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, December 4, 2012


One of the key principles in any relationship – be it professional or personal – is that much can be accomplished IF you do not care who receives the credit for it. Though it is human nature to want recognition for successfully implementing an idea, an individual becomes a leader when he or she realizes that being responsible for something is often more important than receiving credit for its accomplishment.

A relationship will be strengthened by actively engaging in cooperative reasoning – through openly discussing all possibilities before acting to bring to fruition one individual’s probabilities. Originating alternative ideas or concepts is critical to initiate change BUT the implementation of change can often be more effective if the “doers” are empowered to act so that the “dreamers” can more freely innovate. Maturity within a relationship (or success in a managerial position) comes when the originators of ideas internalize the reality that while “doers” tend receive credit for their performance in bringing ideas to fruition they would never have acted had a new idea or direction not been brought to the surface by a “dreamer.” We far too often try to pull everyone in the direction we want to go or step over those that appear to be in our way rather than lifting those around us up and rising to the top upon their shoulders.

We unleash the potential of those around us to create change when we formulate an idea then communicate the results we wish to accomplish to those that will be implementing the change rather than telling them what to do and how to bring our thoughts to fruition. We create dependency in our relationships when we tell others what to do and when to do it rather than simply defining our goals and monitoring progress towards their accomplishment. A relationship constructed upon a foundation of dependent reliance on the thoughts and ideas of another cannot be meaningful. Growth or success beyond that which one has already achieved cannot occur until a leader (in either a business or a personal relationship) equips those around him or her with tools that allow for independent thoughts and actions.

Great leaders originate ideas, communicate expectations then move on to consider new alternatives while monitoring the progress of those left to accomplish their initiatives. They are rarely around when the tasks they initiate are completed so will not often receive direct recognition for the results – rather they celebrate in the accomplishments of others, recognizing that great rewards will ultimately come to those who can selflessly initiate change.

Those that seek recognition for their ideas and actions often lose sight of their long-term objectives and fail to meet their ultimate goals. To achieve greatness, seek it within the accomplishments of those with whom you have relationships. Leverage the capabilities of those you have equipped to act upon your ideas rather than limiting your potential to only those things you can accomplish on your own. Find yourself as you lead others through their darkness and they will help to light your way as they begin to find themselves.