Valuable Thoughts from Successful People

Last week I offered some tips about inspiring your team through behaviors and onetime activities. But today, I thought I’d let some others take over the job.

Some of the most successful and famous people have expressed their feelings about the importance of teamwork and what they think it takes to create and maintain a great team. So today, I’m sharing their words in hopes it will inspire you and your team.

10 Quotes You Can Use to Inspire Your Team to Succeed

1. “Individual commitment to a group effort: That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

Blockers clear paths for running backs. Defensive linemen pressure the quarterback so the defenders behind them get interceptions. Teamwork made Lombardi’s Green Bay teams work, winning numerous championships and Super Bowls. But this “G.O.A.T.” of football coaches knew its importance to any kind of organization. Individual effort secures group success.

2. “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

Every role is different, but everyone is important. This famous composer strikes the right tone here. Whether you design the product, make it, ship it, sell it, or collect payment for it, you are essential to the company’s success. Managers should remember that, and employees take pride in it.

3. “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

This legendary (and fiery) baseball manager hits it on the head. And in sports, it’s pretty obvious that someone doing “something good” helps the team, as well. But that principle applies in any organization. If your people buy into the company’s mission, they will celebrate the individual successes of others that support team goals. Loners say “good for him.” Team players think “good for us!”

4. “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” —George Shinn

Shinn is the former owner of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets of the NBA as well as several minor league baseball and football teams. So he knows keenly that you need help from others not only to be a successful team, but to be a successful person. We are all shaped by (and help to shape) the others around us. Thus it is wise to recognize and accept help when it is offered, and behave in such a way that we can positively impact the lives of those with whom we interact daily with.

5.  “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

Having researched and written several books on managing businesses and teams, Lencioni knows the territory. An open working environment reduces tensions and removes obstacles. Once aired, concerns and weaknesses can be addressed and corrected. When an individual respects the group and can expect respect from the group, pebbles do not become boulders. The team rolls on.

6. “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” —Mark Sanborn

Another best-selling author and team-building expert, Sanborn agrees with Lencioni. On a successful team, everyone my not only feel free to speak out, but do so when appropriate. Problems don’t get better by themselves. Conversely, they tend to get worse. And that doesn’t even factor in the lost growth and productivity that could have been avoided in the meantime. How about a monthly “What’s Bugging You Bagel Breakfast” for employees?

7. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” —Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is a film and martial-arts legend, but his insights suggest that “superheroes” aren’t born, they’re made. An average man or woman who can tune out distractions and concentrate on things that really matter has a big advantage in getting any job done. Help your team focus on the things that are most important to your business. You might find a band of warriors leading your company forward.

8. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” —Stephen Covey

I’ve mentioned this one in previous posts, but it continues to be among my favorites. It is human nature to look to your environment or individual circumstances as limiting factors. But as Covey suggests, you make decisions every day that can either entrench or erase those limits. A good message for you and your workers: take ownership. Then take action.

9. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” —Aristotle

Aristotle wasn’t shy about espousing his opinions, especially to the powerful Alexander the Great. And his words have endured for thousands of years. Is your team hiding? Insights and suggestions are no help at all if they are unvoiced. And if employees face criticism for airing them, they will quickly return to silence. Encourage your team to be bold in what they think, say and do. It is not a disruption; it just might be your company’s salvation.

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

Every moment you spend thinking about who is going to “look better” in the eyes of management or others is a moment wasted, not contributing to team success. You NBA fans know LeBron is in the “finals” again. He doesn’t care if he makes an incredible shot, or a nice pass to a teammate under the hoop for an easy one. He’s not looking for credit; he’s looking for a win. The other players don’t care how much “glory” LeBron gets for his efforts. Their goal is a championship, and he helps a lot. They may not win it this time around. But it’s already amazing what they’ve gotten done when credit doesn’t matter.

Want MORE Inspiration?

I hope you and your employees can find something inspiring in these quotes. If you want to take advantage of helpful information and suggestions from Superior Business Solutions regularly, why not sign up for our newsletter?

You could, of course, do nothing. But what would Aristotle say about that?

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