What can we learn from famous quotes about collaboration?

The word "We" with various quotes included in the "We" word


Some very famous and well-known people have been quoted about teamwork and collaboration. We know what collaboration is. It is simply the action of working with someone else to produce or create something. It is that easy. However, it is more than cooperation. Cooperation is simply working together. Collaboration something more. It requires participants to work together for a common goal. So, what can we do to further enhance collaboration with others and others with us? Looking at some famous quotes here are some lessons that we can we learn from and apply at work, at home and in life.


Ten quotes from well-known individuals


Starting with 45 quotes from this article from HubSpot ten quotes were selected from a diverse group of people and perspectives. Take a moment to read each one. Note the quoter. Consider the diversity of the source and their perspective in terms of time frame, gender, race, location, and interest. If you don’t know the individual you may want to check the person out to gain additional perspective.

1 "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." – Mother Teresa 

2. "Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment." – Mahatma Gandhi 

3. "The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first." – Iyanla Vanzant 

4. "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." – Harry Truman 

5. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." – African Proverb 

6. "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." – Henry Ford 

7. "Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there." – Virginia Burden 

8. "Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work." – Vince Lombardi 

9. "It takes two flints to make a fire." – Louisa May Alcott 

10. "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." – Booker T. Washington 


What do these quotes have in common?


Frist of all it is about more than any individual or any one star. Rather, all of these quotes include someone other than an individual. Also note that

“it’s not about me”, but instead “it is about we”.

These quotes include others, and not just inclusion, but care for one another. With regards to collaboration It is about parties working together to achieve a common goal. In terms of cooperation it is simply agreeing to work together. The underlying theme is about leaders having an attitude to help and to encourage team members to cooperate and help one another towards a common goal. Leaders help others get ahead. Leaders look out for and care for others. They work with team members to understand their interests and to help them achieve their goals. They appreciate the intrinsic reward of helping others get ahead. They are happy to share the limelight and to give others credit.

On the other hand, it is all about the individual team participant making a conscious decision to be aligned with the overall goals with the rest of the participants. The team realizes they are only as strong as their weakest link. That means team members that are dedicated to the goal look out for one another and help each other to continue to work towards their common goal.


Teamwork, inspiration, motivation


Team work is key. Many of these quotes are inspirational especially when you realize who is making the quote and the context of their quote. It is hoped that at least one may be motivational to you. Reading the quotes above it is important to realize that as individuals we are each motivated be different things. From neuroscience we know that we focus on food, water, sex and shelter. We also know that we should not focus on beliefs as business leaders, but rather on values. In the quotes above note some of the common values:

  • Caring
  • Commitment
  • Common goals
  • Conviction
  • Helping others
  • Love for one another
  • Recognition of others
  • The feeling of success

When we collaborate with others towards a common goal and we are really on board as a team, these are the types of actions and feelings that go along with collaboration.

By helping others achieve their goals and get ahead, leaders know that while team members are here and they are part of the team, they will be more dedicated to the team’s goals. Taking the time to understand and realize individual goals, and then making an effort to help others achieve those goals, goes a long way towards motivating others.

Don’t we all long to work with others at a place where we can feel needed, helpful, and recognized. Don’t we want to be part of a team where everyone gets along with one another? I think the answer is yes. With this being the case, what can we learn from these quotes and apply at work home and life?


What can we learn from these quotes?


For one thing collaboration doesn’t just happen. It takes effort.

It implies that for one you have to care about others as much or more than yourself. If you really care you will make a sincere effort to reach out to others.

You need to learn more about them and develop a connecting relationship. It doesn’t just happen. You need to be there for others. You also need to listen actively. Hear what their concerns are. Really listen. To really listen you need to paraphrase, summarize, ask open ended questions and empathize. This takes time. Actively listening takes a very conscious effort to reach out, keep your mouth shut except to ask questions. Let them tell you what is important to them. Once you really understand where they are coming from, then and only then might you respond with potential solutions.




The quotes above are simply some phrases from a wide variety of perspectives about collaboration. That is two or more people working together towards a common goal. As a simple request, please go back and read them again. What if any touch you? Perhaps you may want to share them with others. I am interested in your feedback. Are there any quotes regarding team work and collaboration that you may want to share with me? I am always learning and I would appreciate any feedback from you. If you send me any quotes that touch you, perhaps in a later write up I may share yours with others too.

Have a great day.


About the author


Mike is a mediator/negotiator/facilitator and professional speaker that addresses business valuation issues with the IRS and other issues for clients as a conflict resolution expert. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 11 books including, The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]