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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. 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 had limited potential to grow. It might be fun, or interesting, or exciting to be on your own, but 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 spur his or her team members to work well 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 align and motivate the team. One 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 compel you and your team members to work well 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 win 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 can alone. Here's to your and your team's success! What is your favorite quote to inspire your team?


By Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable Local