Learned Excellence: Mental Disciplines for Leading and Winning from the World's Top Performers (Hardcover)

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Learned Excellence: Mental Disciplines for Leading and Winning from the World's Top Performers By Eric Potterat, Alan Eagle Cover Image

Learned Excellence: Mental Disciplines for Leading and Winning from the World's Top Performers (Hardcover)

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Learn how to perform at your very best, from the psychologist who has advised elite military operators, Olympic medalists, big wave surfers, neurosurgeons, cliff divers, first responders, Cirque du Soleil acrobats, professional athletes and coaches, Fortune 500 business executives, and CIA analysts.  

Learned Excellence is a comprehensive and practical guide to the mental disciplines of high performance, from the expert who developed the US Navy SEALs mental toughness curriculum and has worked with thousands of top athletes, elite military personnel, business executives, and first responders. 

These stars perform across a wide variety of fields, but they all have something in common: when they are at work they know how to think clearly, stay focused, and shrug off setbacks under very high levels of stress. They may have superb physical and intellectual traits, but it is the stuff going on above the neck and between the ears that makes them excellent. The difference between settling and achieving, between good and great, between contentment and fulfillment, is based entirely on their mental approach. 

This approach isn’t innate; it is 100% learned. The world’s top performers aren’t born that way, they learn excellence. So can everyone else, and Dr. Eric Potterat can teach us. 

One of the world’s leading performance psychologists and a retired US Navy Commander, Dr. Potterat has spent over three decades helping thousands of top performers from the military, sports, first responder, and business worlds improve. He served as the lead psychologist for the US Navy SEALs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has consulted with the US Women’s National Soccer team, the Miami Heat, Red Bull athletes, NASA astronauts, and dozens of Olympic medalists.

In Learned Excellence, Eric distills the insights he’s learned into five mental disciplines for high performance—Values & Goals, Mindset, Process, Adversity Tolerance, and Balance & Recovery. Illustrated with numerous stories and quotes, Learned Excellence features clear principles and practices that anyone can use to raise their game. 

We are all performers, at work, at school, at home, and at life. Learned Excellence provides the roadmap to help each of us perform at our very best.

Eric Potterat, PhD, is a clinical and performance psychologist and a leading expert in individual and organizational performance optimization. Eric retired as a commander from the US Navy after twenty years of service, during which he helped create the mental toughness curriculum used during Navy SEALs BUD/S training. Eric spent several years as the director of specialized performance for the Los Angeles Dodgers and has also worked with Red Bull athletes, the US Women’s national soccer team, the Miami Heat, and numerous Olympic athletes, first responders, business leaders, and NASA astronauts.



Alan Eagle is an author and executive communications consultant, helping leaders and companies shape and tell their stories. He spent 16 years at Google, partnering with executives to communicate the company’s story to clients, partners, employees, and the public. He is the co-author of the books How Google Works and Trillion Dollar Coach, and the author, all by himself, of seven letters-to-the-editor published in Sports Illustrated. He has never won the New Yorker Caption Contest.  

Product Details ISBN: 9780063316164
ISBN-10: 0063316161
Publisher: Harper Business
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English

“When you Google ‘how to be a great performer,' Learned Excellence should be the first result. Today’s leaders have to think and navigate their way through constant change. I urge them to learn excellence now so they can be ready for an amazing future.” — Eric Schmidt, former CEO and chairman, Google

"I wish Learned Excellence was around when I was just starting out in soccer. I sure could have used it! This book will have a huge impact on the next generation of winners, no matter where and how they perform." — Carli Lloyd, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, two-time FIFA World Cup champion, player of the year, and Olympic gold medalist

“Learned Excellence is a game changer. Eric's guidance was instrumental in helping me win the skating gold medal in Beijing and have fun doing it. Whatever your gold medal is, Learned Excellence will help you win it.” — Nathan Chen, 2022 Men’s Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medalist, three-time World Champion

"Anyone can be a top performer, excel at school, have a great career, and even, like I did, travel into space.  Learned Excellence teaches us the mental skills we need to be our very best. If you want to reach your full potential and beyond, this book is a great place to start." — Dr. Sian Proctor, American astronaut, and first female commercial spaceship pilot

“So many of us are searching for better strategies to help us become more effective performers and leaders in our respective fields. Learned Excellence is the perfect playbook to help guide you on your journey to excellence!” — Erik Spoelstra, two-time NBA Champion Head Coach, Miami Heat

“Working with a broad range of individuals in high pressure positions, Eric Potterat identified protocols to help them perform when it matters most. In Learned Excellence, he gives the reader pragmatic and actionable techniques that any person can apply in order reach their highest level.” — Jocko Willink, author, CEO, retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer

"[Learned Excellence] should be mandatory reading for national security professionals and leaders, especially given the unique challenges that they face in today’s volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous world of threats and challenges."  — The Cipher Brief