From Good to Great: 4 Ways World-Class Leaders are Wired!

From Good to Great: 4 Ways World-Class Leaders are Wired!

“A leader of one, a leader of many…if you can’t lead ONE, you can’t lead any.” Leadership is everything, baby. And it starts with you.

From training Super Bowl champions and NFL MVP’s to picking the brains of Fortune 500 CEOs and inspiring average Joes, I’ve found world-class leaders think alike. May these thoughts be your guiding light on the road to world class.


#1.  The Bigger Your Dream…The More Important Your Team

Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, hit me with this rhyme years ago, and it is one of the driving forces behind the incredible culture we’ve built here at Fitness Quest 10. When I first opened the doors of FQ10, I was a one-man wrecking crew. I trained, performed bodywork, and “managed” the place on my own. Since then, my original facility (“The Roots,” as I like to call it) has expanded exponentially, and my team has exploded from one to more than 38 members while earning numerous accolades along the way. I owe those awards to my team. Had Kevin not made me understand the value of surrounding myself with the right people, I’d be lucky to afford rent on The Roots; and I’d be bleeding clients to this day.

If you take only one nugget out of this piece, understand that to fulfill your dreams, you need to build your team. Heck, if Fitness Quest 10 isn’t proof enough, take a look at Under Armour’s track record since 1996. World-class leaders invest whatever it takes — and then some — into building world-class teams.


#2.  Problems Create Beneficial Rearrangements

Believe it or not, I had to fire the first GM I hand-picked for Fitness Quest 10… and I loved the guy! Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right fit, and the problem was this: Without him, I was back to being a one-man wrecking crew in dire need of help. I’d have prospective clients come in the door, and I couldn’t even acknowledge them because I was knee-deep in sessions. Instead of dwelling on this “problem,” I sought a resolution. That whole no-manager situation eventually led me to finding Julie Wilcox (we just so happened to pluck her from Nordstrom of all places), who is a client-turned-manager and has been an integral part of what I’ve done for more than 10 years now.

The road to world class is not perfectly paved. From speed bumps to stop lights, obstacles will get in your way. It’s how you react to them that defines you as a leader. World-class leaders view problems as opportunities for beneficial rearrangements and put the pieces together to maximize those new arrangements.


#3.  90% of the Battle Is Showing Up

While you may see me as a persistently positive guy, I have my down days, too. My Dad died when I was a 20-year-old college kid, my best friend passed away in a tragic motorized scooter accident, and my lifelong dream of becoming a professional football player was crushed before my eyes when two linebackers demolished my back. We all have our struggles and I’m no different than you or anyone else.

What sets world-class leaders apart from the pack is they always show up — especially when they don’t want to. They understand that 90% of any battle, no matter how big or how small, is simply being present. Whether it’s a difficult conversation, a crazy client, or a life-changing event, world-class leaders will always be there.


#4.  Be Humble, Be Hungry

I’ll leave you with this, my friends. Be humble, be hungry. When your world-class ways take you to the top, you and your team will set new goals to achieve. Rather than continually celebrating your success and resting at the peaks, it will be time to elevate to new heights and make fresh dreams realities.

As a world-class leader, you need to be equally humble and hungry… this is the lethal combination of characteristics to continue down the road to — and through — world class. I can’t wait to see you there.

Much love and much leadership!


About the Author

Todd Durkin is an internationally-recognized performance trainer, speaker, and author. He presents motivational keynote talks worldwide to a wide array of audiences and is committed to creating massive IMPACT in the world.

He loves leading and coaching at his gym, Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA.
He loves coaching other fire-breathing dragons in his Mastermind Group for fitness pros.
He loves delivering riveting talks, workshops, and live-events for companies and people who seek high-performance in all aspects of life.

You can check out Todd’s Mastermind Program at It consists of 2-live retreats per year, monthly coaching programs, access to Todd and his team of coaches, select and unique opportunities within Todd’s network and a whole lot more.

Todd’s 2 best-selling books, The WOW BOOK and his IMPACT Body Plan have changed thousands of people’s lives. If you would like to get motivated and inspired now, you can pick these books up at or if you would like a signed copy, please purchase at 

Lastly, if you would like to stay connected and motivated by Todd, please be sure to opt-in to Todd's FREE, where he delivers short motivational & inspirational messages directly to your phone/email every Monday AM at 6 am to help you get your mind right. Opt-in today and start receiving your weekly DOSE via text and/or email. #MindRightManiac 

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8 responses to “From Good to Great: 4 Ways World-Class Leaders are Wired!

  1. I love you. Thank you for your fantastic inspiration and fire. Your mindset is applicable to anyone, anywhere no matter what his or her goal is.

    I am a senior citizen and planning a new business and relocation to France. I read and reread you every day.

    My all time favorite is the YouTube on commitment. I may have that one memorized.

    You are great. Thank you!!

  2. Thank your for this blog, it has come at a good time for me. I have followed you for awhile now and would love to hear more going back to your “roots” days regarding leadership. I have just been named the Varsity Volleyball Coach at our local high school. I am not from this town originally and have a lot of work to do. There is not much school spirit at this school, especially for girls sports. Plus, I will be the 3rd coach in 4 years for the girls that are going in to their senior year! So, I need advice on building the teamwork amongst the girls, and promoting the team and getting people to follow us and cheer us on.
    I am very interested in your mastermind group for the non fitness/trainer people that you mentioned in your book.
    thank you for your time,

    1. Congrats on the opportunity that exists Rebecca. Fantastic! I will have a series of articles that I plan to write on leadership coming up and will include the “building teamwork” aspect. Great topic. I’ll keep you posted on the Mastermind Group for non-fitness pros we are looking at forming stemming from WOW BOOK. Thanks so much.

  3. Thank you for this great insight into the qualities of Great Leaders. I lead a family of six new children from the ages of 5-11 years old. Five girls and one boy. We follow you weekly as we work out on our Total Gym at least three days a week. We all find you to be inspirational and you’re our own personal coach and trainer in our home. Thank you for everything you do for us. You bring us together in order for us to be healthier and inspired. We watch you on YouTube and I bought your “The Wow Book”. God Bless You and Your Family Sir! What a Great Man God has inspired and molded you to be! Someday I hope to introduce you to all my new children!

  4. Todd,
    I appreciate you! As a woman in fitness for over 25 years, and about to turn 50 I need inspiration some days, too. I love being encouraging and inspirational to others. Leadership is about caring and to “create a rare experience” (C. A. R. E.). A year and a half ago I earned my Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and Injury Prevention. In my leadership class I took away a lot of helpful information. One such example from a book by Kouzes and Posner said it best that “everything you will ever do as a leader is based on one audacious assumption: that you matter.”
    I have enjoyed your book thoroughly, and have used it as a reference for challenges for my clients. Thank you, Todd! Keep doing what your doing. You are making a difference.

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