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!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Far too often people determine “what is possible” by defining what cannot be done based upon what they have (or have not) done in the past. They set their goal just below what they think MIGHT BE accomplished as they determine where they are going by extending where they have been.

Individuals often close their eyes to what could be, preferring to focus upon those things that have already been. They are often far too concerned that the ends justify the means – doggedly pursuing the destination rather than considering the journey – to think about celebrating progress or enjoying new beginnings along the way.

There are those, however, who find themselves reaching for the sky without thinking about falling to the ground. They focus upon the sun without looking towards the shadows cast behind them by their current realities. These individuals often chase their wildest imaginings without regard to the practical limitations life places upon them. They rarely base their comings and goings upon what has been, choosing to follow a path that takes them where they have yet to go so they can accomplish those things they have not yet attempted. Rather than wallowing in hardship and adversity, these individuals often use trouble as a springboard to opportunity. One can bring dreams to fruition when refusing to accept the negatives of reality. Had history’s creators and innovators been content to seek inspiration from their past rather than reaching out to an undetermined future, where would our world be today?

Looking forward rather than back, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as an opening on the other side rather than a train bearing down upon them, and seeing “the possible” in a situation rather than focusing on its inherent realities are signs of an optimistic leader. Strong leaders rarely accept a single, concrete solution – they seek several workable options, implementing the one that not only provides the best answer but also garners the most support. Though it is human nature to take the easy road, the people of whom I speak typically seek the road less travelled as it eventually leads to longer-lasting solutions.

Personally, I would prefer to surround myself with people who live for today, dream of tomorrow, and run swiftly from yesterday. They seem to laugh more often than they cry – to smile more often than they frown – moving forward more swiftly than they fall behind. I would prefer to be in the company of those seeking solutions rather than offering excuses – taking ownership rather than placing blame. These seekers of the possible are whom I seek to become part of my life – hoping they will allow me, in return, to become a part of theirs.