The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Have you ever heard a competitor say, “I’m glad to have lost that game!” rather than being excited to have won? What would you think if an “I tried hard and almost won the last game” cup were awarded to the second place team rather than crowning a national champion at the end of a season? We tend to reach for the top rather than being content to simply stand on sidelines of success.

If we admire success, why do we accept “average” within our schools, our workplaces, and, at times, our own lives? Why do we accept “good enough” rather than striving for the best that can be? Why do we seek to reward all individuals equally rather than acknowledging that some are just “more equal” than others?

While one may focus on a goal and work hard without ever winning the ultimate prize (just ask the 64 teams that will not emerge victorious from the NCAA tournament), greatness is earned (it is rarely simply given) when one focuses intently upon the goal, fully develops the abilities they have been given then works relentlessly to become a champion (ask the team that ultimately wins the title).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


When people choose to take the path of least resistance, they often diminish their ability to establish individuality. They suffer in silence rather than identifying and addressing the issues that most concern them. Peer pressure drives decisions, many times creating a “flock” mentality that leads individuals towards an ill-conceived destination. Saying “no” to the crowd – and in doing so establishing one’s own hopes, dreams and reality – should never be viewed as detrimental to the whole.

Would the steam engine have been invented had Fulton listened to the crowd? Would space exploration have been possible had the Wright brothers listened to their critics? What might YOU be able to accomplish – what potential might you be able to realize – if you “march to your own drummer” rather than listening to the tunes composed by others?

Many people try to be “something they are not” by burying their own values. Rather than trying to be what everyone else may wish you were, make the most of your individuality through the expression of your thoughts through words and actions. In the long run it is easier to build upon the firm foundation of truth and reality than to construct life upon deception's shifting sands!

Monday, March 15, 2010


It has been said that “life is a beach,” but we often frame our reality (and define our personal beach) by the perspective we choose. Depending on our perspective, a safe harbor can provide either a place of refuge or a place of renewal. Our quiet shores can be either an idyllic place upon which sand castles are constructed OR much more, depending upon the perspective we take. Look beyond the obvious to experience all that life offers – seeking the possible rather than the probable. You may be surprised what could rise from the quiet beach of your existence if perspective were to become limited only by your imagination…

Monday, March 8, 2010


You've heard the phrase "smoke and mirrors" when referencing something that isn't quite as it appears to be. It's been used (perhaps appropriately?) when talking about both our Nation's and our State's economies in recent months. Saying something is improving doesn't make it so - nor does generating wealth through the creation of debt stabalize an economy. Perhaps our elected leadership should step back and look at the true beauty of "smoke" then look hard into a mirror to discover reality.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


We often base our reality more on what we see that on what truly is. If we stand outside a tunnel and look in we see a dark empty void that offers little hope. If, however, we stand in the tunnel and look out we see a new horizon holding unlimited possibilities. Perspective is a choice - choose your's wisely!