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

Issue #81; November 2017
Coming in NOVEMBER
NOVEMBER is  Manatee Awareness   Month

1 Author's Day
1 Stress Awareness Day
2 Use Less Stuff Day
5 World Tsunami Day (UN)
11 Remembrance Day
12 Intern'l Tongue Twister Day
13 World Kindness Day
14 World Science Day for Peace & Development (UNESCO)
14 World Diabetes Day (UN)
16 World Philosophy Day (UNESCO)
16 Intern'l Day for Tolerance (UN)
19 World Toilet Day (UN)
21 World Television Day (UN)
24 Buy Nothing Day
26 Grey Cup Game!
26 Intern'l Aura Awareness Day
30 Stay Home Because You're Well Day


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

MaryJane Alanko
Kathy Boonman
Carol Ann Burrell
Leo Ezerins
Sonja Idema
Doug Macnamara
Christina Mash
Elizabeth McCullough
Geeta Persad
Glenda Pollack
Hector Pothier
Len Rhodes
Lori Schmidt
Ralph Suppa
Janna Tominuk
Theresa Tsoukalas

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."
--  Dale Carnegie

Can you really delete your internet history?  (No) Click Here

Sounds of Silence (A Trump parody) Click Here

Workplace Discrimination 
(The kind we don't talk about: age, weight, looks) Click Here

Are you a multipotentialite?  
(Cool TedX by Emilie Wapnick on being Puttylike) Click Here

28 Short Board Training Videos (From NACE Intern'l. Some are very U.S., but others are suitable) Click Here

Photo video (13.5 minutes of stunning photography) Click Here

Why buy a sports jersey when you can rent one? (A Seattle company is offering subscriptions)  Click Here

Fall home maintenance guide (A handy checklist from Sarah Leib, Realtor)  Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)   
Heard in the Boardroom
Yielding to 
Emergency Traffic
Reader Notes  
Wish I'd said that...   
Finding Calm
     Elizabeth Millard did some excellent research to come up with 24 simple techniques to find calm in a frantic world.

  • Be Ridiculous
  • Focus on a Game
  • Slow Your Breath
  • Listen to Your Environment
  • Sniff a Lemon
  • Carry a Talisman
  • Take a Play Break
  • Get Tech Support
  • Drink a Glass of Water
  • Listen to Music
  • Sing
  • Monotask
  • Eat Some Protein
  • Try Alternate-Nostril Breathing
  • Name the Feeling
  • Pet an Animal
  • Enjoy Some Greenery
  • Reconsider Caffeine
  • Make a Request
  • Consume News Wisely
  • Write About What Matters
  • Taste Your Food
  • Use a Mantra
  • Express Your Thanks

Click Here for the whole article and all the science, rationale, and resources behind each idea.

Ending Polio!
    According to a report on World Polio Day (October 24) there are only 12 cases left in the world, in 2 countries. It's possible that the disease could finally be eradicated in 2018
     Here's an article on the concentrated efforts, largely through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to rid the planet of this awful disease. 

Click Here

Forecast for 

November 26 

Success Tips


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

 (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



Join Our List


Spread the Word!


     Another month on the road, it seems. I said hello and had some laughs (and some stress) in Red Deer (twice), Ponoka (twice), Calgary (twice), St. John's NL, and Golden
     I read to four classes at two schools for Read In Week. Young children still like Skippyjon Jones as much as I do, but they also liked my chest (one just grabbed and held on) and another liked my black patent leather boots. At least I assume so, because she was licking them. Perhaps not surprisingly I got a cold shortly after that dogged me the rest of the month. Yet every time I think of those classes and those kids, it cracks me up.
     I was privileged to attend the Edmonton Eskimos Annual Dinner. It is a posh affair and I was seated with alumni (i.e., Royalty), including #63  Hector Pothier (below) so it was a real honour. I am grateful to everyone who made that experience possible for me. 
      I participated in a huge AGM for a profession and was reminded that while Parliamentarians serve an important purpose in such forums, it is the wisdom and experience of the Executive Director that is the real key to getting members through difficult matters. If I hadn't had so much at stake on the agenda, I would have truly loved watching the entire thing unfold. But, then again, I'm weird that way...
     I attended a small industry conference I organized and found it refreshing to hear the speaker talk about customer service (remember that?) and the latest buzz of customer intimacy, which talks about actually caring and being invested in your customers. So now there's a name for what I do!
     I attended an industry tradeshow as well as a dinner where I got to hear Ellen Rohr, "The Plumber's Wife to America's Top Expert on Making Big Money Doing Dirty Jobs!" I really liked her style. I don't know if you travel in many plumbing circles, but if you get a chance to hear Ellen you really should.      
     I attended CSAE Edmonton's breakfast on Alberta politics with Paul McLoughlin. His views are always insightful and it was great to reconnect with many colleagues. I also had the privilege of attending CSAE's national conference in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
     That bucket list trip was only made possible by some generous angels in my life, most notably MaryJane Alanko with an assist by Ralph Suppa. Thank you, MaryJane and Ralph, from the bottom of my heart.
     The conference was good, the AGM was efficient, the entertainment was wicked-good ( Alan flippin' Doyle, people!), catching up with colleagues was smile-exploding, and the location was stunning
     I did miles of walking and fit in as much sightseeing as I could given a short time and a busy schedule. I was screeched in (twice), which means I kissed two cods. My lips still taste salt (pffffft). I learned to play the ugly stick (that's me on the left). 

