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

Issue #74; April 2017
Coming in APRIL

APRIL is the month of Poetry and Inventors
April 23-29
is National Volunteer Week

  2 World Autism Awareness Day (UN)
2 Children's Book Day
6 New Beer's Eve
7 Intern'l Day of Sport for Development and Peace (UN)
10 Sibling Day
11 World Parkinson's Disease Day
15 Microvolunteering Day
16 Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day
20 Volunteer Recognition Day
22 Intern'l Mother Earth Day (UN)
23 World Book and Copyright Day (UN)
26 World Intellectual Property Day (UN)
26 World Stationery Day
27 Tell a Story Day
28 World Day for Safety and Health at  Work (UN)
29 World Wish Day
Shout Out!
A big thanks to some who made my life better in March!

MaryJane Alanko
Jennifer Bertrand
Adam Campbell
Shelley Carmichael Silins
Tracey Carroll
Jonathan Crane
Liz Garratt
Carrie Habinski
Helena Hill
Tanya Hunter
Dianne Johnstone
Karen MacKenzie
Bev Mahood
Dorothy Marshall
Conni Massing
Kelly McClung
Dianne Millette
Jenny Narine
Bill Palamar
Ernie Paustian
Lori Schmidt
Ralph Suppa
Ethel Thorne
Janna Tominuk
Rob, Ginny, & Emily Wood

"He who plants kindness, gathers love."
-- St. Basil
Volunteering, eh? Click here

Financial Literacy Workshops for Non-Profits 
(If you're in Edmonton, these are coming up in early April and they look good!) Click Here

What Emojis Say About Our Personalities
(My smiley faces indicate I am "agreeable, conscientious, and open to experiences") Click Here

Thoughtful Gestures: The Power of a Glass of Water (A nice article and good reminder by Subir Chowdhury) Click Here

Obituary for CFL Legend Ezzrett "Sugarfoot" Anderson (My mom's favourite football player. Have a look at this article -- such a fascinating life and proud legacy) Click Here

5 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Sound of Music' (If you're an uber-fan, this might bum you out)
Click Here
Teletubbies Perform "Get Yer Freak On" (How could I not post this? I love them!)
Click Here

Kitten Fur Perfume
(Now you can smell like kittens and sunshine!) Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)    
How to Say Yes

     In a recent Heather Matthews blog, she asked, "Do you have trouble saying yes?" Specifically, she queried whether if someone asks, do you say no or become non-committal? I do! Apparently either of these answers means you have trouble saying Yes. Here are some things to remember about saying yes.


Nothing to lose

Benefits almost always outweigh risks. By saying no, you risk being stagnant; losing your gusto for life, learning, and exploring.


People want to be around positivity

Those quick to say no usually don't get invited out as much as those who are game for anything.


'Yes' opens doors, 'No' puts up walls

When you say yes to something, it snowballs into more things that sound like good ideas.


Success is paved by yeses

If you're more prone to saying yes, you'll open yourself up to more chances at success in all aspects of your life.


N ext time you feel the urge to say no, turn it into a yes instead and see how it changes you.
Top 10 Meeting Trends of 2017
     This came from the CSAE blog, and was posted by Lydia Blanchard, Sales Manager at Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier & Vice-President, Communications at MPI Ottawa Chapter.
  10. Well-Trained Staff
    9. Relationship Management
    8. Craft Beverages
    7. Bigger, Longer Meetings
    6. Increased Tech. Adoption
    5. Fast Turnarounds
    4. Tech. Team Building
    3. Social Media Maturation
    2. Local Experiences
    1. Renewed Optimism
     I am definitely seeing more meetings with craft beverages (woo hoo!), increased technology adoption, and local experiences. I'm actually nervous about "bigger, longer meetings." What are you seeing? 

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


Inspired Living and Working
Did It Again!

This little e-zine that you seem to enjoy (thank you!) has again earned a Constant Contact All Star Award, recognizing us among the Top 10 Percent of Customers Using Email Marketing in 2016. Thank you, dear readers!

Books by Moi   


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

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6

 (NOTE: There is good stuff in 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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Spread the Word!


