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, June 15, 2011


People tend to see things (and other individuals) as they are. We live “in the moment” during our daily lives. We deal with issues and situations as they come up. We resolve conflicts as they occur. We form our opinions and establish our perspectives based on what we see, hear or experience. A phrase originating during my misguided youth (“What you see is what you get!”) appropriately identifies the level of introspection many use to chart their path through life.

What if, rather than seeing “what is” we were to focus more upon “what could be?” What if we stopped seeing individuals “as they are,” instead seeing them as “how they were, what has changed and who might they become?” If we assume that today’s reality is but a temporary bump in the road to an as yet undetermined future RATHER THAN a dead end or a destination – that it is but a sign or indicator of what is to become RATHER THAN a definitive predictor of the future – how much more could be accomplished in our lives?

When we focus upon fixing what we think “is” we tend to react rather than plan. We seek to make situations “go away” rather than trying to identify their root cause. We tend to worry about today more than we do tomorrow. We focus on the obvious reality of the moment rather than considering what once was and projecting that into what could be. When dealing with individuals we do the same thing – we see who a person is (often because of what they did or who chose to be with) but rarely focus on what they COULD BE. When we shut someone out because of what they have done in the past or who they seem to be in the present – removing from them an opportunity to change and grow – do they lose more (due to a loss of opportunity) or do we (because we lost the opportunity to make a difference)?

Refuse to believe that “what you see is what you get.” Today sets the stage for tomorrow – serving as a precursor of what could potentially become a reality NOT a definitive predictor of the future. Today identifies those things that have not yet been brought to fruition – the things that fade quickly into yesterday as we focus upon new tomorrows. Live in “today” only long enough to put it behind you as you move into “tomorrow.” You will be surprised how quickly “the moment” will pass as you live life seeking “what could be!”