Inspirational and Motivational Team Quotes

Choose the right moment to use one of these classic quotes

Teammates helping man over wall on boot camp obstacle course
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Motivational quotes can be used in many different ways and can be shared through aloud or in written form. Coaches, managers, directors, and human resources professions lead, inspire, and direct their teams with quotes from major figures in literature, politics, sports, entertainment, and philosophy.

How and When to Use Inspirational Quotes

It's important to use the right quote at the right time in the right way. While the right quote can inspire, the wrong one can backfire badly. 

Do use inspirational quotes...

  • ...when your team is down but is still in the process of competing. Inspirational quotes are a great tool for turning the situation around even when the competition is fierce.
  • ...when your team is resting on its laurels. It's easy to feel complacent when you've just achieved an important goal, but it's just as easy to allow the competition to shoot ahead and win the next round.
  • ...when an individual member of your team is feeling frustrated or lacking in confidence.

Avoid using inspirational quotes...

  • moment of defeat or victory, when team members are feeling too defeated or excited to pay attention or take the quote seriously.
  • ...when a real and serious issue has arisen and must be resolved.
  • ...when tempers are flaring or team members are very emotional.

To use inspirational quotes effectively:

  • choose a moment when team members are emotionally reader to respond positively
  • use an appropriate means to communicate; in some cases through writing, in other cases through the spoken word
  • vary the quotes you use so as not to become monotonous or predictable
  • don't respond negatively if an inspirational quote is ignored or even ridiculed.

12 Classic Inspirational Quotes

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

Elbert Hubbard
Thoroughness characterizes all successful men. Genius is the art of taking infinite pains. All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care, infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail.

To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.

Steve Ballesteros
To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice.

Donald Laird
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.

Zig Ziglar
To respond is positive, to react is negative.

Tony Dorsett
To succeed... You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.

George Kneller
To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.

Stevie Wonder
We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Michael Jordan

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Henry Ford
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.