With the Rio Olympics just around the corner, many of us are mesmerized by the feats of the world class athletes as they qualify for The Games.

Not only mesmerized, but inspired.

As we watch athletes of this caliber compete in the Olympics, like Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles, who are dominant in their sports, the question that comes to mind is, "What does it take to reach this level of excellence?"

Well, that's a great question. Because it's a question that transcends athletics. It's a question that applies to any--and every--aspect of human endeavor.

What does it take to achieve true excellence?

What does it take to become world class--at anything?

And, to the point of our meeting here at Inc.com, what does it take to create and grow a world class company?

First, it takes a commitment to the extraordinary, to go beyond the commonplace, which is so often lackluster and devoid of inspiration.

Second, it takes the realization that a commitment to the extraordinary is a personal commitment.

The true entrepreneurs among us--what I call the New Entrepreneurs--on their way to building world class companies, are committed to seeing themselves as they really are, as opposed to how they wish they were.

They are committed to seeing the fears that inhibit them, the passions that consume them, the passivity that rules them, the things they avoid doing as much as the things they insist upon doing, the barriers to growth that keep them from growing and, inevitably, keep their companies from growing.

The New Entrepreneurs are also committed to understanding their gifts, all of the wonderful characteristics that live inside them.

In short, to achieve world class status, one must achieve personal mastery. And to achieve personal mastery, one must achieve clarity.

Achieving clarity about oneself is no easy task. It often requires an outside influence, another set of eyes, if you will, who can pull you out of yourself so you can more readily see yourself.

You know, of course, that elite athletes like Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles have coaches who help give them absolute clarity about themselves, every muscle in their bodies, every thought in their heads, every emotion that is pushing them forward or holding them back.

Likewise, no elite, world class entrepreneur does it alone.

Surround yourself with people who know more than you do and who are as good at what they do as you are at what you do.

Surround yourself with people who are committed to your growth and vision, as well as their own.

Surround yourself with people who are inspired and inspiring.

Surround yourself with people who are committed to engaging with life in a world class way and accept nothing less than optimal results.

Building a world class company calls for a world class commitment to your own personal growth, and surrounding yourself with people committed to theirs.

Once you and your team have made this commitment, you will be able to create the systems that translate your world class vision into a world class reality.

It's not any individual operating solo who makes the extreme difference, but the systems you and your people invent. These systems define and communicate, "this is how we do it here; this is what we are committed to; this is who we are."

Without the system, there is no ability to scale and without the ability to scale, no sustainable growth is possible.

The systems you and your people invent enable you to download your excellence into a method that makes a difference. Now you can teach it. Now everyone can be successful. Now your customers can have a world class experience every time they interact with your company.

Published on: Jul 11, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.