Quotes About Team Building

8 Quotes for Team Building

Perhaps nothing has been more talked about by recent business scholars than the necessity of teamwork and successful team building activities. There are thousands of inspirational quotes for team building out there, but here are eight of our favorites.

“Successful teams struggle, fight and bicker, too. The difference between a Successful Team and a failing team: when these challenges happen, Successful Teams acknowledge and resolve them quickly because the vision, harmony, consistent production, and success of the team is more important than any ‘he say – she say’ drama or counterproductive foolishness.”
–Ty Howard

This quote on team building captures the vision of the ideal team. No team is perfect or will operate without having any disagreements or mishaps. That team never has or will exist. The perfect team in the real world is one that is unified in its overall goal and can communicate in such a way as to resolve conflicts quickly. Creating that kind of team is the goal of all team building efforts.

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”
–Patrick Lencioni

Once again, that unified purpose is essential to a strong team. Team members don’t have to be best friends or have similar personalities. That lack of diversity can even weaken a team. Team members do have to have a common purpose and a trust that everyone is working for that purpose. That trust and loyalty come with time as team members get to know each other. Because of that, we like thinking of this more as one of those team bonding quotes.

“It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.”

–Sandra Swinney

This is a favorite quote for team building among our colleagues. If a manager or team member is only out to make themselves look good or everyone thinks they’re only out to make themselves look good, the team will not function. That essential trust mentioned in the last quote won’t be there, and just saying they want what’s best for the team won’t cut it. Actions speak far louder than words and team building activities can be great opportunities to demonstrate with actions that a team member wants what’s best for the team over just what seems best for them.

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
–Peter F. Drucker

Perhaps no one can have as much influence on a team as its leader. Leaders are the true team builders, and authenticity is everything. Team members can tell when a leader doesn’t care, even when the actions may speak otherwise. Like another team builder quote, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it.”

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
–Ken Blanchard

Simple and a little bit cheesy, but direct and to the point. Generally, no one person is as intelligent or productive as a unified group of people. The varying viewpoints that come from a team where all members feel they can contribute leads to greater and more powerful innovation. Unfortunately, on the flip side of this, when a team isn’t unified or refuses to challenge the viewpoint of a domineering team member, one the famous anti-team building quotations is also true: “None of us is as stupid as all of us.”

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
–Patrick Lencioni

Vulnerability. All of us hate it, but all of us so desperately need it. It’s the key to true connection, synergy, and innovation. Unfortunately, it can also lead to disappointment, embarrassment, and shame. Because of this, many choose to remain invulnerable and thus close themselves off to both the negative and positive emotions and results of vulnerability. They opt to stay in a very safe, very mediocre place. To be vulnerable and build the trust necessary for truly excellent teams, each team member must be willing to put their ideas out there, give honest feedback to others’ ideas, and continue trying after disappointment, failure, and rejection.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”
–HE Luccock

No one is as overwhelmed and stressed as an individual trying to do everything. Efficiency and quality of work require delegation and teamwork. When an orchestra or a team has synergy, that means that what they create together is greater than the sum of its parts or what any individual could have done by themselves.

“Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.”
–Bruce Coslet

This seemingly abrupt team building quote has a short but powerful message. True teams are not made or broken by a single person. So-called “teams” where that is true do not the team at all but simply a genius with many assistants. Powerful teams live in the paradox where each team member knows that their contribution is necessary, but their membership on the team isn’t. No one should feel they are superior to anyone else.

What are your favorite team building quotes? Let us know in the comments!

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