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!

Monday, April 1, 2013


We share much with others in this life. We share the things we do, the air we breathe and the places we visit. We share our accomplishments whether they bring us success or result in failure. We share relationships and possessions. We share our thoughts when we converse. We share our families, our friends and our acquaintances with others. Sharing our workload and the results of our efforts has become the norm in business. Working as teams to share tasks that magnify our individual contributions by blending them with the unique gifts others are given to accomplish collectively much more than could have been completed on our own has become the mantra of workplace efficiency. With such an emphasis on sharing, however, what is truly “our own” in this life shared with others through common ground, shared existence and team-based accomplishments? Perhaps we need to look no farther than our dreams to realize what is – and what always will be – uniquely and individually ours.

Dreams are thoughts not yet realized – aspirations not yet brought to fruition. Dreams are the basis of our goals and the foundation of our good intentions. We can live life without dreams but cannot embrace its full potential – become all that we can hope to be or realize all that we might wish to accomplish – without first visualizing what we want to become or what we desire to do within the lifetime. Those that perform to the standards and expectations of others often become great contributors as they add value to society. Those that identify their own aspirations and work towards those accomplishments while they benefit the greater good will not only add value to society but also open new horizons and identify new paths that can serve as stepping stones to a new and unrestrained future. To dream, however, we must be willing to move from the safety of our “present” towards the unknown opportunities of a “future” that have yet to be fully realized.

Dreams are not the “substance” of life – they are the icing on life’s cake. They are not the “why” that people ask when confronted with an unknown or unanticipated situation – they are the “why not” that people willing to roll with the punches as they move forward continuously embrace. We can expect to accomplish more than others think possible only when we risk more than others think is safe or dream more than others think is practical. When we care more than others think is wise we may begin to realize that our dreams are more important than walking lockstep within the expectations of others.

While we share much in life with others, we rarely share more than the things we are able to easily do or accomplish. We are hesitant to share our fears – or to open ourselves to the possibility of failure. If we were to share our dreams with others – to both seek their assistance in accomplishing them AND to hold us responsible for bringing them to fruition – what more could we hope to realize? When we settle for that which comes to us easily, we become “adequately mediocre.” Seek excellence – and personal satisfaction – by dreaming of all you could wish to be while striving to achieve all you could wish to accomplish. Rather than living the life that others might establish for you, live your dreams – risking more than others might think wise – so that you can accomplish more than others might think possible.