Self-proclaimed sports nut and best-selling author Ross Bernstein kicked-off the Elite User Conference today with a high-energy address about how the unwritten rules, or codes, in sports relate to the business world.

“The business game has changed,” said Bernstein. “Enron and Bernie Madoff show us that a decimal point can make a big difference.” He said that champions can show us how not taking shortcuts and doing things the right way can lead to great things.

According to Bernstein, the unwritten codes are what make the difference between athletes and champions. So what are the eight codes that Bernstein says makes a difference between being ordinary and becoming extraordinary?

Champions…

1.      Have an internal drive to succeed
2.      Motivate themselves and others
3.      Can understand how to elevate from ordinary to extraordinary
4.      Possess the intangibles
5.      Will make sacrifices in order to help their teams swing the momentum
6.      Show respect
7.      Know there’s a fine line between cheating and gamesmanship
8.      Understand that it is more than just a game

In one example, he talked about the sportsmanship displayed in a girls softball game between Western Oregon and Central Washington. In a game-altering move, team members from Central Washington carried injured home-run hitter Sara Tucholsky from Western Oregon across home plate so that she could carry the memory of her only home-run hit with her for a lifetime. Bernstein said this shows how sports are not always about who won, but how we can live our life doing the right things.

Hear from Bernstein about how he uses these speaking opportunities to get people to think differently about living their passions.