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, July 9, 2013

Achieving One’s Potential Requires More than Luck

Sometimes, because of a unique thought, appropriate timing, or plain good luck an individual is able to succeed, grow and prosper in spite of (rather than because of) the things he or she does. More often, however, much planning, analyzing, forecasting, modeling, and “sweat equity” go into making a venture successful. A successful individual must selflessly invest his or her time, money and effort to bring a dream to fruition. Before accomplishing anything, however, one must envision the desired future, determine what must be done (and how much one is willing to risk or sacrifice) to reach it, then steadfastly advance towards its realization. Along the way, progress must be monitored to identify obstacles that could hinder the accomplishment of goals AND to justify warranted changes to established plans. An individual will never reach his or her full potential should they focus too intently upon the path rather than the prize at its conclusion.

In order to grow, one must envision the future. What does one WANT to be, WANT to accomplish, can realistically EXPECT to achieve? One must start with a conclusion – a goal or set of expectations – if he or she is going to accomplish exceptional things. Without an end point, one will never know when one chapter
has been concluded so that another can begin. Without “a beginning”, one will never know when progress has been made or change has been initiated. Life without purpose can be eventful but is rarely satisfying. It may be full of new beginnings but is strangely at a loss for “ends.”

Once a goal has been established, one must determine how it can be enacted. What knowledge or ability must be attained to achieve the goal? Who must be brought into the solution and who should be excluded from its execution? Must the power of a team be brought into play or is the goal more individualistic? Too often, training is an afterthought to the accomplishment of a dream. When we start “doing” without thinking we may taste limited success but it will be realized in spite of ourselves rather than because of anything that was intentionally done or could be repeated.

To achieve greatness, people MUST steadfastly advance towards the realization of their dreams (those without dreams rarely achieve greatness). In order to continually move forward, systems must be put in place to identify obstacles that could hinder progress AND to justify warranted changes. An individual will never reach their full potential should he or she focus too intently upon the path rather than moving towards the prize at its conclusion.

Summer is upon us. Take the time to “refresh your batteries”…to chart your path…to set your targets high…so that you can be an integral part of a well planned solution RATHER THAN simply a piece of the puzzle…a part of the problem. Only by choosing to envision the future, to enact a solution and to steadfastly advance towards self-actualization (while keeping your eyes on the goal) will one achieve their true potential.