint, dive, and vault is years of practice and a mental fortitude. On their own road to Rio, leaders can learn from these athletes who have proven they know how to rise to the top. Below are some of my favorite quotes from Olympic athletes, past and present, that all leaders can learn from and apply to advance to their own leading edge of performance.

  • Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.” – Kerri Walsh


  • The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight


  • I can’t remember the last day I didn’t train.” – Michael Phelps


  • A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzy


  • When I was younger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was a mentor to me and gave me great advice. The best was to ‘work 100 percent, but enjoy every moment along the way.’ Sometimes you get so in the zone, you forget to enjoy your passions. I love running – but I also love the movies, relaxing on the beach, shopping and spending time with my friends. Enjoying my life helps me enjoy my running.” – Allyson Felix


  • If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” – Carl Lewis













DR. MARTA WILSON is the founder of The LEAP Enterprise, best-selling author, creator of the LEAP app, an industrial-organizational psychologist, and the CEO of Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI). Marta has dedicated her career to leadership consultancy while serving as board member, author, catalyst, coach, mentor, researcher, speaker, trainer, volunteer, and fundraiser. With a passion to share proven strategies that drive client results, Marta has authored several business books including LEAP, Energized Enterprise, Everybody’s Business, Leaders in Motion and the Transformation Desktop Guide. Specializing in leadership effectiveness, Marta holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in academic psychology from the University of Tennessee.