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Under Armour’s Kevin Plank reveals 4 motivational phrases on his whiteboard

Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The founder, CEO, and Chairman of Under Armour was a college football player. His background in competitive sports has certainly translated to his leadership style.

Kevin Plank has a whiteboard in his office, and on it, he tells CNBC, he has sketched out the guiding principles of the company's corporate culture.

1. Over-promise and deliver.

2. Dictate the tempo.

3. Walk with a purpose.

Plank: We've improved gross margins each year

Recently, Plank says, he added a fourth note to the list.

4. I don't have to be right, I just want to win.

It's unsurprising to hear Plank touting his company's tough, comeback-kid mentality. Under Armour shares hit a peak of nearly $75 a couple years ago but recently have been hovering at less than half of that, or about $32.

The athletic apparel brand, based in Baltimore, Maryland, has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy, but some Wall Street investors worry about slim margins and overspending.

To calm anxious investors, Plank points towards the company's track record. In the past 20 years, Under Armour has gone from one of a few dozen apparel brands to the third in the market, trailing only Nike and Adidas.

"Our company has built a pretty good culture. When people push us and try to push down, we are the kind of company that fights back," Plank says.

How Under Armour overcame its underdog odds
Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
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