A big thanks to some who made my life better in
Chris Wood & Bobbi Fitzgerald
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
- Mother Teresa
Whitetooth Brewing Company (Beers to Toast Your Ultimate Moments; Inspired by
the adventure that awaits in the mountains of Golden, BC)
This is from Heather Matthew's June 29/15 blog about starting to live the life that you want. She says these things could be hindering us from getting started:
Dishonesty is Not a Policy
"Expending energy trying to live a life other than an honest one is a waste of both your energy and your life...As long as you're not trampling on other people to get what you want out of it, then you have as much right to live your life according to your own standards."
Information is Power
"Don't be content with the things you already know...There are thousands of things that are discovered, disproved, changed on a daily basis and it could contribute to the bettering of your life."
Success is hard work AND inspiration
Don't waste time..."Cut to the chase and find what you're really passionate about! To pursue your passions is the most practical thing to do. It saves you time and energy in the long run."
Things you don't need, time wasted, and people who don't support your dreams "are wasting valuable resources...Cut your losses...If they aren't helping you, they probably are dragging you down."
Being fit means physically, mentally, and emotionally. "Everything is connected...So you need to work hard to keep all those aspects in tip top shape."
I especially enjoyed "Bylaw exemptions are not a thing," ...because I think this is a pervasive behaviour...or maybe it's just part of being human to know that there are rules and to think that they don't apply to you. WS
I wish I were as organized and diligent as you. LB
It's sad that we live in such a prosperous country and yet have a need for food banks...Always wondered why Maggi's paws smelled good most of the time. EP
Put three amazing trips in a hat and draw at random for where you are going - now that would be adventure!! DV
Contributors to this issue: Claudette Pelletier-Hannah, Laureen Regan
Wish I'd said that...
"Today's a new day. It's your day. You shape it. Don't let it be shaped by someone else's ignorance or fear."
Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations
(NOTE: There is great 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)
With fond acknowledgement to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Join Our List
Spread the Word!
To forward this to a friend click below
To use the content, please include this blurb: Linda Wood Edwards and LUE-42 Enterprises produces "Life, the Universe, and Everything" for her clients and subscribers. Visit www.lue42.com for more information
I have come through another Christmas season, and I certainly hope you have as well.
I did some of the usual things in December -- the L'Arche Christmas pageant, the Eskimos locker room sale. You know, the big stuff! I avoided some of the usual things thanks to a timely piece on "moderation", which by the way extends beyond food and drink to obligations, expectations, and effort! I added a few things to improve my mood like the Robin Hood Pantomime at Fort Edmonton's Capitol Theatre (awesome!) and church (also awesome).
I didn't travel for Christmas, but instead saw family closer to home, continued to cull my "stuff", and tried not to "panic shop" (I give myself about 65% on that). I did keep up my tradition of pajama day on Boxing Day right up until 4:00 pm, at which point I got ill and was in pajamas for days but not from choice. C'est la vie!
Earlier in the month a friend and I went for a tarot card reading. That was fun, but the best part was her challenge to me after to do three things way outside my comfort zone. I accepted the challenge and completed it within a couple of days! Another few lessons learned. What challenges are you thinking about?
Prior to the holiday shenanigans I stole a few days in Golden. I hadn't been for nearly six months and wondered if perhaps I was done with that place. As I sat around in that beautiful setting with the kind, funny people I knew was far from "done." In fact, it was the happiest I had felt in ages. And honestly, it was just a bonus that the new Whitetooth Brewing Company finally opened its doors. I muled a bunch of product back for myself and friends, which was all appreciated, and I wish them much success. A friend in Golden also made me a larch cone wreath, which is my new favourite holiday decoration.
Most people I've spoken to can't wait to see the end of 2016. It was a year of immense loss -- friends, icons, and worst of all hope. It seems we're all a bit numb from day after day of shock, drama, and despair. Well, I believe in better days ahead. Don't you? Happy new year!
"Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy."
-- Robert Tew
Q: WHAT CAN A BOARD DO IF IT'S STUCK ON A PROBLEM?
A: START ASKING WHY, AND BE BRAVE ABOUT THE ANSWERS THAT EMERGE
I recently had an Ah Ha! moment (or if you prefer The Simpsons, a D'Oh! moment). It occurs to me that boards, and in particular boards with plenty of experience around the table, may have stopped digging into the problems because they've seen it all before. I know I can be guilty of this, so maybe you can be too. I found Mike Figliuolo's article "The Simplest Questions Lead to the Biggest Insights" (thoughtLEADERSllc.com; Oct 19/16) both simple and insightful -- just as advertised!
Figliuolo reminds us that simply "Asking 'why' can help you get to root causes and create ideas for fixing the biggest issues you face." In particular, he recommends we ask "why" FIVE times on any issue. Even thinking about doing this conjured up memories of futile arguments with 3-year olds and gave me the dry heaves. But it actually works with boards! (Right now you are drawing comparisons between your board and a 3-year old, aren't you?).
