Compliant vs Committed


Compliant or Committed?In certain sectors, such as fast food, you can run a highly profitable business with a COMPLIANT team. But our industry’s full service restaurants continue to be dominated by incredibly COMMITTED teams.

Telling the difference between those who HAVE TO and those who WANT TO can sometimes be hard when you are right in the middle of it.

Consider this: A compliant person does their best work whenever it is demanded from them. The committed demand more from themselves than their employers do of them.

A compliant person fears losing their job that pays the bills. A committed person gives their all because they love what they do every day.

I have spent my career working with small “underdog” teams, and I would take 5 committed team members over 15 compliant ones any day.

But here is the problem: the committed and the compliant are like Oil and Water, determined to push the other out.

Thriving in this competitive landscape will require stacking your deck with committed “A-Players.”

Post ItTo your success,

Sean Finter

PS: I’m speaking at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic on Sunday, May 13!

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  1. Vincent   •  

    I see what you’re saying Sean and I like it – it’s just hard to find these people. I would always refer to people in restaurants as “The A Team” and the “B Team”. 

    A-Team members always seem to work hard and I always found it hard to attract these types. People don’t generally seem to care and put forth an “A” effort if they’re not challenged enough. Thus, as a result, many of our venues continue to hire B Team members. 

    I think one of the reason’s it’s hard to attract the A-Team is because the restaurant industry, at least in Toronto, are not giving any reasons for them to apply. There’s no drive to be apart of the industry any longer. For ALL team members, it seems the hospitality industry is something to dabble in while you’re in university to pay the bills and then get out before you’re “sucked in”

    • Sean Finter   •  

      I think this is a leadership issue and not nessarliy a industry one. People of all ages want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I have worked for people in the restaurant business that gave me an opporuntunity to be apart of an elite team doing extraordinary things… and i have worked for others where I felt like I was wasting my time and not learning anything.

      I think life is too short to simply trade time for money.

      Thanks for your contribution Vince- this is a subject not spoken about often enough…

  2. Anthony Ciavarella   •  

    I echo Vince’s thoughts and agree with Sean, the responsibility, as leaders in this great industry, sits on our shoulders to attract and retain “A players” – I can’t think of another industry that there is so much scope and opportunity for those that are committed and passionate. When you think back to wonderful guest experiences you have had, I bet that a server or member of staff usually went out of their way to make you feel comfortable, welcome, valued or any number of behaviours that we sadly don’t expect in today’s environment. Those venues that get it right are usually those that are thriving. 

  3. Layne   •  

    I have been lucky enough to have had some helpful experiences and mentors as a young person. They laid the foundation for success later in life – like a great (perfectionist) coach, or a boss who took the time to explain what company culture was all about. Re-wiring people who don’t bring their all to work every day is, at least in many cases, a matter of leadership as Sean suggests.

    One other thing that switched on a light for me was Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin.” Reading that made me change from being excellent at things I was passionate about, to being passionate about excellence for its own sake.

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