Best Collaboration Quotes
The 15 Best Collaboration Quotes to Inspire Your Team
Best Collaboration Quotes

The 15 Best Collaboration Quotes to Inspire Your Team

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 collaboration 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 collaboration 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 15 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. 

“Politeness is the poison of collaboration.” – Edwin H. Land

The co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation probably didn’t think much of people who fawned over the colleague’s ideas while criticizing them in private. No one should go out of their way to be rude or mean when working with their colleagues, but hypocrisy can be just as damaging. Be tactful, sure, but sometimes you need to call a spade a spade.

“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” – Malcolm Forbes

Did you know it can take more than a billion years for a bit of coal to turn into a diamond? Now, hopefully, your projects don’t need to last anywhere near as long. But when your project hits a lull, it’s easy to look at the people on your team and wonder what they might be doing to slow things down. Remember the humble piece of coal and how long it takes to turn into a diamond. Do you want your project to dazzle? Then be patient and lock elbows with your collaborators.

“A group is a bunch of people in an elevator. A team is a bunch of people in an elevator, but the elevator is broken.” – Bonnie Edelstein

What a great visual. Maybe just add in that there’s a fire in the building, and you can get a sense of the stakes involved in teamwork. Hopefully, nothing’s on fire when you’re working, but you can channel that single-minded determination when you work with your colleagues. Are you just sort of ambling in the same direction? Or are you driven towards a purpose?

“Strategy is not a solo sport, even if you’re the CEO.” – Max McKeown

Most organizations have some kind of top-down hierarchy. It’s essential to keep things moving; without someone making big decisions, you’re stuck spinning your wheels. But a strategy won’t get you anywhere without people to put it into action. Better yet, if you’re making decisions without consulting anyone, you might get blindsided by something someone else would have spotted.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb

Your organization definitely has its lone wolves; people who do their best work with their heads down and headphones on. But while that’s a great way to close out individual tasks, it’s not conducive to long-term progress or transformative growth. Teams get more done together, and an organization can change the world when determined people move as one.

“It’s better to have a great team than a team of greats.” – Simon Sinek

There’s this idea, borne of history and entrepreneur profiles, that a single great person can move mountains. But, in practice, how many of these “great persons” worked in isolation? Steve Jobs, no matter what you think of him, was a visionary. But did he code the Apple II himself? Or was he directing people and managing resources? When your team achieves seamless collaboration, you’ll get so much more out of them than you would from a few isolated greats.

“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

Teamwork isn’t just about getting things done and crushing your goals; working with the right people can trigger a fantastic amount of growth. Working with a team of experts in areas you know nothing about? If they’re good teachers, they’ll inspire you to learn a bit more and grow your own skillset. There’s so much you can learn and so much you can do when you’re with the right team.

Got any collaboration quotes that are a must-include in your presentations? Share them with us!