“Teamwork… it makes the dream work.”
Gag. Every time I see these corny teamwork quotes floating around the internet, I die a little bit inside. Don’t you?
When people are asked to describe teamwork, they’ll mention trust falls, baton-passing in a relay race; in short, a fantasy world that no team really operates in.
Yes, teamwork is amazing, but it is also hard, sometimes ugly, and personally challenging. Definitely not the manicured depiction of teamwork we see everywhere from slide decks to Pinterest boards.
It’s no wonder people get jaded at work when everyone around them is promising it’s going to be picture-perfect. Could it be that all these lazy and trite ideas about teamwork are making it seem even more unattainable in our minds?
How can we think about teamwork differently? How can we admit the challenge that working with others provides, while also celebrating the power of working together?
To that end, I’ve compiled a list of teamwork quotes that don’t make me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth, instead make me think deeply about the work I’m doing in my team, and what it all means. Let’s see if they pass your gag test.
1. “When you hand good people possibility, they do great things.” ― Biz Stone
2. “Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.” ― Virginia Burden
3. “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” ― George Shinn
4. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”― Isaac Newton
5. “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” ― Elbert Hubbard
6. “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” ― Iyanla Vanzant
7. “Never confuse movement with action.” ― Ernest Hemingway
8. “It’s better to be alone than in bad company.” ― George Washington
9. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” ― Phil Jackson
10. “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever.”― Amy Poehler
11. “To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.” ― John Adams
12. “We rise by lifting others” ― Robert Ingersoll
13. “If you take out the team in teamwork, it just works. Now, who wants that?” ― Matthew Woodring Stover
14. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” ― Sun Tzu
15. “A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” ― Rosalynn Carter
16. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” ― Abraham Lincoln
17. “Our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us” — Barack Obama
18. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”— Harry S Truman
So there you have it. Some down-to-earth quotes about the work we do in our teams that won’t induce a hard eye-roll. We hope they will be useful to the teamwork you do!