Musings about 
Life, the Universe, and Everything * 
from Linda / LUE-42 Enterprises 

Issue #83; January 2018
Coming in JANUARY
 Creativity  Month and Get Organized Month

1 Daydreamers Day
1 New Year's Day
2 Personal Trainer Awareness Day (Shout out to Carrie!)
4 Spaghetti Day
4 Trivia Day
8 Clean Off Your Desk Day
12 Kiss A Ginger Day
15 Hat Day
18 World Religion Day
20 Cheese Lovers Appreciation Day
21 Hugging Day
22 Answer Your Cat's Questions Day
24 Belly Laugh Day
31 Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

Shout Out!  
A big thanks to some who made my life better in December!

MaryJane Alanko
Julianna Cantwell
David Cheoros
Ron DeBelzer
Brian Edwards
Bobbi Fitzgerald & Chris Wood
Mandy Foster
Brenda Galonski
Liz Garratt
Dianne Johnstone
Kelly McClung
Jenny, Adesh, & Aliya Narine
Andy Northrup
Lindy Rollingson
Lori Schmidt
Ethel Thorne
Brodie Wood
Emily Wood
Jill Wood
Peter & Helga Wood
Rob Wood & Ginny Arnott-Wood
and Paul Rechner -- just under the wire :)

"Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people are enchanting."
Guy Kawasaki
Hanging Upside Down Without Dying  (Here's how long, and why it could happen) 

Is Infidelity Genetic?  (Interesting read about voles, and maybe also people)    Click Here

Size of Wine Glasses  (7x larger than 300 years ago)  Click Here

Some Inventions by Women  (Beer, baby!)  Click Here 

Best Runs of the 2017 CFL Season (Really like #1)  Click Here

Cats on Famous Album Covers (Did you think I forgot about cats?!)  Click Here  

Man Flu is Real, Maybe  (This made my head explode -- but not as bad as a man's head...)  Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)   
Heard in the Boardroom
Reader Notes  
Wish I'd said that...
5 Steps for a New Habit
     I've shared this list before, but it's a good reminder from my friend Claudette Pelletier-Hannah.
  1. Look for a compelling reason why you want this habit.
  2. Decide to do it.
  3. Set yourself up for success.
  4. Ask for cooperation and support.
  5. Now follow through.
To see what Claudette is up to    Click Here     

If You're Doing It Right
     I just loved this blog by Narissa Singh about 12 things that show you're doing something right. 
  1. You Identify Things You Don't Want
  2. Your Life Becomes Your Responsibility
  3. You Can Tell Which Relationships Are Genuine
  4. You Can Think Beyond Stuff
  5. No Harm, No Foul Becomes Your Motto
  6. You Don't Have to Know Everything
  7. You Look for Balance
  8. You Start Counting Your Blessings
  9. You're Learning How to Pick Yourself Back Up
  10. Some Area of Your Life Is Getting on Track
  11. You Bring More than Crazy Stories to Other Peoples' Lives
  12. You Know How to Become a Better Person
     I feel pretty good about where I landed on this list. If you want a deeper explanation, there's more narrative in the blog.  Click Here     


Need a website or a reboot?


Inspired Living and Working

Books by Moi   

Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6

 (There's good stuff here, but this book isn't aligned with the Federal NFP Corporations Act or the new BC Societies Act. Email me directly with your bylaws questions about NFPs registered federally or in BC)


 Exceptional Board Members, Exceptional Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



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     December has been a  brilliant (!) month, and by sending this e-zine issue a few days early, I am trusting that the last few days will play out similarly.
      December was a month of board meetings and AGMs, but everybody got through what they needed to do and things didn't even seem as panicked as they usually do. Perhaps everyone wanted to be on Santa's "nice" list.
     It was a month of coffees with friends, events with colleagues, meals with family, and of course Christmas. This included the L'Arche Christmas pageant (a must-do for me) and the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at Fort Edmonton Park. Honouring old and building new traditions was very rewarding for me. 
     It was a month of generousity -- so many blessings  flowing to me, and hopefully I sent out some, too. 
     It was a month of travel - Golden, Calgary, Ontario. 
     It was a month to work on my plays, and if not mine, then someone else's. A creative spark is present.
     It was a month to play games -- cards, board games, and even bowling (which I've been wanting to do for many months)!
     December was, and always is, a month to look back on how I started the year, to measure how far I've come, to look ahead to how far I've yet to go, and to work on course-corrections that will make my path better.
      It was a month to reflect on some bucket-list items that I accomplished -- always with the help of others and a measure of grace. Newfoundland & Labrador and the Canadian War Museum (especially Teddy and the Memorial Hall) top the list.
     It was a month to reflect on my interesting new clients, favourite long-time clients, kind referrals and introductions from colleagues, fascinating work (for a governance nerd), and preparing just the right service for families saying good-bye to a loved one. 
     I hold immense gratitude in my heart for so many people, places, events, and things. 

