Teamwork Quotes

I hope you enjoy this collection of teamwork quotes from some of the most brilliant minds. Enjoy an inspiring video on lessons of the geese about teamwork. Very practical advice on building an effective team!

Teamwork Quotes Index

About Teamwork
Achievement
Advice for Leaders
Barriers to Teamwork
Benefits of Teamwork
Healthy Team Dynamics
How to Develop Good Teams
Humorous
Importance of Differing Viewpoints
Importance of Teamwork
Individual vs. Team Effort
Insightful
Interdependence of the Team
Jaded
Necessity of Teamwork
Profound
Sports and Teamwork
Synergy
Team Player
Teamwork and Success
Teamwork Lessons of the Geese
Unhealthy Team Dynamics

Teamwork: Skydivers II
Teamwork:...

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When all work together, we all win together.
~ Unknown


About Teamwork

Teamwork: simply stated, it is less me and more we.
~ Unknown

Teams are not ends in themselves; they are a means by which to achieve other organizational goals.
~ Richard Wellins, William Byham, Jeanne Wilson

Teamwork doesn't mean everyone runs to left field when the ball is hit there.
~ Unknown

A team is more than a collection of people. It is a process of give and take.
~ Barbara Glacel & Emile Robert Jr.

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More
~ Unknown

There is no "I" in "TEAMWORK".
~ Unknown

Teamwork is working together -- even when apart.
~ Unknown

When you start out in a team, you have to get the teamwork going and then you get something back.
~ Unknown

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Achievement

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.
~ Vince Lombardi

The vehicle of accomplishment is fueled by teamwork.
~ Unknown

A self-reinforcing upward spiral: performance stimulating pride stimulating performance.
~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter

No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.
~ Althea Gibson

Competition is a by-product of productive work, to its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
~ Ayn Rand

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Advice for Leaders

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.
~ Unknown

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.
~ Sam Walton

Three things I'd say to a team to help hold them together:
If anything goes bad, I did it.
If anything goes semi-good, then we did it.
If anything goes real good, then you did it.
~ Paul "Bear" Bryant

The goal is not to have a team, but to increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
~ Unknown

As a team leader, create teams who: Care, Cooperate and are Committed.
~ Unknown

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Barriers to Teamwork

Without forgiveness, there can be no real freedom to act within a group.
~ Max DePree

Teamwork doesn't tolerate the inconvenience of distance.
~ Unknown

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Benefits of Teamwork

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Meade

None of us is as smart as all of us.
~ Ken Blanchard

In union there is strength.
~ Aesop

Many hands make light work.
~ John Heywood

Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.
~ Mattie Stepanek

Teams share the burden and divide the grief.
~ Doug Smith

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
~ Audrey Hepburn

Teamwork divides the task and doubles the success.
~ Unknown

I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity... to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.
~ Paul McCartney

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. ~ Unknown

The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.
~ Margaret Carty

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
~ Kenyan Proverb

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Healthy Team Dynamics

Teams are successful when they are focused, have a short cycle time, and are supported by the executives.
~ Tom Bouchard

A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others.
~ Norman Shidle

You will be most effective when members can compliment each other without embarrassment and disagree without fear.
~ Unknown

Real teams don't emerge unless individuals on them take risks involving conflict, trust, interdependence and hard work.
~ Katzenbach & Smith

When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.
~ Joe Paterno

Work and self-worth are the two factors in pride that interact with each other and that tend to increase the strong sense of pride found in superior work teams. When people do something of obvious worth, they feel a strong sense of personal worth.
~ Dennis Kinlaw

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A successful team beats with one heart.
~ Unknown

Shared value is the unifying force of a team.
~ Unknown

A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.
~ Bill Bethel

Regardless of differences, we strive shoulder to shoulder... [T]eamwork can be summed up in five short words: "We believe in each other."
~ Unknown

Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.
~ Bill Bradley

The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.
~ James Cash Penney

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How to Develop Good Teams

The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential...the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individuals persons.
~ Max DePree

Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage behaviors such as listening and constructively responding to points of view expressed by others, giving others the benefit of the doubt, providing support to those who need it, and recognizing the interests and achievements of others.
~ Katzenbach & Smith

Team learning is the Process of aligning and developing the capacity of a team to create the results its members desire. It builds on the discipline of developing a shared vision. It also builds on personal mastery, for talented teams are made up of talented individuals.
~ Peter Senge

