Though I don’t often wish I could go back to elementary school, I do think they have one thing right in grade school classrooms: inspirational quotes.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team!”
“Reach for the stars!”
“You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing!”
There are constant reminders in those dusty hallways, strewn amongst construction paper–decorated cork boards to keep kids inspired and motivated. But, somehow, as we get older, these posters become cheesy. If you decorate your cubicle with a motivational quote, it’s usually ironic or a joke between colleagues, rather than a feel-good celebration of a little win or an awesome team.
As we get older, why do inspirational quotes get a bad rap? Maybe because we become more jaded or we try to focus on the “serious” things.
The right quotes can be seriously meaningful. They have the ability to not only inspire and motivate an individual, but an entire team. And the entire team is exactly who you need to reach when you’re promoting internal collaboration.
Here are some of the best collaboration quotes to share with your colleagues or throw into your next slide presentation.
The 8 best collaboration quotes
“When you form a team, why do you try to form a team? Because teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed.” – Russel Honore
Sometimes it seems like it would be easier (faster!) to do something by yourself. But if you put your time into growing and fostering a team, that time pays off tenfold down the line. A supported team will be stronger, more motivated, and both trusting and trustworthy. This trust means fewer approvals and quicker turnaround on projects.
“You can take a team of absolute all-stars in terms of their native abilities, but if they are not working together, they are much less effective than a team where there is less native ability but a higher degree of teamwork and cohesion.” – Stewart Butterfield
“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” is exactly what Butterfield is honing in on here. The act of collaborating and working together is more advantageous to your business than having a team of all-stars working alone. Different experiences, perspectives, and abilities provide value individually, but together they compound to form the business equivalent of the Avengers. Teamwork might actually make the dream work after all.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
Short-term wins are great, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your work. To win the long game, focus on team building and intelligent strategy. Reward people when they “win,” of course, but always come back to the foundational work that requires the involvement and skills of the entire team.
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman
Put your ego aside. A great idea that propels your team forward, is exactly that — no matter who thought of it. Individual credit is nice, but nothing’s better than celebrating successes with your entire team.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Sator
Sator took a deep route to the same message: a team is more powerful than an individual. Encourage your people to work together, to play off of each other’s strengths, and to mentor each other too. When you act as a cohesive unit, you can change the entire tide of your business.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
Sometimes you need a bit of support to see a solution or come up with a new idea. This is where you can lean on your teammates. And of course, this is reciprocal. Make sure you pay them back when they’re suffering from a brain block or are in a tough situation.
“Nobody is perfect, but a team can be.” – Meredith Belbin
Striving for personal perfection is unrealistic. We all have strengths and weaknesses — that’s what makes us human. But building a team means finding people whose strengths complement others’ weaknesses. While perfection might not be attainable, you can get pretty darn close. Lean into your team’s differences to discover what Belbin was talking about.
“Great things in business are never done by one person.” – Steve Jobs
Though Jobs may have seemed like a lone wolf in business, it’s clear that his success was built on empowering super smart individuals to do what they were best at. Working together only improves our greatness — individually and collectively.
Whether you paste them up on your office walls or share them at your next standup, we hope these collaboration quotes keep your team inspired and working together.
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