I am writing a paper for a squad leader audition for marching band. We have to describe our strengths and weaknesses for each subject. The different subjects

  • Leadership
  • Commitment
  • Attitude
  • Punctuality
  • Work Ethic
  • Performance
  • Lesson Attendance
  • Marching Band

When I got to the paragraph about commitment, I was trying to think of how it was different from work ethic, but I couldn't think of how it was. What are the differences between these two words?

  • Have you looked them up in dictionaries? Update the question with what you found and if you find the dictionaries not helpful enough in distinguishing the words and their usage. See also some usage examples to understand the context for each. – Kris May 28 '13 at 6:51
  • Slightly off-topic, but I think that some of your headings seem a bit artificial and 'corporate'. I think that you could compress Commitment, Attitude and Work Ethic together into one paragraph and explain in clear language what it is that you'd expect from the squad leader's general approach to the band. Commitment would probably be the best heading for this combined paragraph. – tinyd May 28 '13 at 15:20
  • @tinyd We have to write a paragraph for each – Cody Guldner May 28 '13 at 16:00
  • @CodyGuldner - Oh, OK - I hadn't realised that you didn't have control over the headings. Thanks! – tinyd May 28 '13 at 16:11

Under Commitment your directors are asking how deeply you are dedicated to the band's purposes and values. How important is the band in your life? Are you willing to make personal sacrifices to achieve the band's objectives? —to dedicate the necessary time to practice, to meet all rehearsals promptly, to maintain your instrument and uniform, to put the band’s needs above your social and recreational pursuits?

Under Work Ethic your directors want to know how diligent you are: are you satisfied with doing what's minimally required or do you try to make the most of every task and assignment? Will you put in the effort needed to memorize music and drills, master scales or stickings? Do you regard your work as a chore or as an opportunity to grow as a musician?

NOT DIRECTLY ON TOPIC, but because the question has been raised:
The contemporary sense of work ethic described here is much reduced from the sense in which the term was invented by Max Weber. Today it means little more than diligence and reliability; in Weber's formulation it was a specifically Protestant theological understanding of work: that hard work and frugal living were not means by which one earned salvation but signs that one was predestinately chosen by God to be saved.


Work ethic describes a general set of attitudes applied in a specific context, work, while commitment describes a very specific attitude applied in a general context, life.


Work Ethic (which I consider to be distinct from Work Ethics) would refer to your attitude as it pertains to doing work - Do you view "hard work" as "good", i.e. a sort of categorical imperative?

Commitment is more personal. It's a promise you make to the group, to a person, to a belief, etc.

  • Put another way, work ethic describes a general set of attitudes applied in a specific context, work, while commitment describes a very specific attitude applied in a general context, life. – GetzelR May 27 '13 at 20:48
  • Generally, opinions fall under comments. Well explained and substantiated by references and usage examples can form acceptable answers. – Kris May 28 '13 at 6:53
  • When I posted the comment I interpreted Matt's answer as close to my own and saw my comment as elaboration. Upon review they do differ substantially enough to warrant submission as an answer. – GetzelR May 28 '13 at 14:19

Work Ethic and Commitment are two very different things. Commitment is you are willing to give your time and energy to do something that you believe in no matter what.It's a firm decision to do something. Work Ethic is made up of two words work and ethic. Ethic means something morally correct. Hence work ethic means whether the way you are doing the job is morally correct or not.

  • I disagree with your definition of work ethic – Cody Guldner May 27 '13 at 18:45
  • @CodyGuldner You can check it up in any standard dictionary- work ethick is the belief that work is morally good. – Sanket Verma May 27 '13 at 18:51
  • @CodyGuldner What's the point of saying you disagree with the definition, if you don't bother to say what you think it means? – TrevorD May 27 '13 at 19:55
  • @TrevorD I have always thought that it meant how hard I work to achieve something – Cody Guldner May 27 '13 at 19:56
  • See dictionary definitions: a belief in the moral value of work (often in the phrase Protestant work ethic ) (dictionary.reference.com/browse/work+ethic); A set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence (thefreedictionary.com/work+ethic); a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. ... A work ethic may include being reliable, having initiative, or pursuing new skills. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_ethic). See 5 Factors That Demonstrate a Strong Work Ethic (smallbusiness.chron.com/5-factors-demonstrate-strong-work-ethic-15976.html) – TrevorD May 27 '13 at 23:16

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