     I got to try on Fluevog shoes at a lovely shop where the astute salesperson let us in a half-hour before opening because she saw us pitifully staring in. I ate all the required foods, including fish-and-chips-and-dressing-and-gravy (twice). And I will definitely be back to explore more of that end of our great country.
     In October I have been in more board meetings, AGMs, board orientations, and board planning sessions than I can actually keep track of. That's why little distractions like Golden help give me  perspective and inspire me to write using adjectives (i.e., plays). 
     It also helps that after a losing streak my football team is picking up steam at the right time. There's only four weeks of football left! Yikes, I better get focused on my #GreyCupFitUp program. 
     So even though I've been sick and so busy I don't know which way to turn, I am exceedingly grateful. Thanksgiving was also part of October, and I had no problem coming up with a long list of things for which I am truly grateful. I hope your list is long, too. May November bring us even more smiles. 

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back."
Paulo Coelho

The Answer   


A: Nice timing on your question! A new study is out.                        
          Heidrick and Struggles have just published the results of their latest survey Association and Nonprofit Boards: Maximizing Effective Service. They were trying to get at how board participation is evolving as society continues to change around us.  While it is a US-based survey, I thought some of the findings were interesting. 
          In general, the good news is that peoples' board experiences are positive, but on the downside, on boarding practices are weak. Gender diversity, of course, is still not where it should be either. 

  • 92% said their board service was a good use of time
  • 172 hours/year is the average time spent on board service (High 3000, low 4 hours)
  • 51% said there was no expectation of a financial contribution
  • 30% female, 70% male
  • 29% were 55-60 years old; 18% were 51-54; 16% were 65 or over; 15% were 61-64; 14% were 45-50; 6% were 35-44; 2% were 25-34; 1 person was under 25
  • 58% were charitable; 49% were industry/trade association; 26 were professional association; 13% were other NFP
  • 66% had 11-25 board members; 27% had 2-10 board members; 14% had 26-50 board members; 2% had 51-70 board members; 1% had 71-100 board members; 1% had more than 101 board members (Frankly, these numbers astonish and upset me)
  • 31% served on the board 2-4 years; 19% 5-6 years; 17% 7-9 years; 12% 10-12 years; 10% less than 2 years; 7% more than 15 years; 4% 13-15 years (The need for term limits screams out to me)
  • 36% had annual org. revenue of less than $5m; 20 were $5-$10m; 16% were $10-$20m; 11% were more than $100m; 8% were $20-$35m;  5% were $50-$100m; 4% were $35-$50m
  • 60% had fewer than 50 employees; 16% had 51-100; 9% had100-200; 8% had more than 500; 5% had 201-400; 2% had 401-500 employees
Why serve?
  • 91% supported the mission
  • 68% thought they could make a difference
  • 53% felt an obligation
  • 43% had a personal connection
  • 41% saw an opportunity to network
  • 41% were asked to serve by a colleague/friend
  • 18% saw an opportunity for business development
  • 4% were approached by an executive search firm

Main responsibility of the board?
  • 65% Set vision and mission
  • 64% Set broad direction
  • 54% Oversee finance and performance
  • 49% Serve as an ambassador
  • 41% Oversee and evaluate CEO
  • 18% Impact organizational culture
  • 6% Engage in crisis management
  • 3% Oversee day-to-day operations
  • 2% Senior staff talent management

Demands on board members?
  • 64% Increased
  • 26% Stayed the same
  • 6% Uncertain/Did not know
  • 4% Decreased
Board term limits?
  • 68% Yes
  • 27% No
  • 5% Did not know

Defined onboarding process?
  • 53% Yes
  • 45% No
  • 2% Did not know 

Onboarding experience?
  • 46% Properly prepared to serve
  • 35% Neither helped nor hindered
  • 15% Did not properly prepare
  • 3% Did not know

When do you want board materials?
  • 67% said 7 days
  • 20% said 14 fays
  • 12% said 2 days
  • <1% each said Day before, Immediately before, or Didn't Know
Future oriented?
  • 68% Yes
  • 31% No
  • 2% Did not know

It's fun to get some numbers to support our hunches, right?

Here is the report on the study Click Here

Avoiding Communication Mistakes    

     In an earlier article by CSAE, they outlined 4 Ways to Improve your Business and Marketing Communications:
  • Spelling. Double-check your spelling. Spelling errors account for over half of all mistakes. Automated spell-check won't catch every spelling error, but it will catch some and leave fewer for you to find on your own.
  • Social Media. Take extra care with social media posts. According to Grammarly's data, social media posts contain the highest percentage of errors. Emails analyzed in their app average about 13.5 errors per 100 words, and blog posts average about 7.9 errors. Social media posts average a whopping 39 mistakes per 100 words. While some of these may be because of the slang and shorthand often used on social media, fewer mistakes make posts clearer and will help you reach your audience better.
  • Watch Your Apostrophes. Using the wrong word is a common problem in written communication, and the top mistake of this variety is misuse of apostrophes. Look carefully at words like its/it's, lets/let's and other words that only sometimes take an apostrophe to be sure you're using the right form. A spellcheck won't catch these, but a grammar checker in your word processor or an app like Grammarly should most of the time.
  • Similar Words: Words most often interchanged are their/there, to/too, of/off, every day/everyday and then/than. People who write their emails and content at night make 66% more errors involving similar words than those who do their writing early, so if you're a night writer, pay special attention to these.
Here is some more info Click Here
Making Communication Mistakes

"The need to keep the conversation going with one's audience outweighs the need to make sure that communication is perfect. Maybe in the past someone would get fired for a typo in a print communication, but in the digital space it happens and you can go back and fix it immediately."
 -- Suzanne Carawan, Chief Marketing Officer. HighRoad Solution
  Click Here for an article on this topic (via CSAE)

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