     I have to say that March was a pretty awesome month. I did so many cool things and connected with so many wonderful people!
     I finished my 10-Minute Play writing course and was pleased with the public reading of "Almost the Pioneer Brewing Company." No idea of the future for this play but it was fun to write (plus rather eerie how my grandmother showed up in it as a character). My play for youth " Beans and Rice" was performed in Saskatchewan and the director said, " The students did phenomenal and the audience had a great laugh!" They are doing it again next month at a festival. I wish them well! I also attended a new play " The Mommy Monologues" that was commissioned by the SkirtsAfire herArts Festival. Ten truly moving vignettes on motherhood from every angle provided something for everyone. I topped off all that by attending Theatre Network's Spring Fling gala with friends. It was a great time and exciting to hear about their plans to rebuild the Roxy.
     I also attended a terrific session hosted by MLT on fraud in non-profits. Did you know that Europe no longer uses cheques? Apparently we're going that way as well. What are NFPs doing about this? I've not heard even ONE word about preparing for this. And did you know you are supposed to change the PIN on your bank cards every 30 days? I actually laughed out loud (and I wasn't alone)! The presentation also included information on social engineering (manipulations designed to get your personal information) and social media and its risk to NFP organizations. This really emphasized the importance of a good social media policy, monitoring systems, and a clear definition of what is "work use" versus "personal use" for laptops, phones, etc.
     I continue my work on Inspired Working and Living, which involves refining refine my ultimate goal for the year. As is typical of me, the goal bloomed into something huge and is now being distilled and refined back down to something manageable. A big part of this process involves finding some stillness and silence. I have discovered I am more successful at that if I go outside. That's harder than you think. I also joined a group at church working on a Rhythm/Rule of Life exercise which fits hand in hand with Inspired Living and Working, adding a couple of other elements which I am happy to explore. In both of these processes, I need to accept that I won't get all my answers over night. If you've got access to the fast track, please let me know! Oh, and did I mention that i now have to do a budget as well? I've done these over the years (and conveniently abandoned them when they became inconvenient). Does that sound familiar? This is painful, but I know (from the bottom of my heart) that it is necessary.
     My cull in March involved dealing with my cassette tapes. I got rid of several, but those old Maxells and TDKs in which I held a microphone up to record player or radio speaker are much more difficult to toss. Blood, sweat, and tears went into those (truly, there was some Blood Sweat and and Tears music!), not to mention all of my prayers to prevent the DJ from talking when I was taping off the radio (I'm talking to you, CHED's Chuck Chandler). To this day...every time I hear "I Get Around" by the Beachboys, I hear his voice. Grrrr.
     I managed a quick, but essential trip to Golden (via Torrington), which was fantastic. I also had a quick trip to Ontario to see my brother and his family, which was even better. We did some wine tours, micro-brewery tours, and a nice hike in Beamer Conservation Area while the birds of prey were returning the area. I was a little nervous about all the turkey vultures that seemed to be circling me. Best of all was a family dinner that included my niece Emily and some of the best conversation on (really!) important stuff that I've had in ages. If you haven't talked to a university student lately, I encourage you to do so. I no longer fear for our future.
     I decided to try another physical feat and chose the Winter Warrior Challenge out at The Ranch golf course. It was a gorgeous day to be outside and I achieved my three goals: 1) complete the challenge; 2) don't die; 3) have fun. I wonder what the next challenge will be...
In honour of Siblings Day, me and my brothers Peter (bottom), Rob (middle), and me (top) doing acrobatic feats. NB: Also a rare shot of me in a bikini. (You're welcome)

Former Calgary Stampeder kicker (and all-around rock star) JT Hay took me to the Red & White Room at McMahon Stadium and introduced me to Sugarfoot Anderson. It was a big moment: My mom would have been so jealous! Rest in Peace, Sugarfoot.
I knew MaryJane Alanko could do it (and do it way faster), but I wasn't sure about me. But here's proof we're both Winter Warriors.

"Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place.  Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish."
 --  Brad Henry
The Answer   


     I was really interested in the article "Boards Need the Right Competencies" by Cathy Trower and Peter Eckel (; March 23/17) because they have taken the same approach that I took when I wrote Exceptional Board Members, Exceptional Boards.
     At the time I wrote that book, BoardSource had just published "Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards." BoardSource and I agreed on what makes a great board, but I wanted to go deeper and explore the individual director. My thesis was: Why, when a board looks good on paper and has all the right documents and policies and training sessions, does it sometimes still fall short of expectations? For me, it boiled down to the performance/behaviour of individual directors. I believe an individual director can help raise the performance of the entire board. Sadly, I also have evidence it can lower it, too
     Trower and Eckel correctly note that we don't choose a group to be our board, we choose individuals. Of course, the individuals we choose come from varying backgrounds, levels of experience, personal needs/interests, and points of view. As with most things in life, it's about managing expectations - the prospect of the organization, and the organization of the prospect. The more both parties disclose about their expectations, the better the relationship is likely to be.
    We all know about "rogue" board members and we all hope we never get one, but statistically speaking almost all of us have been involved with a board that had one. Trower and Eckel explain that the behaviors of rogues vary "from relatively benign (meddlesome, micromanaging) to malicious (attacking or undermining the president)" and further that often they "can only be removed by the electorate or when their terms end." This gives them plenty of time to cause damage.
     So what competencies do individuals need to help improve the collective? It is great news that organizations have become more sophisticated in their selection process. It's common now to match potential board members against a list of criteria (demographics, geography, expertise, industry as well as resource development, oversight expertise, and people who can get you an audience with key target groups. Why not also search for people with strong governance competencies, or as they put it, "the ability to do the job"? After all, Trower and Eckel's research says, "Boards with a range of expertise and characteristics tend to govern better than those that are quite homogenous."
     For their industry (higher education) Trower and Eckel referenced a 2009 report entitled "Competency-Based Governance" (American Hospital Association) and found that the competency list for hospitals mirrored their own needs: accountability, collaboration, innovative thinking, complexity management, organizational awareness, professionalism, relationship building, strategic orientation, information seeking, change leadership, and team leadership.In fact, doesn't that sound like the competencies you need for YOUR board, no matter the industry? 
     For each of these competencies, the report defines the individual trustee competency, lists behaviors associated with the competency and provides sample interview questions to identify the competency in a prospective trustee. (Read the article to see a few great examples of how to create these).
     Trower and Eckel recommend starting the process by determining and defining the competencies that are most needed for effective board dialogues and decisions and then seek feedback from the rest of the board members, key administrators, etc. Then identify the corresponding behaviors that demonstrate each competency or skill. The board could also use this list to assess current and future board members against the competencies. This would create a gap analysis to assist you in recruiting and/or designing board development programs.
     Trower and Eckel conclude (as do I) that boards should pay close attention to what each individual brings to the table -- not only in terms of background, skill sets, demographic characteristics, and functional areas of expertise "but also the competencies that encompass that person's ability to function as part of a high-performing board."
Here is the blog Click Here  


If you want to read an absolutely heartbreaking (but not unfamiliar) article about the damage that can be done by a single rogue board member, you need to check out Andrew Chamberlain's story on the CSAE blog. Click Here 
Finally, here's a website of a not-for-profit that may have wanted to put a little more thought into their name. A colleague and I agreed that while the association needs to speak directly to their members, they might have a better chance at changing opinions and influencing policy if they chose a more "moderate" name. What do you think? Click Here 


7 Questions to Evaluate Your Life       

     Here's a series of questions to ask yourself about your quality of life. It's another item from Heather Matthews' blog.

1. Am I happy with who I am?
Ask yourself if you're happy with the person you are at this moment. Matthews says, "Don't let a day pass without looking at the mirror and being proud of the reflection that stares back at you."
2. Do I still have goals?
What am I doing to achieve them? Ask yourself what are the steps you need to take in order to achieve all the goals you have plot out on your timeline. Are you following them? Are your actions in accordance to what you want? If not, readjust.
3. How are you as a friend, partner, parent/child?
Identify one of your roles and get a feel of how you are as that person to someone else. You can even ask them. Work to improve relationships on a constant basis.
4. Do you look at you accomplishments as much as, or more than your failures?
Count the positive more than the deficits. Successes help launch us forward.
5. Do you allow yourself to rest, to take breaks?
Never underestimate the power of rest and what it could give you. And have at least one hobby that lets you disconnect from the work that you do.
6. How do you feel about change?
If you're not open to adapting to other things, to trying new experiences, to be surprised by life, you will most likely stop living at some point and stay stagnant.
7. Do you think you have more to offer?
As humans, we are always in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves. We want to find purpose and meaning for our life. Keep some perspective, because this is fluid.

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