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, September 4, 2012


With September’s arrival, we face a “return to reality” from the “lazy, hazy days of summer” to an abrupt re-entry into the working world. As we transition from what was once a slower time (though we have seen more work and less play making many people a bit touchy the past couple of years) to a more active fall, some thoughts that might help you transition from “personal time” to “corporate commitments” might include:

Never try to be someone you are not. Many individuals return to work with fresh “resolutions” to do something (or be something) different. Unless there is more gain from the change, however, than pain from NOT changing, such mid-stream corrections rarely prove effective. People change very little once they have established their basic values, patterns and thought processes. It is often easier (and more effective) to leverage an individual’s strengths than it is to try to change their shortcomings.

One must first imagine something as being a possibility before it can become a probability – yet "Dreams take time, patience, sustained effort, and a willingness to fail if they are ever to be anything more than dreams." (Bryan Linkoski). While “failure” is not usually a desired outcome, dreamers often focus their DESIRE to change around the real possibility that they may not (at first) taste success. Robert F. Kennedy said, "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." Individuals whom have truly made a difference in this world understand that failing to try is far worse than trying but failing. Much intentional thought and deliberate action is required to succeed at any endeavor. Failure is allowing a mistake to become a destination rather than a stepping-stone. If thoughts and dreams are to become reality, the word “impossible” must not exist.

Life is a series of starts and stops – of closed chapters and of new beginnings. If we are to see change as we move from one season to another, it is important that we not only recognize the need for altered behavior but that we also intentionally ACT if we expect behavior to change. Knowing facts and understanding how change happens does not insure transformation. Will Rogers appropriately stated, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

As summer ends – and the seasons of life begin anew – perhaps we could gain from the wisdom of Mark Twain who said "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." We are not “owed” success – we must first seek it then INTENTIONALLY ACT to make it become a reality. Make this the season of change by thinking big and acting audaciously without fear of failure – then incorporating the lessons learned into the inevitable success that will follow.