The difference between success and failure is a great team.
When I first became an entrepreneur, in the spring of 2002, I was a consultant working for myself. As Dave Kerpen Strategic Consulting, I could make my own hours, determine my own success, and avoid answering to a boss. But as a one-man business, I was very limited in the potential to grow. It might be fun, or interesting, or exciting to be on your own, but it's also limiting. A one-person business can only grow so much. Ultimately, that first business of mine failed.
Twelve years, two companies, 100 employees, and three times on the Inc 500 list of fastest-growing companies later, I've learned that the only way to build a company with great success and scale is to build a great team.
No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as an entrepreneur depends on your ability to build and inspire a team. A successful leader is one who can inspire his or her team members to work better together toward a common vision and goals.
To inspire your team members, you'll have to talk to them, of course. I hate meetings, but I love short (seven to 20 minute) huddles to get the team aligned, motivated, and inspired. One very effective way to begin or end a huddle is by sharing a quote. Here are 15 quotes from well-known coaches, athletes, business leaders, and authors that will inspire you and your team members to work 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
- "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." --Michael Jordan
- "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
- "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." --Helen Keller
- "Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." --Patrick Lencioni
- "I invite everyone to choose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition." --Jean-Francois Cope
- "None of us is as smart as all of us." --Ken Blanchard
- "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford
- "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." --Henry Ford
- "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson
- "Collaboration allows teachers to capture each other's fund of collective intelligence." --Mike Schmoker
- "It takes two flints to make a fire." --Louisa May Alcott
- "Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." --Mattie Stepanek
- "To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless." --Mike Krzyzewski
- "The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison." --James Cash Penney
You can do better with your team than you or I could do it alone. Here's to your--and your team's--success! What is your favorite quote to inspire your team?