Published on January 10, 2010 in Quotes | No Comments

Quotes related to work and working with others to get the job done; to achieving team readiness:


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
– Benjamin Franklin, Scientist, Statesman, and a Founding Father of the United States of America
I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game.
– Tom Landry, Former Head Coach Dallas Cowboys
If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain.
If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees.
If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.
– Old Chinese Proverb
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
– Michael Jordan, Former Chicago Bulls shooting guard and 5 time NBA Most Valuable Player
You’ve got to give great tools to small teams. Pick good people, use small teams, give them excellent tools…so that they are very productive in terms of what they are doing.
– Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft Corporation
The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.
– John Wooden, Basketball Coach with most NCAA National Championships, Sporting News’ “Greatest Coach of All Time”
One of the main roadblocks to success, in any industry, is an inability to systematize and formalize processes and to communicate these processes to team members.
– Michael Gerber, Business Guru and Best-Selling Author
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller, author and lecturer
No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.
– Andrew Carnegie, Founder, Carnegie Steel Company
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
– Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Apple, Inc.
It’s all about putting the best team together – not just in the front office but the players on the field.
– John Elway, Former Denver Broncos quarterback and Super Bowl XXXIII MVP
People are surprised at the crews’ level of professionalism and their dedication and their willingness to do really hard work for not much compensation really. And you get asked, “How do you get them to do it?” And I don’t know frankly how we get them to do it. Why they keep coming back and why they keep doing the hard stuff. I think they do it for each other, you know, they do it for their buddies. There is that mentality that we are all in this together. The teamwork involved in making this weapons system work is huge.
– Captain Ted Branch, Commanding Officer, USS Nimitz
An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
– Jack Welch , Former Chairman & CEO of The General Electric Company
My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.
– Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Apple, Inc.
The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.
– Joe Paterno, Head Coach, Penn State Nittany Lions Football Team
The guiding principle was to make our standards difficult to achieve but possible to attain, which I believe is the most effective way of capitalizing on the initiative, resourcefulness, and capabilities of the operating personnel.
– Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Legendary Chairman and President, General Motors Corporation
I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.
– Vince Lombardi, Former Head Coach Green Bay Packers
It’s stunning to me what kind of an impact even one person can have if they have the right passion, perspective and are able to align the interest of a great team.
– Steve Case, Co-founder and former CEO & Chairman of America Online (AOL)
It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
– Napoleon Hill, Author “Think and Grow Rich”
Following Abraham Lincoln would have been a virtually impossible act for any President. Lincoln was outside in terms of his emotions, his kindness, his affability, his good nature and his political savvy, which was very very great. So Johnson did have a problem.
– Mark Summers, Professor, speaking on the challenges facing Vice President Johnson as he enters the Presidency
Never mistake activity for achievement.
– John Wooden, Basketball Coach with most NCAA National Championships, Sporting News’ “Greatest Coach of All Time”
If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy!
– Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, speaking to the city’s youth on August 7, 2011
…to be effective, leaders must have the qualities and attitudes essential to work in a group setting.
– Meg Whitman, Former CEO, eBay
Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.
– Casey Stengel, Major League Baseball player and manager, 8 time World Series champion
There’s a tendency at the senior and middle-manager level to be too big-picturish and too superficial. There is a phrase, “The devil is in the details.” One can formulate brilliant global strategies whose executability is zero. It’s only through familiarity with details – the capability of the individuals who have to execute, the marketplace, the timing – that a good strategy emerges. I like to work from details to big pictures.
– Andy Grove, CEO, Intel
Never give an order that can’t be obeyed.
– General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander Southwest Pacific Area during WWII
Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing.
– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
Our most important education system is in the employees’ own organization.
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
When it’s all said and done, more is said, than done.
– Lou Holtz, Former Notre Dame Head Football Coach
In order to promote your own career, you need to promote the careers of others.
– Gerald Meyers, Former Chairman & CEO of American Motors Corporation
Always regard every man as an end in himself, and never use him merely as a means to your ends [i.e., respect that each person has a life and purpose that is their own; do not treat people as objects to be exploited].
– Immanuel Kant, Philosopher
Everyone has a plan — until they get punched in the face.
– Mike Tyson, Retired boxer and former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.
– Babe Ruth, Former Major League Baseball player and 7 time World Series champion
People do what’s INSPECTED, not what’s EXPECTED.