The instructions are simple, but here's how it works. First you see a problem -- a result you don't like, a behaviour you don't appreciate, etc. Ask "WHY?"! When you get an answer (the first one will likely be quick), ask "WHY?" again. When you really don't know, speculate. It's okay to say, "I don't know, but maybe it's this..." Do this FIVE times in order to really understand the causes (or likely causes). Figliuolo says, "By the time you ask the fourth or fifth why, that's where the real insight is. When we keep asking why and
peeling the issue back, we can identify what that true root cause is. Then we can solve it. Then we can have an impact on the organization." And isn't that why we all serve our organizations? To have an impact? So if you want to be sure of your impact, risk unpopularity at board table and ask "WHY?".
BoardSource recently offered members an upload called, "7 Questions to Ask When Reviewing the Annual Budget." There's plenty to offer here, but I thought I'd give you the highlights and trust you can make sense of it without the narrative. I also want to give a shout out to BoardSource -- this is an organization that provides excellent, timely content and is well worth my membership fees.
1. Does the budget reflect the organization's mission accurately?
2. Does it call for a surplus?
3. Where are the revenues projected to come from?
4. What are the operating ratios for key areas?
5. What policies apply to budget revisions?
6. How do revenues and expenditures stack up against those of other nonprofits?
7. Does the board regularly receive financial statements that include budget information?
I enjoy this blog and in particular liked this article (Nov 10/16). I agree there are no end to the "10 Things for Directors" lists, but I thought you'd enjoy this one. It is from the corporate sector but, as is usually the case, it still fits the not-for-profit sector.
They recommend looking beyond the legal duties that each Director must uphold during tenure on the Board, and considering behavior standards for Directors. They even share a sample with which to inform and assess each Director on the Board, or even to screen incoming candidates or volunteers.
While not legal requirements, these "offer the foundations for a well governing Board managed by responsible individuals, based on well recognized legal principles."
Each Director should recognize and agree to uphold the following standards of behavior:
1. To take personal responsibility for contributing impartially to the decisions of the Board, with no thought given to personal gain.
2. To actively seek adequate knowledge about the business of the organization.
3. To provide positive input into the development of relevant organizational policy.
4. To provide strong support for the long-term strategies of the organization.
5. To accept the need to sufficiently prepare for Board meetings and decisions, and to insist on sufficient information to enable informed debate and strategic decision making.
6. To perform the assignments delegated by the Board.
7. To delineate and state personal positions vs organizational positions on controversial matters to better enable the Board to make informed decisions for the betterment of the organization.
8. To devote sufficient time to the duties of a Director.
9. To uphold high ethical standards at the Board level.
10.To tender a resignation if unable to uphold any of the above Standards of Behavior
Why would we want directors to have a set of personal standards? Well, to
promote good governance, to ensure that directors act in the interests of the company's stakeholders, and to
set the tone for ethical and responsible decision-making throughout the organization. This has a trickle down effect which
impacts organizational culture and morale.
The author goes on to recommend that these standards should be publicly acknowledged by the Board to the organization's constituents and that all staff should be provided with copies of these standards for their own reference.
A recent blog by Natalie Ledwell really spoke to me. We joke about Canadians apologizing, and we know women in particular do more of it, but Ledwell cautions that over-apologizing (other than when you've really messed up) can have a negative impact on our lives.
Ledwell says if you find yourself saying, "I'm sorry" quite a bit, then follow these 5 steps:
1. Listen to yourself
If you made a mistake, say "I'm sorry." But don't say it because you feel intimidated or are afraid that people won't like/accept you and your opinions.
2. Change your vocabulary
Don't say "I'm sorry" when you really mean "Excuse me." Replacing these two words can make you feel better about yourself.
3. Ask the right questions
Don't apologize for asking a question, especially if seeking help/clarification. (NB: I see this so much in board rooms. Let's cut the preamble and just ASK!).
4. Learn the right time to say sorry
Save your apologies for when you've genuinely done wrong - when you've hurt someone's feelings or when you're offering your condolences.
5. Turn your apologies into gratitude
Try "Thank you for helping" instead of "Sorry I couldn't finish it." Try "Thank you for listening to me," instead of "Sorry for venting."
Ledwell notes that "turning your apologies into gratitude can go a long way, especially since being in a state of gratitude opens the door to more abundance, success, love and wealth."
I resolve to watch out for this in 2017 and say what I really mean. Care to try it with me?
I help associations and boards with tasks that can't be done in-house due to lack of capacity, time, skill, or a combination. I spend most of my time with governance, planning, bylaws, board development, interim management, and writing. I'm also a playwright, a funeral celebrant, and a big fan of the Canadian Football League. I have a great life. If I can help to improve your life, let me know.