6 Quotes to Motivate Your Team (Part 2)


Many of you have thanked me for the 6 Quotes To Motivate Your Team blog. I am thrilled that you enjoyed it! If you liked that one, you are in for a treat. These are three more quotes that I have seen working in the hearts and minds of leaders, teams, and change agents everywhere.

While I am excited to get to these quotes (I love them so much that I made them a part of my quote book, Addisonisms: Quotes to Live By), I do want to mention one thing first: time takes time. Seems straightforward enough, but look a little deeper. What does that mean exactly?

Some people have a natural aptitude for leadership. I believe we ALL do; it’s just a matter of how willing we are to cultivate and develop it. We don’t just show up and become phenomenal leaders right then and there. Gaining time in a leadership position takes time. It’s as simple as that.

Motivation Looks Different for Everyone

When I started, I was the guy in the background. The crew at A.L. Williams let me stick around during important meetings; not because I was a great leader, but because I was willing to learn. I was willing to learn just about anything and everything to help those folks…help my team. That is what ultimately led to me being lifted as a leader within Primerica’s organization: the willingness to work hard, but most importantly– learn.

These teamwork quotes aren’t about jumping straight into perfection; instead, they are about embracing the journey of progress and growth.

3 More Great Teamwork Quotes to Motivate Your Team

4. You have to go through the mess to get to the message. Success isn’t a neat, pretty process!

Adversity is the fire through which great character is forged. You know fire, right? It burns, it melts, it destroys, but it also purifies. When we are comfortable, we aren’t growing. When everything is going along fine, we aren’t problem-solving, troubleshooting, or evolving.

I’m not saying that it’s preferable to live in a constant state of strife, stress, and mess; what I am saying is that when it happens, when the mess comes to you (because it inevitably will), stick with it and be grateful for it. That way, you can get to the actual message within the mess.

Some of my most potent learning experiences took place when everything was in shambles. I had messed up. Things had gone all the way down the tubes. The situation seemed unsalvagable. But, it made an impression on my brain; what do I want to avoid next time that I forgot to look out for this time? What steps do I need to take toward preventing an equally undesirable mess in the future?

When you struggle or when you see a teammate fail horribly, remember not to deprive anyone of the learning opportunity that is embedded within that failure.

5. Be quick to forgive and even quicker to apologize.

This one works in every relationship in our lives: marriage, friendship, business, family…this one takes care of ALL of them.

As a leader, it’s critical to demonstrate your humanity by messing up. Don’t hide it; get it out there and air it out appropriately. Let the team know you made a mistake because you are human, but you are working on it. Apologize and/or forgive (sometimes the forgiveness is of ourselves), and then move on.

Don’t get stuck being right when you could be happy. Apologize. Forgive (yourself & others). Move on.

6. Success isn’t always what you do; sometimes, it’s about what you don’t do. A lot of the time, it’s about not quitting.

Success comes in wide varieties, shapes, and sizes. You can measure it in innumerable ways. But some of the most important successes you will experience in a day go completely overlooked. Why? Because they are not the big changes like a merger, changes to the team, the contract y’all just won, or the new upgrades to the snack area. Some of the most important successes you will experience in a day go overlooked because they are more about what you choose not to do.

Your team made it through Monday; no one gave up. Success! You stopped yourself from saying something that would not be productive to the team. Success! You refused to get involved and put the kibosh on a fear-driven conversation between two teammates that would just divide everyone. Success! You helped your team see a project through to the end, even though it took every ounce of effort the entire team had. There is your success —in not quitting!

Even when the proposal fails; even when your team doesn’t win a bid; even when your product comes out wonky and not at all the way you wanted it, you succeeded in demonstrating the effort it takes to get to that success y’all want to taste. By embracing our weaknesses and learning to improvise most effectively, we can prevail over seemingly insurmountable challenges and reach new levels of success. Repetition. Practice. And don’t forget, not quitting should be recognized as one of the sweetest successes!

A Good Reminder for Using Quotes to Motivate

Whenever it comes to team motivational quotes like those above and in Part 1 of this blog, finding ones that resonate with you and your team and then putting them where they can be easily seen and remembered is paramount.

I have a friend who picks a couple of reminders she loves, and then she writes them on her inner forearm. When she struggles, she just rolls up her sleeves and looks at what it says in Sharpie there. It’s not a tattoo; it’s just a very effective regular reminder.

One of my business acquaintances used to have the team agree on a visual representation of what motivated them. Once they came up with a slick design, they would post that design around and look to it for the strength to keep going and to remember what it was they knew that got them there in the first place.

Another good friend graciously keeps my book, Addisonisms, in the center of the boardroom table. Whenever things look bleak or people are losing their focus, they grab it, open it to a page, and read the words there. Some of the quotes are mine, and some of the quotes are from leaders far greater than myself, but the wisdom of leadership graces those pages, and they rely on it when times get tough. I’m so flattered to be a part of what their team is doing to stay positive and to keep the focus forward!

Want More Motivation for Your Team?

These team motivational quotes have made enough of an impact on my life that I made sure to include them, plus a few more, in my quote book, Addisonisms: Quotes to Live By, for you to utilize in your day-to-day discussions and meditations, both inside and outside the office.

If you enjoyed having this infusion of leadership quotes delivered straight to you, you can sign up for newsletters here and make sure that you don’t miss out on blog updates and other important news in leadership.

Everywhere I look, leadership quotes can be easily applied to every situation, relationship, project, and circumstance. That’s one of my favorite things about leadership and motivational quotes for a team; there is no limit to the growth you can experience and the wisdom you can glean from life and every single one of your experiences if you just know how to look at them.

See you at the TOP because the bottom sure is crowded.


  1. Melanie Johnson

    Thank you John Addison May you continue to enlighten us with your knowledge. Miss seeing you in person

    • John Addison

      Melanie! My apologies for the delay. It has been a busy spring full of travel and engagements and all the wonderful things that I live for. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I sincerely appreciate that. I have two new releases coming out, so I have been preparing with my blogs! I am so glad that you enjoyed this one. Here’s to a great rest of your week.


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“The scarcest resource in the world is not oil, it’s leadership.”

As Co-CEO of the largest independent financal services company in North America, John Addison’s skill as a leader was tested and honed daily. He retired in 2015 after taking the company and it’s people to massive heights. He’s just not done helping people get to the top. Today, he’s at the helm of Addison Leadership Group, INC working daily to mentor and educate new leaders.