5 Small Business Leadership Lessons from Arnold Palmer

September 28, 2016 Pete Jansons

Golf ball on the lawn

This week, sports fans from across the nation are reeling from the news that golf legend Arnold Palmer, died on Sunday at the age of 87. Known as the “King of Golf,” Palmer held seven major championship title s and 62 PGA Tour wins. But it was more than his talent that led to his success and won Palmer the respect and admiration of fans and peers alike: Palmer was an inspiration to many for his dedication, hard work and a passion for the game. Below are some of Palmer’s famous quotes about success and how he got there, and what small business leaders can take away from it.

  1. “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” As a small business owner, you face a lot of opposition; however, you only fail when you fail to try. A defeatist attitude will get you nowhere.
  2. “The road to success is always under construction.” As a small business owner, your jobs as a leader is never truly “done.” Good leaders are constantly looking for ways to better themselves and their teams and are never satisfied with the status quo.
  3. “I’m not much for sitting around and thinking about the past or talking about the past. What does that accomplish? If I can give young people something to think about, like the future, that’s a better use of my time.” While it’s important to learn from our mistakes, it is even more important not to dwell on them. Focus instead on what you can do different and better next time. Likewise, if there are things that have worked for you in the past, think about how you can build on those successes.
  4. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is.” As a small business owner, you will inevitably face your fair share of ups and downs. Remember that everyone experiences failures, so don’t let them hold you back. Focus on why you wanted this in the first place, and keep that goal in mind.
  5. “Concentration, Confidence, Competitive urge, Capacity for enjoyment.” Leading a small business is hard, and it takes hard work, dedication, and a healthy dose of blood, sweat and tears. But as important as it is to work hard, it is equally as important to allow yourself time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember to make time to celebrate your successes – both for yourself and the sake of your team. Show your team you are proud of their hard work and help them realize how their efforts contributed to the overall success. Taking time to do so will boost morale, foster loyalty and increase productivity.

Got a favorite Arnold Palmer quote or memory that you’ve applied to your business? Tweet me at @cbpetej

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