Did you see Michael Phelps and Jonathan Horton last night at the Beijing Olympics???? One is a swimmer and one is a gymnast, but they were both glowing examples of artistry, excellence, leadership, and results. These guys were poetry in motion and got me thinking about everything that has to come together to perform at a level of flawless execution. It’s the difference between great and exceptional. All the Olympic athletes are great…they couldn’t be there representing their country in Beijing if they weren’t the best of the best, but what makes Phelps and Horton perform so flawlessly that it appears effortless? What can we, as leaders in organizations, learn from their performance? What is that magic set of variables that has to integrate to perfection in order to create the truly exceptional leader or the truly extraordinary company or organization?