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!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Sir Winston Churchill

Success often comes to those willing to think “outside of the box.” New directions, products, goals, destinations, partnerships and alliances never before thought possible have emerged from the sluggish economy. We all do things differently – the degree of success achieved often directly linked to the amount of risk we are willing to take and the confidence we have in the gifts we are given.

Some of us experienced failure to varying degrees this past year. Our comfortable existences (built upon personal dreams that came to fruition through hard work and determined actions) crashed upon rocky shores – dismantled by a stormy world and its altered expectations. Stories about plant closings and personal loss became more the norm than the exception – the negative overshadowing news about business expansions and individual gain.

Let us learn from the lessons of yesterday as we experience today and move relentlessly towards a brighter tomorrow. Limit your future ONLY by its potential rather than by imaginary restraints constructed from beliefs and conditions within your past. Once achieved, view each success as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Success can lead to insignificant obsolescence without continuous attention and improvement.

Failure is not fatal UNLESS we accept it as a conclusion to our actions rather than an unplanned stop along the way. Let us not look into the face of failure only to find that “it is us.” Move forward with courage to establish lofty goals – never resting on the laurels of past successes. Seek new mountains to climb – refusing to be lost in the dark valleys of missed opportunity.

Though we are emerging from the mists that have slowed our journey, our road to recovery has not yet ended – our destination not yet fully revealed. Failure can only become success when we exhibit the courage to continue. While we all assume our share of blame in this world, never allow yourself to be accused of following the crowd you were destined to lead – of becoming but an “accepted” part of the problem rather than an essential part of the solution. Our dreams will be realized only when we continuously move forward in our quest for new realities.