hands all together in a circle
From actors and businesspeople to sports players and coaches, the quotes from these successful individuals are full of inspiration for any reader, regardless of industry. — Getty Images/scyther5

Sometimes, all your team needs is a little inspiration. Everyone has worked on teams where one member falls behind, a manager demands too much or the collective whole falls short of company standards. Pushing your team to be effective, whether you’re a manager or a team member, can mean drawing inspiration from storied business professionals and other successful individuals. Quotes are a great, punchy way to keep the right business mentality at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Especially during difficult times like those of COVID-19, the right mindset can help your team push through any walls that are preventing it from being productive. Here are 10 great teamwork quotes from business professionals, successful entrepreneurs, storied sports icons and celebrities to inspire your managers and team members alike.

[Related: 8 Collaborative Business Tools to Boost Your Team’s Productivity]

“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-Exupéry, French aviator

“What separates the good players from a great player is that a great player is willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group.”

Kareem Abdul Jabar, former NBA basketball player

"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 teamwork dynamites."

Jin-Soo Kwon, character from TV series “Lost”

"None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."

Saint Mother Teresa

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

Andrew Carnegie, American businessman

A team is not a group of people who work together. It is a group of people who trust each other.

Simon Sinek, writer and entrepreneur

"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, former MLB player

“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, actor

"Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

Vince Lombardi, former NFL head coach

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford, American businessman

“A team is not a group of people who work together. It is a group of people who trust each other.”

Simon Sinek, writer and entrepreneur

[Related: 3 Expert Strategies for Productive Meetings]

Armed with these inspirational words, you can spark motivation, creativity and help your team grow.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published June 15, 2020