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!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Life is not a spectator sport – it requires careful consideration, intelligent planning and intentional action. Most successful individuals establish basic tenants for their life – rules they use to hold themselves accountable for their own actions. While everyone lives by some set of values and ethics, some of the rules that provide the “highest return on investment” would include the following:

• It is OK and natural to dislike parts of your job (or your situation or relationship). It is NOT OK to avoid, refuse to do, or ignore the parts you dislike – or to discuss openly your dissatisfaction with others not having a need to know your opinion.

• It is OK to make a mistake BUT do not repeat the same mistake. It is OK to make a wrong decision – any well-thought out decision is better than no decision. Learn from your errors, using them as a springboard to propel you forward. People will usually work with you as long as you continue to show measurable progress or growth.

• Focus on things you can control. Identify obstacles that are outside of your sphere of influence and actively seek to eliminate the hurdles by giving them up to someone who has the ability to influence them.

• Lying, cheating, or stealing is intolerable. If you are the best performer or individual with the highest results…but those results came through dishonesty or at someone else’s expense…you will not be respected, credible NOR working (or participating in an ongoing relationship) for very long.

• Results are recognized – effort is merely a means to the end. Seek not praise for working hard or contributing greatly – let recognition come your way through the results your effort achieved.

• All individuals may speak, question, and have a voice in any decision…but that does not mean all votes are equal. Life is not a democracy…input is valued but the individual responsible for the ultimate success of any endeavor must – and will - make the final decision. Do not confuse “equal” with “equitable.”

• There is nothing that “cannot be done.” While some solutions may not be cost-effective, or are simply impractical or beyond our ability to implement, “I can’t,” “It’s not possible,” and other self-condemning attitudes are not acceptable. Well thought-out solutions to issues you may encounter while doing your job (or during life in general) are not reasons for celebration, they are simply expectations of the way you should continually exhibit and utilize your abilities.

Everyone comes to a fork in the road – a decision point that forever changes what they have done, redirecting all efforts and activities towards the accomplishment of what they have yet to become. Do not walk blindly upon an uncharted path or you may end up missing a turn and becoming helplessly mired in a ditch. Establish the rules YOU choose to live by then keep them close to you, guiding your steps and actions as you reach for the stars!