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!

Friday, October 1, 2010


A good manager must operate as if propped up by a three-legged stool balancing firmly upon a foundation of Capability, Consistency, and Credibility.

While many can express a thorough knowledge of products, systems or sets of facts, one is not deemed “capable” of managing until that understanding is applied to a situation or set of circumstances in such a way that employees experience positive (and sustainable) change. Capability cannot be “claimed,” it must be demonstrated through every word spoken and action taken.

Though many feel that to “be a leader” they must initiate change, employees must understand the “why” before they will respond to the “what” of fresh starts. Alterations to the pre-determined course of action can create untold fear and anxiety within a workforce when managers drift aimlessly upon the winds. A manager seeking to lead effectively must be consistent and predictable in his or her thought patterns (but NOT hesitant to try new things or walk in new directions).

Unless one’s judgment and integrity is established – a basic understanding of people, their needs and their preferences clearly expressed – a manager may command but will never motivate. Lasting change cannot be born through fear – it must emanate from inspiration. A manager that knows the right things to say but chooses to act differently – that can “teach” but cannot seem to “do” – will never be an effective, inspirational leader.

A good blend of capability, consistency and credibility allows us to say what we are going to do, to do what we say we will, and to take responsibility for the outcome of our actions. Make sure you maintain a firm foundation upon all three legs of your management stool when leading those that depend on your direction!