We have all heard cheesy teamwork quotes during sports banquets or leadership classes, but these same principles actually ring true for any business or organization as well. Magic happens when teamwork happens.
However, it’s not common for teams to come together and immediately perform at their peak productivity. These synergies take time. Most teams go through various recognizable stages, transforming from strangers into a cohesive group with a common goal.
There are thousands of teamwork quotes out there. To help you make sense of them, and find the most applicable quote for your team right now, we are breaking them down based on the 5 stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and transforming. So here are our favorite teamwork quotes to help you stay motivated– no matter what stage your team is working through.
Teamwork Quotes About Stage 1: Forming
Excitement, anxiety, positivity, and negativity are some basic emotions felt by team members during the forming stage. This is the stage of teamwork where members are getting to know their team and responsibilities. Here are some useful teamwork quotes to get through the forming stage:
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships. —Michael Jordan
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jorden emphasizes that individual talent can only go so far without the help of others. No matter how skilled one person may be, there is always something to be gained from collaboration, whether it be knowledge, experience, or ability.
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. – Amy Poehler
Life isn’t just about the things you do, but it’s about who you do them with. The people you surround yourself with will either encourage you or hold you back, so make sure you find a group of people you are proud to be associated with. This goes for any type of team, whether it’s your group of colleagues at work, or your metaphorical “team” of people around you everyday in life.
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
Do not teach your sales team to just close sales. Do not teach your tech team to just fix problems. Let them understand how their tasks will contribute towards the success and vision of the organization. The best teams understand that everything they do will provide value to their customers or end users. This is why it is important for team members to know the greater goal and how their responsibilities are part of something greater.
Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
It can be tempting to keep ideas to yourself, but it’s important to recognize the value of a fresh set of eyes, different perspectives, or even opposing thoughts. Forming a team may seem unnecessary at first, but your ideas have much greater potential with more minds working to advance them.
Talented people are attracted to those who care about them. – Adam Grant
When starting a new project or joining a team the best way to create a bond and sense of belonging with your peers is to genuinely invest the time to know them. Learn about their preferences, challenges and expectations in life, in their career and in the specific project you will be working on. After all, sharing is caring.
Teamwork Quotes About Stage 2: Storming
This stage happens when team members start to feel frustrated over different working styles. Often known as the make-it or break-it stage, it is important for the team to understand the differences through the support of established processes. Here are some teamwork quotes about storming to get you through this challenging phase:
You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. — Doug Floyd
The importance of hearing every single voice cannot be stressed enough. If the entire team is singing the same note, it builds a culture of “group-think”. It is always healthy to have a little disagreement here and there to keep the team challenged. This can be achieved by posing critically challenging questions to spark debate among team members and open discourse.
If we were all determined to play the first violin, we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place.— Robert Schumann
While this stage is important for teams to start performing, it is important that every team members feels valued. Some members are bound to have more responsibilities that seem more important, and this could create sourness among team members. Every member in their proper place is important.
Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses and their concerns without fear of reprisal. — Patrick Lencioni
As mentioned in the first quote, silence is deadly. Storming is a good way for teams to promote transparency. This transparency can build a supportive environment where members are not afraid to share their discomfort. Intervention and support can be catered accordingly when shortcomings are acknowledged.
In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly. — Mark Sanborn
In this quote, Leadership expert Mark Sanborn emphasizes the importance of communication in teamwork. When individuals hold back their thoughts or opinions, it can be detrimental to the overall success of the team. Not only can silence lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings, but it also reduces the number of ideas on the table — and you never know which idea will change everything.
No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team. — Reid Hoffman
Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman gives really important advice about how to succeed and out-match competitors. The trick? Recognizing that a cohesive team will always bring more to the table than any individual. Sometimes you have to push aside your own ideas and ambitions, knowing that the work of your team as a whole will ultimately lead to greater success than any work you could have done alone.
Trust is the active engagement with the unknown. Trust is risky. It’s vulnerable. It’s a leap of faith…The more we trust, the farther we are able to venture. — Esther Perel
There’s nothing more exciting than working with a group that trusts in one another. In this quote, the Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel talks about the power of a safe and trustworthy environment to inspire experimentation and innovation. Perel, who started her career focusing on couples therapy, expanded her work into investigating the relationships in the corporate world. After all “the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives – both at home and at work.”
Keep your eyes on the finish line and not on the turmoil around you. – Rihanna
In teamwork, sometimes, there will be chaos. According to billionaire, singer, and entrepreneur Rihanna, the key is to keep the focus on the big picture.