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Douglas McGregor's list of the unique characteristics of an effective management team:

1. Understanding, mutual agreement, and identification with respect to the primary task
2. Open communications
3. Mutual trust
4. Mutual support
5. Management of human differences leading to group synergy
6. Selective use of the team
7. Appropriate member skills
8. Leadership: Managing and integrating the other 7 characteristics

~ Douglas McGregor

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Good TEAMWORK is based on:

Clear Goals & Priorities - which lead to:

Clear Roles & Responsibilities - which lead to:

Clear Procedures & Processes - which lead to:

Good Interpersonal Relationships
~ Unknown

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If a team is to reach its potential, each player must be willing to subordinate his personal goals to the good of the team.
~ Bud Wilkinson

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Humorous

Teamwork is essential - it allows you to blame someone else.
~ Unknown

There go the people. I must follow them for I am their leader.
~ Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Teamwork is the ability to work as a group toward a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry.
~ Unknown

Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.
~ Lewis Grizzard.

A group is a bunch of people in an elevator. A team is also a bunch of people in an elevator, but the elevator is broken!
~ Bonnie Edelstein

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Importance of Differing Viewpoints

Conflict is inevitable in a team ... in fact, to achieve synergistic solutions, a variety of ideas and approaches are needed. These are the ingredients for conflict.
~ Susan Gerke

Most potential teams can become real teams, but not without taking risks involving conflict, trust, interdependence, and hard work. For example, a common team purpose, set of performance goals, and approach rarely arise without conflict.

Indeed, quite the contrary -- the most successful teams recognize their members' conflicting views and experiences as a source of strength. Similarly, mutual accountability requires trust and interdependence, which usually do not grow without risk taking.

And, finally, most potential teams include members who must develop the skills needed by the team after they have joined the team itself. This, too, implies risks and hard work for everyone on the team.
~ "The Wisdom Of Teams," by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

Whenever two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
~ Henry Ford

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Importance of Teamwork

Whether it is two people, a department, or an organization, teams are the means by which great things get done.
~ Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D.

Teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. This is where the "rubber stamp meets the road"; unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn.
~ Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline

Men have never been individually self-sufficient.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
~ Vince Lombardi

Behind every able man, there are always other able men.
~ Chinese Proverb

No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything.
~ B. Dodge

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Individual vs. Team Effort

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.
~ H.E. Luccock

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
~ Helen Keller

Individuals score points, but teams win games.
~ Zig Ziglar

Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
~ Vesta M. Kelly

Group desire is different than individual desire. With individual desire, it's up to you to feed the fire. With group desire, you get all kinds of people rolling logs on from every direction.
~ Vince Pfaff

The era of the rugged individual is giving way to the era of the team player. Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.
~ Bruce Coslet, Coach, Bengals

A farmer who had a quarrelsome family called his sons and told them to lay a bunch of sticks before him. Then, after laying the sticks parallel to one another and binding them, he challenged his sons, one after one, to pick up the bundle and break it. They all tried, but in vain. Then, untying the bundle, he gave them the sticks to break one by one. This they did with the greatest ease. Then said the father, "Thus, my sons, as long as you remain united, you are a match for anything, but differ and separate, and you are undone."
~ Aesop

One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamites.
~ Jin Kwon

A single leaf working alone provides no shade.
~ Chuck Page

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Insightful

A demanding performance challenge tends to create a Team. In any situation requiring a combination of multiple skills, experiences and judgments, a team inevitably gets better results than a collection of individuals. Teams provide the kind of responsiveness, speed, on-line customization and quality that is beyond the reach of individual performance.
~ Katzenbach/ Smith

Just because we are all equal does not mean we are all the same.
~ Unknown

The ratio of We's to I's is the best indicator of the development of a team.
~ Lewis B. Ergen

A championship team is a team of champions.
~ Unknown

Effective teamwork will not take the place of knowing how to do the job or how to manage the work. Poor teamwork, however, can prevent effective final performance. And it can also prevent team members from gaining satisfaction in being a member of a team and the organization.
~ Robert F. Bales

Wearing the same shirts doesn't make you a team.
~ Buchholz and Roth

Gettin' good players is easy. Gettin' 'em to play together is the hard part.
~ Casey Stengel

