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

Issue #67; September 2016

Self-Improvement Month and
National Courtesy

5 Intern'l Day of Charity (UN)
5 Labour Day
6 Fight Procrastination Day
8 Intern'l Day of Literacy (UN)
10 Swap Ideas Day
11 Pet Memorial Day
13 Positive Thinking Day
16 Collect Rocks Day
21 Intern'l Day of Peace (UN)
21 World Gratitude Day
22 Autumn Equinox -- Fall Begins
24 Linda is Running in a Race Day (truth)
27 World Tourism Day (UN)

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

David Cheoros & Ellen Chorley
Tiana, Matt, Robin, & Kim
Pat Bragg
Alana Gueutel
Don MacAskill
Andy Northrup
Ernie Paustian, Liz Garratt,
Erica Brown, Brian Edwards,
John Mellec, Jennie Ambrose, Helena Hill, Kathy Roy
Gary Bauer
Russ Heppell
Gabe Shelley
Mandy Foster
David Sutherland
Kelly McClung
Andy Northrup
Janna Tominuk
Gord West
and every audience member as well as those who took time to talk to us, write to us, and spread the word. (Big Hugs!)

"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team." 
- John Wooden
Elevator and Crosswalk Buttons are a Sham! (Push all you want, you control freaks!)
Click Here

Spot the International Space Station From Where You Live
(It's true, you can!)
Click Here 
Inspirational Promo for 2016 Para-Olympics (Wow!)
Click Here

Terrific PSA on Organ Donation
(Proves how you can be a jerk your whole life and die a hero)
Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)  
Four Components of Elevator Pitches
     I get that " selling" is important but I don't love doing it. And I really don't like pitching my own stuff. The Fringe Festival is a time when I get plenty of practice trying to convince discerning audience members to take a chance on my play.
     I recently came across a brief article that -- if found three weeks earlier -- would have helped me be even more successful with my play.
     In Costco Connection (Sept/Oct 2016), Erin Crotty ( says a good elevator pitch for your business lasts 20-30 seconds and has four key components:

Who you are, where you work, and your title.

The kind of people you usually do business with (i.e., target market).

The kind of service/product you provide, and the benefit a person would receive from it/them.

The result of doing business with you.

     Crotty reminds us to use the limited time to focus on our value and to learn the value of the other persons' business. Don't forget to ask!

Are Your Emails
Too Long?
     On the theme of brevity, I read an article by Craig Jarrow, the Time Management Ninja, on keeping emails short. This hit home for me.

Long Emails Don't Get Read
     Effective email communication is as much a skill as anything else. Jarrow says, "One of the top reasons your email isn't getting read is because it is too long. Writing long emails doesn't mean you are getting more work done."
     If you find yourself writing long responses, you probably should be having a conversation. The shorter and tighter your email messages, the better chance that they will be read, understood, and acted upon.
     Jarrow offers 10 Reasons Your Emails Are Too Long:
  1. You don't know what you are trying to say. Hold that email until you have something specific to say/ask.
  2. You don't know what you are talking about. Writing more isn't going to cover up the fact that you lack knowledge.
  3. Your signature is unnecessary. Your half-page signature isn't needed on all emails.
  4. You are writing a book. If there is additional information, attach supporting documents.
  5. You are spamming. Lengthy updates of what you've been doing are not needed.
  6. You are rambling. Be direct.
  7. You are forwarding a mess. Explain, don't just forward the email stream.
  8. It shouldn't be an email. Should it be a meeting or a phone call?
  9. It should be multiple emails. Combining multiple emails into one doesn't work for everyone (and then there's the "Reply All" problem).
  10. You don't edit your emails. Edit it before sending your email (for content, meaning, and conciseness).
     Jarron adds this Rule of Thumb: The number of times you should re-read an email before sending is equal to the number of people you are sending it to. (And yes, this rule scales.)

Here's the article Click Here

Heard in the Board Room
Reader Notes
Wish I'd said that...

Books by Moi   


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

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6


 Exceptional Board Members, Exception Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



Join Our List


Spread the Word!


     I know it happens every year, but I am surprised at how dark it is in the mornings and how, immediately after the Fringe, the temperature drops like a rock.
     As you know, my August was taken up with the Edmonton Fringe Festival -- promoting, producing, and recovering from my new play TRAIL AND ERROR. We had a wonderful run at the Fringe and I am still in awe of the kind comments and the depth of sharing by others that the play has spurred. I guess it really was the right time and place to tell that very personal story. I am grateful to so many for making my Fringe experience as delightful as it was.
     I must say I was relatively "sane" for this Fringe compared to others. Is it because I'm getting used to it or is it because I was sticking to my physical training plan? I've always rolled my eyes at those who say exercise helps you balance the dramatic times in your day/life (a walk outdoors, sure). However, it seems to be true. I don't know that I'll ever get "used to" the risk and stress of mounting a new play, so some credit for my sanity must go to sticking to the exercise program.
     Why am I training? I am going to do a run in September. I stopped running in the Yukon in 1997 (there was no where I needed to be in a hurry) but this new run has my attention. Check out the Insane Inflatable 5k (I dare you). At my age, if it takes running 5k for me to be allowed to play in bouncy castles without getting kicked out or gawked at, then I will run 5k! My goals are to a) complete; b) have fun; c) not die. Wish me luck!
     While everyone else was enjoying a warm evening or watching the Tragically Hip concert, my friend and I headed to the Canadian Derby. Attending the Derby is a tradition in my family and I have tried to carry it on even since my mom passed. I still have her last $40, but there was no grey horse in the Derby to bet on, so her seed money remains in place for a future race. My own $40 is long gone, but once more I got to enjoy the sound of the horses pounding the track as I stood at the rail. That sound and feeling is one of my earliest childhood memories, and forty bucks seems a modest price to pay to relive that experience.
     As Labour Day approaches the Canadian Football League heads into the second (and most important) half of its season and things get even more exciting.
     It also means that non-profits are kicking into high gear and boards will be pressed back into urgent service, hopefully after a bit of a summer break.
     Here's to being renewed, refreshed, and recovered so that we can go out and continue to do good work in our communities.

