10 Corny but Undeniably True and Inspiring Quotes About Teamwork
With two games remaining, my daughter’s soccer team is in second place. They’ve won nine games and lost only one -- to the team in third place.
Although that team doesn’t not have as many star players as our side, they beat us on the admittedly widely held but elusive principle that sharing the ball leads to more goals (and better defense) than impressive dribbling or individuality. In other words, their 11 played better as a team than the three remarkable players on my daughter’s team. Granted, the third-place team probably dropped more games than we did because playing as an effective team in consecutive games is harder to do. After all, it’s easier for a few great players to show up to every game (as we have mostly done) than a reliable team.
In any case, my daughter’s “club” will square off against the first place team this weekend. I suspect they’ll lose unless they listen to Michael Jordan: “Talent wins games; teamwork wins championships.”
The same is true in business and life in general. If we want to “win championships” in both of those, we have to get others involved, pass more, risk failure, allow teammates to learn from their mistakes by letting them commit them and putting the needs of the group above our own selfish aspirations.
To that end, I encourage you, my daughter’s soccer team and everyone else interested in winning to consider and internalize my 10 favorite quotes on the importance of competing as a team. Some are a bit corny. All are true.
Related: 12 Tips for Fostering Teamwork
1. “TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More.”
This quote by an unknown author codifies the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
2. “A man may do an immense deal of good if he does not care who gets the credit.”
This quote by Father Strickland emphasizes that teamwork requires humility. You can’t have teamwork if one, some, or all team members hope for individual glory.
3. “Chains are only as strong as their weakest link.”
Another great quote from an unknown author that teaches us that encouraging, supporting, training, and sometimes replacing the most fragile contributor is the best way to refine and improve a team.
4. “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself to praise the skills of the others.”
According to Norman Shidle, self-confidence is also needed to create an effective team.
5. “Many of us are more capable than some of us, but none of us is as capable as all of us.”
According to Tom Wilson, not only are we smarter when we combine our collective brainpower, we’re decidedly more powerful.
6. “A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!”
This keeper from an unknown author reminds us that beautiful, forceful, and even spectacular things happen when working in unison (like this).
Related: Why Teamwork Matters at Every Level
7. "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
Once uttered by Henry Ford, this idea demonstrates that coming and even staying together is not enough. To succeed, we must work together.
8. “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.”
One of the all-time greatest object lessons on teamwork has been recognized in many cultures, such as in this purportedly comes from a Kenyan proverb and a well known Aesop fable.
9. "It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed."
This quote by Napoleon Hill destroys the selfish idea that “getting mine” is the best way to get ahead.
10. “Many hands make light work.”
Arguably the most classic and versatile quotes on teamwork comes from John Heywood. When we work together, not only can we do, think, perform, and win more, but we lighten the individual burden of our members. When that happens, we’re free to give back even more, and the cycle continues.