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Being Obsessed is the Way!

leadership mindset Mar 29, 2019

“You’re obsessed!”

If someone said that to you right now, how would you feel?

Uneasy? Pissed? Shocked? Relatively pleased?

The word obsession gets a bad rap. Granted that obsession can be destructive if taken to extremes like anything. However, when it is focused like a laser it will give your brand an edge that few can touch. Obsession is the cure for mediocrity. Obsession is the path that few will travel down. Obsession is the only way to break out of the red ocean of competition and sail into the blue ocean of market domination!

You want some obsession in your life starting today!

People will say that you need to be more focused. They will say you need to take more action. They say you need to be more consistent. Well, when you adopt the obsession mindset, all of those traits get rolled into one! Obsession is your way out of a town called Averageville (population 90% of the world). Let’s plot you a map to get you out of this Godforsaken place once and for good...

Self Care

I know you’re busy, we all are so let’s drop the bullshit that you don’t have time to take a little better care of yourself. This industry is not very forgiving to those that don’t invest in a little self care. Eating like shit when you work in a restaurant is a serious crime against yourself. Not taking 30-minutes to exercise is not building your cardiovascular strength or maintaining muscle mass, even if you think that being on your feet for 12-hour shifts is.

Lack of proper self care is an epidemic in our industry and they only way to put an end to it, is to become obsessed with taking care of yourself first. The culture of any brand is cultivated by the people who lead that brand, so if you are not 100%, what chance does your brand have? Not much.

Get started by just going for a brisk walk or even doing some old fashion calisthenics at home. Self care doesn’t require a gym membership, it just requires you carve out a little time each day to take care of yourself. If you don’t have 30-minutes in your day for yourself then you have some serious priority issues and a severe martyr mindset. Stop lying to yourself that you don’t have time or that you need to be at the restaurant all damn day. No one wants to hear about your drama or self imposed limitations. Time to step up and become the leader by taking better care of yourself. 

Oh, and do more than this!


How you train is how you will perform. Period. There is a direct correlation between training and sustained success. The more you train and develop yourself (and your team..hint, hint) the more success finds it’s fickle way to your doorstep. Oh, and if you think that those are successful are lucky, let’s break down what the word luck means: Learning Under Correct Knowledge. Those that get the restaurant and life they want are not lucky, they just became obsessed with learning and training.

To be obsessed in this area, you have to once again, carve out a little time each day to feed that lump of grey matter sitting between your ears. It costs close to nothing to read a blog post, watch an educational YouTube video, or even go down and get a library card in your town (yes, public libraries still exist). It might have been a while since to cracked open a book, however it’s never too late to start amping up your brain power.

Once you get obsessed with learning, now it’s time to redirect that into training. Think of yourself as an Olympian. You are going for the gold medal to be the best in your restaurant market. There is no way you could win a gold medal if you didn’t train and improve each and every day before the event. You can’t afford to not train everyday in the existing restaurant market. If you haven’t noticed, the market is oversaturated and competition is fierce! You need to get fierce right back!

You want to be obsessed to out training every other restaurant in your market! Starting today, pick one skill your team could improve and then train on that skill. Tomorrow pick another skill. The next day another. Keep going with this every damn day and soon your competition will be left behind in the dust. What do you do when you leave the competition behind, you stay obsessed and put even more distance between you and them. You just roll past them...

Team Building

Hiring can be a real bitch in a competitive market. Seems like you are attracting the bottom of the barrel or worse, your top talent gets poached by the competition. Damn, now your down a few staff and that means you get a little desperate when it comes to keeping your hiring standards high. Oh hell, let’s be honest, you don’t even have hiring standards when you are short staffed! Okay maybe just one...are they breathing?

How do you stop this madness? Become obsessed about team building!

Building a high performance team always starts with (you guessed it) becoming a badass leader yourself! I hate to bust your little dream like world, but, top talent doesn’t want to work with average leaders! Now if you applied the two previous topics to your obsession journey (self-care and training) then you are all on your way to becoming the kind of leader that can become a magnet to better team members. If you just ignored that and think you can still get better people on your team without becoming a better person yourself then you need to wake the fuck up. It won’t happen.

Now when you are a better leader and you do attract better talent, then you have to be crystal clear on what you are looking for (personality over skill), what you expect from them (well defined job descriptions with expectations), and what you stand for (your core values). Without these three in place your hiring will be not focused and you will settle for that warm body that seems like your immediate solution. When you become obsessed with building a top team you will become the guardian to that team and you will only allow the right person on the team instead of any person!

The Numbers 

For the love of all that is holy, you must, must, must, must, must, must become obsessed with knowing your numbers every day! Don’t know them now? Stop running a hobby and become obsessed with running a business! Hobbies don’t know or care about the bottom line. A successful business is obsessed about the numbers on their profit and loss statement (P&L).

  • What is your current food and beverage cost?
  • What is your labor cost today? For the week?
  • How often do you take inventory?
  • How recently were all your menus costed out?
  • Any strange expenses that are red flags?
  • Any comps and voids that don’t make sense?
  • Are you getting overcharged by your linen company?

If you are obsessed with running a profitable business then you know the answers to every one of the questions listed above! Obsession means you do sweat the small stuff and you watch the details. You want to develop O.A.D. Or Obsessive Attention to Details.

Now, for some digging into the numbers might not be your happy place. It doesn’t matter. You need to know the numbers regardless.

Does that mean you have to do the books yourself? Hell no.

It just means you need to have someone on top of the numbers every single day. That person can then supply the numbers you want to see on a daily basis. Then your duty is to take those numbers and create an action plan that gets your brand on the path to maximum profitability. Obsession about those numbers is your responsibility as a leader.

I feel so strongly about becoming obsessed about your numbers that I would go as far as saying this: if you can’t become obsessed with knowing the numbers, then step down from your position and put someone in place that can get obsessed about it! Yeah, it’s that important.

You also would be shocked how many restaurants and bars are not obsessed with owning their numbers, building a team, training, or investing in self-care.

Just look at the failure rate of restaurant and bars.

Obsession would have saved a lot of them.


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