"Straight roads do not make skillful drivers."
-- Paulo Coelho


The Answer   

A: YES. NO. MAYBE. WAIT! WHAT?           

This question always arises when I'm drafting bylaws for not-for-profit organizations. It is usually resolved with a brief discussion and then we carry on. But it's not always that easy. So I was pretty happy when the BoardSource Blog (Jan 05/16) asked Jenifer Holland to discuss this.
According to Holland, the Nonprofit Ethicist does not believe executive directors should be board members of the nonprofits they lead. BoardSource, an organization for which I have a great deal of respect, agrees. But as Holland points out, there are nuances.

We all hear about "ex officio" (Latin: "from the office") and in fact many of us reference that in our bylaws. Ex officio board members may serve either with or without vote, but this needs to be stipulated in your bylaws. BoardSource (and I) believe that nonprofit chief executives should be ex officio, nonvoting members of the board.

BoardSource does a ton of research and their 2015 Leading with Intent report indicates that for chief executives:
- 50 percent are not members of their boards
- 3 8 percent serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the board
- 12 percent include chief executives as voting members of the board (NB: more common in organizations with budgets > $10M)

Holland argues that ex officio status makes sense for nonprofit chief executives because "these professionals are closest to the strategy, execution, and day-to-day decision making around the work fulfilling the nonprofit's mission. Hard-wiring the office of the chief executive as a board member via the organization's bylaws is an intentional way to include uniquely meaningful input into board meeting deliberations that wouldn't otherwise be available."

BoardSource specifically recommends nonvoting status for chief executives, unless not permitted by law. This is to recognize that "actual or perceived conflicts of interest may naturally come along with the pairing of this position with board member status." The common example is executive compensation, but there are other challenges such as a blurred distinction between the board's responsibilities and the chief executive's responsibilities.

There are things that nonprofits can do to balance the need for chief executive input without triggering conflicts of interest. Whatever the chief executive's official status, Holland concludes (and I agree) that the chief executive's insights into the daily operations of the organization are essential to board decision making. To me, ex officio nonvoting status is the most efficient way to get there. 
Gratitude Day       

     Benefits of taking time for gratitude, appreciation, and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. World Gratitude Day (est. September 21, 1965 in Hawaii) provides one day to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world. adapted the work of Robert Emmors to provide:  FOUR TIPS FOR BUILDING GRATITUDE
  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Daily, write down what you're grateful for.
  2. Remember the Bad. Remember the hard times that you have experienced. This contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.
  3. Ask Yourself Three Questions. Use the Naikan meditation technique, and reflect on three questions: "What have I received from __?", "What have I given to __?", and "What troubles and difficulty have I caused?"
  4. Go Through the Motions. Go through grateful motions like smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude to trigger gratitude.
What are you grateful for?  
Google Hacks      

     Are you intimate with Google? If you're not, here are some hacks to help you get on with whatever you're doing.

Show Me A Video
Type in (or talk at) Google "Show me a video of...", Google will know to bring up only videos that match your query.
Define x
If you're reading on a PC or a reading application that doesn't have a built in dictionary, use Google to ask it to define the word you're tripping over.

When does x close?
Got a favourite bookstore near you where you like to hang out?  A favourite coffee shop where you like to go and read?
Ask Google to tell you when the store closes or opens.

How many x in y?
Ask Google to convert metric to Imperial, Celsius to Fahrenheit, quarts to gallons, etc. Use it for world currencies as well.

Is it going to rain tomorrow?
Ask Google what the weather will be and it will tell you what your local forecast is, complete with charts and diagrams.

How Many Pages in The Hobbit?
This one only works with the really popular books. You can also ask about movie viewing times.

And here's a hack to help you avoid getting on with whatever you're doing:

Google will pop the game up for you, right there inside Google.

Thanks to author Tracy Cooper Posey for these hacks. What are some of yours? 
   Another Play in the Books        

Written by Linda Wood Edwards
Directed by David Cheoros
Performed by Ellen Chorley

What a run! 

"...makes it seem like you're right there with her on this crazy adventure." -- VUE Magazine

" ...if you're looking for a yarn that would sound good around a campfire, this fills the bill." -- Edmonton Journal

Thank you again to our supporters:
BeWell Web Designs & Erica Brown
Harmony by Design & Liz Garratt
Deltalytics & Ernie Paustian
Changes North & Pat Bragg
Minute Man Press Leduc & Alana Gueutel
Melltech Consulting & John Mellec
Brian Edwards
Jennie Ambrose
Helena Hill
Kathy Roy

Northern Sabbatical Productions

About LUE-42 Enterprises 

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