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!

Friday, February 12, 2016


We all come to a point in our lives to either “stay the course” or move on to a new and different horizon.  We either rush boldly where others fear to wander or move steadfastly towards a well-considered destination.  We far too often abandon all of the “old” in favor of the new – leaving behind not only what did not work but also what may have worked well.  While many changes are initiated on our own, it is ALWAYS easier to move forward when sharing the path with others – for without the help of another, who would lift you up should you fall?  Having another join us – be it to guide, prop up, encourage or come along beside us as we move ahead – can make the difference between success and failure.  How can we know when it might be time to change?  Consider the following…

They stood at a crossroads together, hand in hand, turning slowly to look from where they had come while seeking where they might wander.  They looked back at life’s journey as it unfolded strangely behind them, reveling in the high peaks of accomplishment yet troubled by their low valleys of despair.  They held tightly to the shining moments of joy within their past but found them shrouded by a hazy darkness of uncertainty that had entered their lives.  Then slowly and deliberately they turned to face ahead, seeking a future without yearning for their past.  Ready to begin anew holding no regret as they sought a new and distant dream, their past journeys diminished to but pleasant memories as they sought a distant tomorrow.

As they looked to begin their new journey, one road led towards a distant village glimmering in the sun – a pleasant place that beckoned to their individual needs as though old friends, knowing of their ways and welcoming them to her comforts.  The other path seemed less traveled as it wound towards a deep, dark pool teeming with life, struggling to escape the confines of its shores as it pounded incessantly against any who tried to contain her power – hinting at a promise of adventure while calling out to them with a hopeful voice of things not yet considered. 

The crossroad did not foretell a clear choice nor a defined destination – two paths weaving endlessly and inexplicably together into the horizon before splitting and going separate ways.  The path less traveled would take them towards an unknown and unpredictable Sea of Promise.  The more predictable road split into two narrow trails leading towards separate seaside villages of Refuge within which they could both find quiet peace from life’s storms within their own separate dreams – their dilemma being whether to travel together along one rough and rugged path or to move forward separately fulfilling their singular dreams, refusing to be captured, contained, supported or encouraged by another.

They gazed ahead – then upon each other – and chose the path more challenging.  They preferred to take life’s path towards the promise of a dream rather than finding comfort in living their individual realities.  They sought that which had not yet been defined as a destination – to discover what life might hold within its infinite depths – rather than being content to do what they had always done while finding satisfaction in receiving what would always come from those comfortable and learned efforts. 
Walking away from all that had been, they chose to travel upon the path leading to a future not yet realized – towards a dream that held promises of all that could be possible within their wildest imaginings.  They pledged to forge a new life as they threw caution to the winds – not knowing where their beginning might take them nor how their travels might end – content only that they walked together – that together was enough - refusing to be torn from the promise of their dreams.

Life is full of choices – from choosing to remain within the comfort of our familiarity to reaching out to grasp potential rewards an unknown future might provide.  As you wander through life – regardless of the decisions you make – dream big so that you can accomplish much.  Do not despair if you do not immediately find your resting place within the Sea of Promise for life holds many adventures not yet verbalized, formulated nor defined.  Unless we identify the outcomes we wish to achieve, we cannot know when we have arrived at our destination of choice. Refuse to be content with what comes easily, however, for we cannot seek all that life might offer or discover all it might hold unless we travel through its mysterious ways upon undiscovered paths towards the promise of a dream.