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, April 5, 2010


I recently observed an eagle circling his nest. Seeing the ease with which he captured the power of the wind beneath his wings, soaring effortlessly through the evening sky – made me understand why our forefathers chose the eagle as our national symbol. The eagle demonstrates the strength one can find in solitude – and the power of individuality that can be manifested when one lights out on his or her own, seeking success and independence while remaining above (rather than lost in) the crowd.

Upon my return to the office I saw another rather large bird that hesitates to venture from its flock, rarely (if ever) demonstrating independence or individuality. Even during nesting and visible displays of dominance, the turkey remains a flock bird – travelling through the fields seemingly without purpose or focus. Turkeys seek whatever sustenance becomes available to them – but often fail to see the benefits of individualism or the reward that singular risk may provide.

In life, we can choose to be either an eagle (soaring independently in search of our dreams, hopes and aspirations) or a turkey (travelling among friends to a common destination seeking security and comfort in what we find).

I’m glad that Benjamin Franklin was overruled in his choice of the turkey as our nation’s symbol. We can only hope our leaders demonstrate the independent agility of an eagle (rather than the flock mentality of the “other fowl” we chose to avoid) as they make decisions that define the future course of our country!