Business, Golf Icon Greg Norman Embraces the Journey and Grind

Greg Norman

Greg Norman

Greg Norman is one of the best PGA Tour golfers of all time. But off-the-course, he just may claim the crown and the best professional golfer turned entrepreneur in history, with all due respect to Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

Prior to the launch of yet another venture—this time Shark Experience, his new cart software program that is bringing “connectivity, content and customization” to a golf course near you. The Shark Experience is a partnership between Norman, Verizon, Club Car and GPSi.

Greg Norman on being excellent:
“Whatever you do next is better than the what you did in the past.”

How do and did you stay motivated?

“My motivation was learning by my mistakes and making my weakness my strength. Your strengths are always going to be your assets no matter what, but identifying your weaknesses and making them stronger and stronger (is important). They may never become your strengths, but at least you are building your foundation better and better. I was motivated by failure, I suppose. I wondered why I failed. I really did a lot of psychoanalyzing and a lot of dissecting if it was my golf game or people around me, the loyalty factor whether it was people doubting my abilities, all of those things were driving factors for me.

Is there a special quote that inspires you?

“There are no ordinary moments.”

Excellence Has Always Been in Style

only excellence matters

Pursuing excellence has been a thing for a very, very long time. Everywhere today, you see and hear people striving for excellence. It’s a sure thing: Only Excellence Matters.

But what is excellence? When you think about it, what is your definition?

The sage Aristotle was among the first to declare and chronicle his dedication to the excellence.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

One step at a time.

One motivation at a time.

Excellence is a process.

How do we get there?

More importantly, how do you stay on the journey towards excellence.

Dare to be excellent.

Share your favorite quotes with us about how you stay motivated.

The Price is Excellent

Nick Price

Nick Price spoke with Nick Price prior to the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge in Las Vegas.

How do you define excellence?

“Excellence is never being totally happy with where you are, and having the ability to always improve on oneself whatever it may be, and working diligently on doing that. Excellence comes from retaining a certain level of unhappiness where you tweak a little more and then a little more, and always work to improve. That’s how I think people get to the next level.”

Where does the inner drive to become excellent come from?

“For me as a golfer it is a quest for perfection and trying to perfect a game that is pretty much un-perfectable. There are so many moving parts in the body and you need to have that discipline to focus on the small little things. When you get the small thins right the big picture comes together. It is the discipline of working hard day in and day out.

“I look at it like this. Everybody in life is given a square block of wood. Those who are very talented have a big block. Those with not a lot of talent have a smaller block. But everybody has to make a perfect sphere. As you go through life you start to smooth it out. You start off with an axe or a saw but then you get down to a chisel and then down to another honing tool as you go. Very near the end you are working with the finest steel wool to get it to a perfect sphere. That’s what I try to tell the kids. You’re not going to make a perfect ‘sphere’ out of your golf swing overnight. It takes years and years to perfect it. When I look at guys I have played with they have built that foundation or sphere and they just keep working on it to get perfection.”

How do people get the desire to attain excellence?

“I think excellence and success go hand in hand. They are synonymous. I once asked Bob Rotella to define what makes a successful person. He said a somewhat successful person is someone who gets up in the morning with three things to do and if they accomplish those three things then they think they had a successful day. Those who become more successful finish the first three things and then do three more things. And the truly successful are the ones that continue to look for more things and keep going. I think that’s what will make you be excellent in life and the same thing is true on the golf course. If you go out and hit balls and then start to lose focus, but you switch it up and then go to putting green and then the chipping green. Then you continue to get better. Everyone thinks they are trying to get better, but you have to believe in your heart how to get better. I also tell the kids, the path is one step at a time. You’re not going from the outhouse to penthouse in one step. You have to build it until you get to the top.”

Jason Kidd on Excellence, Hard Work

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

All NBA, 2008 Team USA Gold Medalist, Head Coach, Milwaukee Bucks

Jason Kidd was known as a hard-nosed player during his career and now brings that to his position as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Listen to his words about what it means to be excellent and how to stay motivated to achieve excellence.

How do you define excellence?

“I think excellence is when you commit and do the hard work then you will shine. At the end of the day excellence is something that is attached to hard work. The final result from hard work is excellence. I am still waiting for true excellence, I am never satisfied. I am seeking pure excellence on a daily basis. Excellence is a journey and not a destination. You have to strive for it every day; that is the beauty of life”

What have been your keys to achieving excellence in your life and career?

