John C Maxwell is the founder of the John Maxwell Group and EQUIP, organizations that train and build up leaders to make an impact in the world.
His style of leadership training is in line with what the Word of God commands when it says, “Commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
Being a great leader points to the ability to build teams that achieve great things as well. He wrote a book entitled, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork which I urge you to read.
Below are 8 Powerful John C Maxwell quotes on teamwork to keep in mind as you build teams around you in your sphere of influence:
1. “If you think you’re the entire picture, you will never see the big picture.” ~ John C Maxwell
Team players that don’t have an appreciation of the overall vision have a difficult time giving their best to the team. To be a valuable team player, you need to see beyond your own individual role and understand the overall vision. The vision comes from the team leader and if necessary, get more information about where they are coming from.
When you understand the overall vision, look at how your contribution makes a difference. Doing that will give you a greater appreciation and motivation for being a part of the team. Quite honestly, if you’re self-centered and prioritize your own goals over the team, then you shouldn’t be on the team. You should either surrender your personal goals, or find a team whose vision you can support.
2. “You are most valuable where you add the most value.” ~ John C Maxwell
The best teams in the world are those that have the right people, in the right places, doing the right things. It’s true that sometimes you can get things done with certain positions not performing at their best; in the short-term it could work but, to achieve excellence you need your best players.
As a team player, the best way to help your team is by using your strengths to help the team win. This might not always be the case, however, if you’re in a job or sports team for example. Your leader or coach might have other ideas or doesn’t realize your full potential. Take it upon yourself, however, to at least sell them on putting you in a position to help the team win.
3. “The size of your dream should determine the size of your team.” ~ John C Maxwell
Since making your vision become a reality is impossible without the involvement of others, work on finding the right partners. A common mistake with most people is trying to do all that’s required by themselves. In the early stages of developing your vision you might start alone as most do, but you shouldn’t end there.
Working with other people is a part of life which shows that we need each other. Different skills are required to bring your vision to pass, therefore focusing more on team development as a leader is necessary. With the right team in place, and the right attitudes, making the vision a reality becomes possible.
4. “Winning teams have players who make things happen.” ~ John C Maxwell
Instead of waiting for other team mates to take initiative, winning teams take it upon themselves to take the initiative. It’s not that easy to see the importance with the naked eye, but it is to see the results of it. Members of a winning team recognize that it’s not one person that can carry the team, but everyone.
Certainly, you will have star players on any team that go the extra mile, but they are not the whole team. Sometimes the star players might not be at their best, and that’s where the other team members need to step up.
This approach also keeps the competition guessing and not gain confidence that they can defeat you. When everyone is taking responsibility for the team’s success, it enhances the chances of winning.
5. “Good attitudes among players do not guarantee a team’s success, but bad attitudes guarantee its failure.” ~ John C Maxwell
One rotten apple on a team has the potential of spoiling the whole bunch. If you’re the leader of your team, your own attitude for starters must be spot on. When you recognize bad apples on your team, deal with them decisively to avoid affecting the rest of the team. This requires courage especially if the team member is a star player.
Failure to deal with rotten apples will cause you to lose the respect of the other team members. While it’s not easy process, it must be done to keep the team thriving. It’s one of the reasons why employers hire slow and fire fast; it can take time to find the right person, and they don’t hesitate to remove the wrong people.
6. “The greatest compliment you can receive is being counted on.” ~ John C Maxwell
What matters most to the team is achieving desired results, and knowing that your contribution made a difference is beautiful. Knowing that people can count on you is a sign of their confidence in your abilities. One of our deepest needs as human beings is being recognized for the valuable contributions we make in life.
In some cases, people may not always like you, but they’ll respect you enough knowing you get things done. This is important to understand because at times there’s a mistaken belief that teammates must always love each other. In an ideal world, this could be the case, but it’s not reality unfortunately.
7. “When it comes to the Law of the Price Tag, I believe there are really only two kinds of teams who violate it: those who don’t realize the price of success, and those who know the price but are not willing to pay it.” ~ John C Maxwell
Success at a personal level doesn’t happen by chance, and the same applies to team success. That is why great leadership is essential and a sought after skill in the different areas of life. The team leader must first have an appreciation of what needs to be done to win at the highest level. Communicating that to his or her team is just as important so that everyone gets on the same page.
As a leader, you must then lead by example and demand the best from yourself every single day. If you don’t give your best, most of your followers won’t give their best either. On top of that, demand the best from your teammates if the team as a whole is to win big.
8. “Your team will reach its potential only if you reach your potential.” ~ John C Maxwell
Being on a team with others, doesn’t exclude you from giving your best, even if others seem to be better players. Whether or not you’re a starter or role player, for the team to maximize its potential, give your best. The legendary basketball icon, Michael Jordan, did this very well with the Chicago Bulls’ teams of the 90s.
If you’ve had the opportunity to watch the documentary, The Last Dance, giving their best was something of a trademark. Michael Jordan gave his best in practice sessions and during game time.
In his first few years in the NBA, he was more focused on himself until he realized he couldn’t do it alone. He then made a concerted effort to push others to develop their potential and they soon began winning championships.