     So in just a couple of days we will be on to a new year. Thank you for being in my life in 2017, in whatever capacity that was. I wish you a fun, healthy, prosperous, (and did I mention fun?) new year and big success in 2018. See you on the flip-side!

"Don't carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones. Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience."
The Answer   

A: First Figure Out Why They are Micro-Managing (then stop doing that thing!)
          This was a common complaint in December (actually, in most months). BoardSource recently published a list of reasons why boards micro-manage as well as some suggestions to redirect the board's attention to more appropriate activities. The headings are provided by BoardSource; the narrative is mine:
  • Legal requirements. Boards need to ensure legal and ethical integrity, so the CEO should report on areas in which the organization is NOT legally compliant. The board could help brainstorm solutions that move towards compliance. 
  • Operational responsibilities. If your board committees parallel the operational structure, then you'll get interference (e.g., committees for advocacy, marketing, communications, etc.). 
  • Lack of Staff. If the organization lacks capacity, board members often have to step up. It is essential that directors understand they wear 2 hats -- a board hat and a (defacto) staff hat in which they report to the CEO
  • Board is structured along management lines. Committees replicate staff roles (as in Operational Responsibilities above) True board committees relate to governance.
  • Board meeting focuses on operations, not strategic thinking. If meeting time is taken up with staff and committee reports, well, no wonder. Have the right number of meetings (not too many, not too few) and focus on the right things.
  • Board members have trouble transitioning their business skills and their daily focus on management to governance. I sure do see this. Being a CEO in your own business does not give you permission to behave like a CEO when serving on a board. While "CEO" behaviour might be a comfort zone, directors need to be encouraged (pushed?) to perform the proper role of governance

     Sometimes a board's behaviour is caused by the CEO's behaviour. Here are some booby traps -- make sure you're not doing them:  

  • CEO presents issues that have already been well considered. In that case, the CEO should ask the board for approval, not further discussion.
  • CEO is not forthcoming with information the board needs. Heavy focus here on needs, not just wants.
  • Loss of confidence in CEO. A board will step in if it sees or perceives a management deficiency. Pay attention.

     Sometimes events cause a board to micro-manage, too:

  • CEO transition. Boards often take on managerial roles when a CEO is absent, ousted, or being recruited. It is important to get back to proper roles as soon as possible.
  • Strategic planning. The board needs to stay focused on the big picture and not get too far into the detail of "how."
  • Time of crisis. Like CEO transition, the board steps up. It is critical that once the crisis is addressed, relationships forged between board and other staff members be reviewed and put "right."


10 Things  Not-For-Profit Boards Do 

      It's unlikely that you've forgotten this, but BoardSource offers this list of responsibilities, just in case:
  1. Determine mission and purposes, and advocate for them
  2. Select the CEO
  3. Support and evaluate the CEO
  4. Ensure effective planning
  5. Monitor and strengthen programs and services
  6. Ensure adequate financial resources (yes, including fundraising)
  7. Protect assets and provide financial oversight
  8. Build and sustain a competent board
  9. Ensure legal and ethical integrity
  10. Enhance the organization's public standing
     Also, the bookstore offers downloadable solutions and tips for each of these ten areas. Prices are better if you are a BoardSource member. 

Regret is a Waste of Time    

     A few months ago I clipped an article by Nancy Colier on how regret is a waste of time and how there is no such thing as a wrong choice
     Colier talked of how people think life is a maze and that by making the right turns they get a happy life, and the wrong turns give them unhappiness. That is, their lives will be ruined because they will miss out on what should have been theirs.
     Colier argues that "for every choice we make, we use the experience, information, and intentions available to us at that particular moment." W e decide things we think will help us achieve our goals and we use the resources we have. In the meantime, life goes on around us. So part of it is our choice and part of it is the " mystery of life ."
     But here's the thing. "There is no alternate reality where you could have ended up if you had made the right choice. That other imagined happy life is, and has always been, just a thought."
     She says "the choices we make and the life that follows is one seamless, indivisible reality (NOT two different things). Think about that. Does that change things for you? It did for me.
      Whatever experience I choose becomes part of the new me. If I make a different choice, I become a different new me -- but still just me. I would have needed to be a different person at the time of the choice in order to make a different choice! 
     Colier says, "When a choice we make ends up leading to an undesireable situation, it's a right choice that brought disappointment or suffering." So it didn't create what we want, but it did teach us what we needed to know  in order to grow into who we become now. She adds, "It's the experience that is our one and only possible life right now."
     Colier recommends not focusing on the past and our choices. Instead, she suggests we accept what choices we made because we were doing our best at the time. This is our wisdom -- the combination of everything we've lived so far, good or bad. Then we should look at the present, be grateful for it, and try to make a good next choice. Finally, she cautions us to remember that "life's eternally changing nature" plays into it at least as much as our choice. 
     The moral of the story? Just do your best

I haven't dug deep but here is Nancy Colier's website. Click here
Soul Questions

Nataly at made this. It's in her new book, out soon.

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