“I think just maybe being stubborn or understanding that you are trying every day to become that perfect person or live your-life-the-right-way type of person. If at the end of the day someone gives you a compliment then you have done things the right way.”

If you are writing the story, what is your main point about excellence?

“I would start with work hard. Things don’t come easy. And if you don’t have failures then you aren’t working hard enough and taking enough chances.”

Natalie Gulbis, Team USA Solheim Cup member, LPGA Tour Champion, defines excellence

Define Excellence

That’s a very good question. For me, excellence would be to pursue each of my goals in an excellent way. And to pursue them by giving 100 percent and making sure I did everything I could to be successful and reach those goals.

Excellence is more than just winning. There’s much more than the result when it comes to achieving excellence. For example, you look at Adam Scott when he won The Masters. Adam Scott has been trying to win The Masters since the first time I met him at the Butch Harmon School of Golf 10 years ago. He has been planning shots that would one day get him the green jacket. He has been pursuing that goal in a very profound way for many years so excellence is much more than winning. It is the continual process and striving for that excellence.

Staying Motivated

It’s much harder of a commitment to actually do it than to talk about achieving excellence. To stay motivated, I set goals. I have weekly goals, monthly goals, and long term goals. And I have a great team around me and we talk about the goals and we are very open about those goals. It is important to be open and honest with everyone about what’s going on and about what happened last week that can help me this week. And after I came back from being sick, my goals were much different at my first tournament back different than just winning the tournament. I struggled to just get through the tournament so my personal goal was a bit different that week and I had things I was just trying to get through on a personal level. What motivates me is to set the goals.


My favorite quote was that “You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sail.” It was a quote my parents put on a big banner on my door growing up and I will always remember that. It was a perfect quote because it had a golf element to it because there are so many different conditions on the golf course and so many different challenges off the golf course with traveling and injuries to moving luggage and everything that goes along with being on Tour. So you have to adjust and continue to move forward. That is a quote that I have always enjoyed.

LeBron James & Dwyane Wade Define Excellence

lj_cavs_23 is THE PLACE where the world’s best athletes (xletes) and other leaders define excellence, share their secrets about what it takes to achieve success, and help instill a positive vision and motivation to help all of us reach our own personal X Level.

The pursuit of excellence is real for many, and in this edition we reveal how Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James and his former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade feel about excellence, what it means and what they do to attain it. We hope you read their words and use them as motivation to go to the X Level in whatever you pursue.


What does excellence mean to Lebron James?

“Excellence can mean a lot of things: there can be an excellent play, an excellent person, or an excellent team. It means that the team or player you are watching is making you feel like what you are seeing isn’t true because it is so good. Witnessing excellence is like you are watching something that is beyond this earth and from a different planet.” Want more Lebron? Click to his official website.

Quote of the Moment: “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”–Buddha

What does excellence mean to Dwyane Wade?

“Excellence is the closest thing to perfection that you can get. It is really excelling at every part of life and the game. I think excellence is what you really shoot for. What you shoot for is to excel in life and sport.”

How do you define excellence?

“Excellence is the closest thing to perfection that you can get. It is really excelling at every part of life and the game. I think excellence is what you really shoot for. What you shoot for is to excel in life and sport.”

What have been your keys to achieving excellence in your life and career?

“Competitiveness is a must; wanting to be the best. You have to know that you put in the hard work and if you do, why not go out and give it your all. Winning is so much better than losing. The feeling of winning is a lot better than losing.”

A lot of people have similar talent so what separates you and allowed you to achieve excellence?

“A lot of people have even more talent than me. I know I don’t have the most talent. But there are certain things that separate guys and I think my will and determination separate me.”

Where did you get the will to succeed?

“It was my upbringing. I grew up in Chicago in a less privileged area. My hunger to not want to go back to that life and live that life is what kept me going. That has probably carried me farther than I should have gone with my talent.”

If you are writing the story, what is your main point about excellence?

“The main thing is I would say that excellence doesn’t come by you just showing up. Excellence comes by precision, repetition, hard work, and dedication to what you are doing. Excellence doesn’t just happen in what you are doing; you have to work very hard to achieve true excellence.”

Do you have what it takes to reach your personal X Level? Share your thoughts with us at our Facebook page at or tweet to us @xlete.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were interviewed during Team USA training in Las Vegas, NV.


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