Proverbs and Sayings on Teamwork [With Meaning and Example]

Proverbs and sayings are popular nuggets of wisdom, often in circulation for centuries and even millenniums. This post contains proverbs and sayings on teamwork.

If you’re looking for more proverbs and sayings, you can find plenty of them in the resource below. It contains proverbs on topics such as life, family, friends, love, health, happiness, money, hard work, time, time management, teamwork, leadership, business, education & learning, and more.

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

An African proverb. Working with others may be somewhat slow compared to solo work, but you’ll need to collaborate if you want long-term success because you can’t do everything yourself. This proverb underscores the importance of collaboration and teamwork in today’s interconnected world.

Example: If you want to grow your business and sustain it over the long term, build a team. If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Four eyes are more than two.

Two minds are better than one.

Example: Why don’t you get this contract vetted by another person because four eyes are more than two?

A mouse may help a lion.

In Aesop’s fable, the mouse helps the lion by biting off the net in which he was trapped by the hunters. Likewise, a seemingly less-skilled or weak person in the team can surprise others with his contribution.

Example: Tom doubled up as a translator – and only he could – to interview the Spanish expert. A mouse may help a lion.

When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.

An Ethiopian proverb. With teamwork, even less resourceful persons can solve big problems.

Example: Our football team beat the overwhelming favourite through better coordination. When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.

Councils of war never fight.

This can be a drawback of teamwork.

Committees usually take path of least resistance. They aren’t known for taking tough decisions, more so that result in unpleasant consequences. Individuals, however, are more likely to take such decisions.

Example: The committee set up to decide whether to sell the media house’s technology blog or not decided against the sale. Such status quoist recommendation wasn’t unexpected though. After all, councils of war never fight.

Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.

If a task concerns everyone but no one has been specifically assigned to complete that task, it’ll be neglected.

Example: Although all three of us are working on this presentation, we need to specifically assign who will do what. Otherwise, it won’t be completed in time because everybody’s business is nobody’s business.

Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

We can’t hide incompetency behind teamwork. Everyone should be individually accountable as well.

Example: The manager has singled out my team member for unsatisfactory work in the current project. Message was clear: Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

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At a round table, there’s no dispute about the place.

An Italian proverb. At a round table, we don’t worry about taking the best seat because all seats are equal. Similarly, we shouldn’t think about occupying a better position when dealing with teammates, which means we should treat everyone equally.

Example: Some teams dysfunction because few members try to dominate the proceedings. They should take a cue from people at a round table, where there is no dispute about the place.

Everyone speaks well of the bridge which carries him over.

If you help your colleagues and teammates, you’ll be held in high esteem.

Example: Tom is well regarded in the organization because he helps his colleagues as much as he can. Everyone speaks well of the bridge which carries him over.

Still waters run deep.

A person with calm exterior may actually be passionate about a particular topic and have lot of interesting things to say. So, encourage silent-types to share their views in team meetings.

Example: Jerry spoke less in meetings, but when he did, everyone listened. Still waters run deep.

It’s better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

If you don’t know about something, it’s better to stay silent or risk your lack of knowledge getting exposed.

Example: I hadn’t yet spoken in the meeting and therefore jumped in when I got a chance. However, what I said was just for saying and not for adding any value to the discussion, which naturally raised few surprised looks. It’s better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.

A Spanish proverb. Similar to the last proverb

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Anil Yadav

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