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The same dynamics that promote performance also support learning and behavioral change.
~ Katzenbach & Smith

Either we're pulling together or we're pulling apart.
~ Unknown

Effective teamwork is all about making a good, well-balanced salad - not whipping individuals into a single batch of V8.
~ Sandra Richardson, OD Consultant

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
~ John Donne

A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it.
~ Father Strickland, 1863

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
~ Unknown

A team with a star player is a good team, but a team without one is a great team.
~ Unknown

People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.
~ Dr. Allan Fromme

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Interdependence of the Team

Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.
~ Alexander the Great

To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."
~ Hugh Downs

The strength of the team is each individual member...the strength of each member is the team.
~ Coach Phil Jackson, Chicago Bulls

I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.
~ Mia Hamm

Ants are very good citizens, they put the group interest first.
~ Clarence Day

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Jaded

Skeptics on the new "team" will say:

Teamwork = another management fad that attempts to get employees to do more work without paying them for it

Team Leader = the boss

Team Members = the people who carry out the boss's orders

Employee Involvment/Empowerment = a technique that creates the illusion that management really cares about what I think

Participative Management = an opportunity to agree with what management has already decided

Be prepared for the SKEPTICS!!
~ Unknown

We trained hard. But it seems that every time we were beginning to form into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn, later in life, that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing. And what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.
~ Petronius Arbiter 210 BC

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Necessity of Teamwork

We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
~ Benjamin Franklin

If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.
~ Thomas Edison, when asked why he had a team of twenty-one assistants

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.
~ Virginia Burden

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.
~ Babe Ruth

Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.
~ Brian Tracy

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Profound

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.
~ Stephen R. Covey

A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Overcoming barriers to performance is how groups become teams.
~ Katzenbach & Smith

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Sports and Teamwork

Michael, if you can't pass, you can't play.
~ Coach Dean Smith to Michael Jordan in his freshman year at UNC

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
~ Michael Jordan

Sport fosters many things that are good; teamwork and leadership.
~ Daley Thompson

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn't do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.
~ Vince Lombardi

To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.
~ Mike Krzyzewski

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Synergy

Synergy is the highest activity of life; it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people.
~ Stephen Covey

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
~ Aristotle

Whenever ideas are shared, the result is always greater than the sum of the parts.
~ Rich Willis

Synergy -- the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.
~ Mark Twain

Example of Synergy: Blue circle overlapping with Yellow circle. The Green represents synergy. (Something new, but made up of the old)
~ Unknown

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Team Player

Teamplayer: One who unites others toward a shared destiny through sharing information and ideas, empowering others and developing trust.
~ Dennis Kinlaw

Organization teams thrive on four types of team players: Contributors, Collaborators, Communicators, Challengers.
~ Unknown

To be a Most Valuable Player (MVP) on a team, you must have a Mission, a Vision, and a Passion.
~ Unknown

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Teamwork and Success

Working Together
Working Together

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Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
~ Henry Ford


A big part of succeeding is teaming. That's why I establish filters for who I work with. That's not arrogance. It's confidence.
~ Larry Smith

The path to greatness is along with others.
~ Baltasar Gracion, Spanish Priest

Teamwork is the lynchpin in our long term success.
~ Ned Lautenbach

Working together works.
~ Dr. Rob Gilbert

Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together.
~ Unknown

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
~ Henry Ford

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Teamwork Lessons of the Geese

Watch this inspirational video about the Lessons of the Geese on Teamwork.

Lessons of the Geese

1. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates a "uplift" for the birds following. By flying in a "V" formation the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

2. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds immediately in front.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will join formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

3. When a lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies at the point position.

LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership - with people, as with geese interdependent with one another.

4. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging - not something less helpful.

5. When a goose get sick, wounded or shot, two geese drop out of formation and follow their fellow member, to help and provide protection. They stay with this member of the flock until he or she either is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or to catch up with their own flock.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as the geese, we'll stand by one another like they do.
~ Unknown

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Unhealthy Team Dynamics

Most teams aren't teams at all but merely collections of individual relationships with the boss. Each individual vying with the others for power, prestige and position.
~ Douglas McGregor

Members of groups that do not meet regularly usually do not feel a strong sense of belonging and do not take ownership for the success of the group.
~ Unknown

Team members who feel threatened but who are not aware of it become rigid -- and that stops teamwork.
~ Will Schutz

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