– Unknown
Remember, upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.
– Alexander the Great, Greek king, conqueror, & military tactician who created one of the largest empires in history
Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.
– Brian Tracy, best selling business author
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
– Henry Ford, Founder, The Ford Motor Company
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
– General George S. Patton Jr., United States Army
Charlie [Munger] and I are not big fans of resumes. Instead, we focus on brains, passion and integrity.
– Warren Buffett, Legendary Investor, Chairman, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, 2007 Annual Report
Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
– Thomas Carlyle, Essayist and historian
Mediocre presidents hide from bad news, Great presidents reach out for it.
– Matthew Pinsker, Author of the book, “Lincoln’s Sanctuary”
My role models in the business were the older guys on my team when I first got there…. These were the guys who took me under their wing, and really schooled me in terms of what the business was about.
– Julius Erving, Former Philadelphia 76ers small forward and 11 time NBA All-Star
That all important clamping force which holds the joint together – and without which there would be no joint -is not created by a good joint designer, nor by high quality parts. It is created by the mechanic on the job site, using the tools, procedures, and working conditions we have provided him with . . .And further: The final, essential creator of the force is the mechanic, and the time of creation is during assembly. So it’s very important for us to understand this process.
– John H. Bickford, Engineer, Consultant, Author, “An Introduction to the Design and Behavior of Bolted Joints”
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.
– Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Apple, Inc.
Esse quam videri  —    To be, rather than to seem
Labor omnia vincit   —     Hard work conquers all things
Animis Opibusque Parati   —    Ready in Mind and Resources
– U.S. State Mottos of North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, respectfully
Everybody that I’ve ever seen that enjoyed their job was very good at it.
– Chuck Yeager, Test Pilot, First man to travel faster than the speed of sound
Innovation is not a big breakthrough invention every time. Innovation is a constant thing. But if you don’t have an innovative company [team], coming to work everyday to find a better way, you don’t have a company[team]. You’re getting ready to die on the vine. You’re always looking for the next innovation, the next niche, the next product improvement, the next service improvement. But always trying to get better.
– Jack Welch , Former Chairman & CEO of The General Electric Company
It’s nice to be liked, but it’s more important to be respected.
– Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America
Once a year ask the boss, “What do I or my people do that helps you to do your job?” and “What do I or my people do that hampers you?”
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
You must act, because only that will give results…The war demonstrated the need for the command to have a goal, a plan, and a method…attack, always attack!
– Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French soldier, Allied Commander-in-Chief during the First World War
Champions win even when its not their day. This might not have been the most brilliant performance Wise Dan ever had, but he found a way to get it done.
– Jerry Bailey, American Hall of Fame Jockey, commenting after Wise Dan barely wins the 2014 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Horse Race
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
You talk about seeing around corners as an element of success. That’s what differentiates the good leader. Not many people have it. Not many people can predict that corner. That would be a characteristic of great leaders.
– Jack Welch , Former Chairman & CEO of The General Electric Company
The more that the players can kinda take control of this team, I think the better for us. When a coach is just constantly harping on rules its kinda like having your parents talk to you. When your brothers, your team mates, get in your face and talk to you, I think it resonates a little more.
– Reggie Bush, Running Back, The Miami Dolphins
These rigs ain’t too hard to run, but you’d be shocked at what these boys can screw up if you leave’em alone long enough.
– Travis Coomer, Oil well driller and co-owner of Coomer Oil, LLC
Its such a wonderful thing when all the team players are playing on the same team. I think it creates a connection that all humans kind of want to have. All pulling in the same direction. Its important to know that you can rely on somebody on some level, and who those people are. Who you can call.
– Otto Kilcher, Alaska frontier homesteader
The productivity of social cooperation surpasses in every respect the sum total of the production of isolated individuals.
– Ludwig von Mises, Economist
The reasons that some people don’t perform are lack of competence, lack of confidence, and lack of affiliation with others on the project and the project goals.
– Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Authors of the book “Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams”
Put 8 guys in a small enclosed space, in the worst conditions possible, ask them to do the hardest job on the planet, and yeah, sometimes fists fly and punches get thrown.
– Captain Keith Colburn, Owner, operator of the F/V Wizard crab fishing boat
He was always most impressive to listen to him. He was an excellent speaker. He could formulate his ideas very beautifully and convincingly. Von Braun was extremely patient to tell and explain his standpoint and to listen to the other ones and to bring forth his arguments not with overwhelming power or with authority also but just with technical reason and logic.
– Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, Rocket Scientist, speaking about his former boss/colleague, Dr. Wernher von Braun
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
– Proverbial rhyme
Team – T. E. A. M. – Together Everyone Achieves More.
– Gary Busey, Actor, Candidate, The Celebrity Apprentice, March 20, 2011
Optimization is a team effort. Somebody puts something on the table and gives others a chance to provide their input, to make suggestions for a a better outcome. Its a process of incremental improvement. You can’t start at the finish line.
– Andra McCrory, Counselor and Educator
Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
– Alfred Edward Houseman, English Poet
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
– Andrew Carnegie, Founder, Carnegie Steel Company
It was important that everybody knew that you weren’t out to run up your own score. You were out there to work as a team. And that’s one of the things, one of the big reasons, in my judgement, in addition to superior equipment, that we had over the Japanese, was our tactics.
– Perry J. Dahl, WWII fighter ace and P-38 pilot
Frick didn’t understand that the steel workers believed that the mill belonged to them. They were the ones who made the steel, you know, it was their plant…And they weren’t going to let this nasty little Frick take it from them.
– David Nasaw, Author, speaking about Henry Frick and the Homestead steel plant strike of 1892
The coin of the realm in this town is not money. Its not even power, per se. Its information. Those that have it are in power, and those that don’t have, aren’t.
– Ron Kaufman, Washington, DC Lobbyist and Former White House Political Director
We have to keep good order and discipline. I learned a long time ago, if you’re too serious, people really don’t listen to you. Or, if you’re a clown, people really don’t listen to you. But, if you find that medium, then your point gets over a lot quicker I think. So I just found that balance a long time ago not to be too far to the left or to the right.
– Command Master Chief Christopher L. Penton, USS Nimitz
Let me give you a bit of warning: just because you get very good at your training it should not go to your head that you are an expert. Remember, actual sparring is the ultimate, and the training is, only a means toward this. …It is a good idea to spar with all types of individuals–tall, short, fast, clumsy. Yes, at times a clumsy fellow will mess up a better man because his awkwardness serves as a sort of broken rhythm. The best sparring partner, though, is a quick, strong man who does not know anything; a madman who goes all out, scratching, grabbing, grappling, punching, kicking, and so on.
– Bruce Lee, influential martial artist
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
Advanced engineering always, like advanced everything else, brings down upon it the discredit of ridicule of minds who cannot see so far.
– Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Legendary Chairman and President, General Motors Corporation, notes to self December 1921
…emotions must always be secondary to conduct…
– Steve Gallagher, Author
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
– Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America
A capacity, a taste for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, a facility, for successfully pursuing the (yet) unsolved ones.
– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
– Solomon, a King of Israel, From the Book of Proverbs (27:17)
I was over in the middle east when the USS Cole got hit. My SEAL platoon was set up as the sniper over watch. And just being on board that ship and talking to the crew members and seeing how unprepared they were, you know, the security posture, they just had no idea. These guys were standing guard on ship with unloaded weapons that they didn’t know how to use. And there were these reports that there was a thwarted attempt at a suicide attack, several I think earlier that year, but what was done about it? They still pulled into Aden [Yemen] and got hit.
– Brandon Webb, former Navy SEAL, regarding the Bombing of the USS Cole while interviewed on April 10, 2012
He is a master psychologist. I don’t know anyone better. He makes us feel like we can do no wrong. And that whatever we do is going to be the right decision. So you’re so empowered. And do you think I am going to let him down after seeing that [kind words Buffett wrote about her in an annual report], forget it!
– Cathy Baron-Tamraz, CEO, Business Wire, Speaking about Warren Buffett.
Time after time after time, we’ve found that was the wrong strategy. Starting WWII we had been going across Africa with inadequate equipment, inadequate training, inadequate leadership and it cost us lots of lives.
– Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Regarding Cuts to Army Budget
There is likely to be a lag between the need for action and government [“an individual’s” or “a team’s”] recognition of the need; a further lag between recognition of the need for action and the taking of action; and a still further lag between the action and its effects
– Milton Friedman, Economist
A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.
– Bruce Lee, influential martial artist
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.
– Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist & mathematician
But Hitler didn’t go near the Maginot Line. That was France’s strong point. Instead, he attacked the weak point. Hitler knew that the French had tried to avoid war instead of preparing for it. That knowledge was one of his greatest weapons. He knew they had planes but he knew they were antiquated. He knew they had tanks but he knew they were few in number and lightly armoured. But most important of all he knew that France had become a cynical and disillusioned nation.
– From the Frank Capra 1945 World War II documentary film, “Divide and Conquer” written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein
Every person will get a break at some time in their life, but not everyone will recognize it or have ability to use it. The best you can do is be prepared.
– Dennis R. Washington, self-made billionaire industrialist
I remember hearing conversation over the TBS, the Talk Between Ships, that there were bogies in the area and they were suspected of being [enemy] planes. But our Captain, for some reason, decided to wait, to wait, to wait, to see if further identification of these planes could be made. And he waited, I guess, too long. I saw the first bomber come in and I watched the bomb being released from beneath the plane, it was that close. A moment later the explosion went off….167 men killed and 38 or 39 wounded.
– Ralph Corely, Sonar man aboard the USS De Haven, recounting the attack that sank his ship on 1Feb1943
You can’t protect yourself against your own people’s incompetence. If your staff isn’t up to the job at hand, you will fail.
– Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Authors of the book “Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams”
Somewhere, someone is practicing. And when you meet him in head to head competition, he will beat you.
– Anonymous, often seen on T-shirts or at sports facilities
When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.
– Joe Paterno, Head Coach, Penn State Nittany Lions Football Team
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.
– Galileo Galilei, Astronomer, called the “father of modern science” by Albert Einstein
You can build another airplane, you can build another carrier, but the Japanese did not do what the Americans did. When we had expert pilots, been in combat and everything, we sent them back to the States to train more people. The Japanese kept them out there, and we killed them! That was the mistake the Japanese made.
– Don Ziglar, Helmsman, USS Yorktown (WWII), on the importance of having experienced people share their knowledge.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
– Solomon, a King of Israel, From the Book of Ecclesiastes (4:9-4:10)
We have the virtue of absolute clarity of purpose. There’s no confusion, there’s no distractions. Its just you, the problem, and the guy next to you. And there’s a clarity and a simplicity to that that I think we’re blessed to have experienced.
– Clint Bruce, Former Navy Platoon Leader, Seal Team 5
When building a team, I always search first for people who love to win. If I can’t find any of those, I look for people who hate to lose.
– H. Ross Perot, Founder, Electronic Data Systems
Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.
– Joe Namath, Former Quarterback, New York Jets Football Team and 4 time AFL All-Star
…as my brightly colored little train heads up into the hills from Kalka Station, known as the gateway to the Himalayas, my world view starts to improve. …The views from the window of ridiculously deep valleys, hundred-year-old bridges, it’s, well, breath-taking. I had pretty much forgotten about my hunger until the whistle stopped at Barog.  This place is named for a Colonel Barog, the British engineer tasked with building the [train] line up to Shimla. Already behind schedule and plagued by cost overruns, Barog screwed up. When he realized the two ends of this tunnel didn’t meet in the middle, he shot himself. It’s the kind of personal accountability I would like to see more of, frankly [humor]. Or is that just me? But all my snarkiness fades as one can’t help but reflect on what it took to dig, drag, blast and tunnel one’s way up this route back in the day. Back in the beginning, making the trip to Shimla required a somewhat uncomfortable three-day trek up the mountain by foot or horse or hand- carried palanquin. The stats are impressive. The climb of around 5,000 feet, over 100 tunnels, more than 800 bridges, an engineering feat, a job that when you consider the time, defies imagining.  In the building of this railroad, many died. Many, many died. 
– Anthony Bourdain, Chef, author, and television personality, from episode Parts Unknown: Punjab
A manager’s task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weakness irrelevant–
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
A common feature of companies with the lowest turnover is widespread training.
– Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Authors of the book “Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams”
An employer has no business with a man’s personality. The task is not to change personality, but to enable a person to achieve and to perform.
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
The worker’s effectiveness is determined largely by the way he is being managed.
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
The purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.
– Peter Drucker, Professor, Author, received US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 25 Honorary Doctorates
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
– John Walter Wayland, Winner of The Baltimore Sun’s competition for the best definition of a true gentleman in 1930

Comments are closed.