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, December 15, 2014


Many individuals establish resolutions they hope to achieve during the New Year – bold expectations of accomplishment that will propel them from who and what they are to who and what the wish to become.  They put together their “wish list” of things imagined in an effort to validate their ongoing efforts to achieve the greatness that should be theirs but (for some unknown reason) has yet to come to fruition.  PERHAPS we should pay more attention to the list of what we must NOT do before we begin to focus on what we would PREFER to do if we truly want to change.

How can one change their direction by simply declaring it so – determine a course of direction that will lead to a new way of doing things – until we identify what DOES NOT WORK so it will not remain a barrier to change?  Perhaps we should spend more time “making our list” of things being done erroneously and “checking it twice” to make sure the things we are ineffectively doing will not be repeated than we do developing a new list without addressing our old habits.  Far too many individuals fail to advance because they continue to rely upon the “old ways” that have resulted in failure.  Rather than seeking new methods based on anticipated results they prefer to find comfort in the familiar – thinking that different results can be “resolved” rather than logically concluded.  A moth will drive towards light – whether it be a bulb that attracts it or a flame that might kill it.  A frog will struggle if introduced to boiling water but will remain complacent within a cool pot brought to a boil – lulled into a sense of security because the need for change was not clearly and concisely defined. 

Until we identify “why” we did something (and what it produced) it is difficult to understand “why we should not continue doing that same thing” (while anticipating a different result).  Unless we truly accept that what we are doing MAY NOT produce the results we seek – come to grips with (and understand that) something we have done forever and wish to continue doing MAY NOT lead us where we might prefer to go – it is nearly impossible for us to “walk away” from “what is” to embrace what “could be.”

To realize change we must “make our list and check it twice” – once to identify what has not worked that must be altered and a second time to identify alternative actions that might produce favorable results – if we wish to realize change.  Remember to resolve NOT ONLY to the accomplishment of new things during this Holiday season but also to eliminate the behaviors, actions and attitudes that may have prevented change in the past.  We can move forward ONLY after we have closed the door behind us – shutting out the “tried and true” while plunging into the “not yet realized” world of possibilities – seeking what “could be” from life rather than accepting only “what is” as a final destination.

Initiate change by listing what you do, identifying why you do it, validating its relevance then measuring it against what must be done as you move forward.  If something works, keep it – do not change for the sake of changing.  If something is not working, identify why it is failing – then take intentional action to leave that process behind.  Fill this coming year with limitless possibilities by leaving behind what does not work before embracing that which does – by seeking what “could be” rather than simply accepting “what is.”