For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate. — Margaret Heffernan
Entrepreneur, CEO, and writer, Margaret Heffernan is most known for a TED talk where she talks about the big impact of small changes. In this quote, she provokes a reflection about embracing the conflicts. Although debates and arguments are challenges, there’s no other way to lead when working with different people. The best bet for a manager to succeed in these circumstances is to acknowledge, listen and act in a non-judgmental way. Each person in a team brings a unique perspective that contemplates a different approach to the problem. A good project manager can put all the pieces together and find an innovative solution.
Teamwork Quotes About Stage 3: Norming
Team members start to resolve their differences and begin working well together. However, team members may find themselves going through the process of norming and storming all the time. Remember the importance of working together with these teamwork quotes about norming below:
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.— Henry Ford
As stated earlier, it is easy to form teams. The challenge comes in keeping them working together towards success. It takes time to build high performing teams.
Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there. — Virginia Burden
Every function and task is important, no matter how seemingly insignificant. A little motivational push can be very valuable to the team’s overall success.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. – Booker T. Washington
To achieve success, it is no longer “I” but “we.” It sounds corny, but it is true. Encourage the team to see beyond self, in order to reach greater heights. We’re better together.
Individual commitment to a group effort: That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. — Vince Lombardi
And in order to lift someone else, team members must provide their best efforts and commitment to the entire group.
He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader. – Aristotle
This is a crucial lesson to learn in the norming stage of teamwork. The best teammates realize there will be times to lead and times to follow. Think about it — there can only be so many leaders at one time when you’re working in a group. Recognize the strengths of everyone on your team and let them lead the way when those strengths are needed. Everyone will be better for it.
Teamwork Quotes About Stage 4: Performing
At this stage, team members start to work together and perform towards a common goal. It is always useful to encourage the team to maintain this momentum. Continue to motivate the team with these quotes:
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. — Jim Stovall
When transparency is achieved, team members can offer encouragement and acknowledgement to other team members. A business culture built on transparency will create a high performing team. Think about a time when group members come together and help one another – it always results in a good feeling.
Success is best when it’s shared. — Howard Schultz
If anyone knows a thing or two about successful teams, it’s Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. But Schultz says the best type of success is when you can experience it with others as well.
It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit. — Sandra Swine
With high performing teams, it’s not all about business. It’s about the greater picture of the company and the team. When members come together and form a strong bond, individual recognition is not as important.
The world will be solved by millions of small things. — Pete Seeger
But really, think about it for a second. Isn’t the world just one big example of teamwork?
The nicest thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side. — Margaret Carty
When a team truly works together, everyone is on the same side. No matter if you share successes or failures, everyone will go through the same experience together. You’ll never have to go it alone.
Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else —Sara Blakely
At age 41, Sara Blakely, the founder of shapewear brand Spanx, became the youngest self-made billionaire in 2012. Can you imagine how many things she didn’t know while building her empire? Not knowing something didn’t stop her, on the contrary, pushed her to learn and do more.
Teamwork Quotes About Stage 5: Adjourning
All good things must come to an end eventually. This stage may be uncomfortable for teams who got accustomed to working together. It is important to highlight and reflect the successes achieved by the team even as things come to an end. End the journey on a good note with these teamwork quotes about adjourning:
Our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us. — Barack Obama
Let the team understand that 100% of the success was attributed by 100% of their efforts and teamwork. Let them know that they are valuable in the organization.
There’s nothing greater in the world than when somebody on the team does something good, and everybody gathers around to pat him on the back. — Billy Martin
Be sure to offer the team the necessary compliments to send off the successful team.
You are where you are today because you stand on somebody’s shoulders. And wherever you are heading, you cannot get there by yourself. If you stand on the shoulders of others, you have a reciprocal responsibility to live your life so that others may stand on your shoulders. It’s the quid pro quo of life. — Vernon Jordan
When you accomplish a goal, no matter how personal, it’s important to remember the people who helped you along the way. This sense of recognition and gratitude is what propels people forward so that they can then pay it forward and help the world continue to go round.
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 Kwon
Members could feel aimless at the start, but that is not true. Let them remember how much and how far they have come in this journey.
You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.―Sheryl Sandberg
Best-selling author, executive, billionaire, and philanthropist Sheryl Sandberg provokes the reflection: When the project is over, what do people have to say about their experience collaborating with you?
In this article, we have shared many powerful teamwork quotes to guide you through the stages of being part of a team. Are there any quotes that you love related to teamwork and the workplace? Let us know in the comments below. Happy teamwork-ing!