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

Issue #79; September 2017
SEPTEMBER is Hunger Action Month and Read a New Book Month

1 Bring Manners to Work Day
1 Letter Writing Day
5 Intern'l Day of Charity (UN)
6 Fight Procrastination Day
7 Buy a Book Day
7 Beer Lover's Day
8 Intern'l Literacy Day (UN)
10 World Suicide Prevention Day
13 Positive Thinking Day
15 Intern'l Day of Democracy (UN)
15 Concussion Awareness Day
17 Locate an Old Friend Day
18 Respect Day
21 Intern'l Day of Peace (UN)
21 World Alzheimers Day
21 World Gratitude Day
24 Punctuation Day
26 Intern'l Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (UN)
27 World Tourism Day (UN)
27 Ancestor Appreciation Day
30 Intern'l Podcast Day
Shout Out!  
A big thanks to some who made my life better in August!

MaryJane Alanko
Nancy Barden
Erica Brown
Brian Edwards
Sandra Fast
Liz Garratt
Alana Gueutal
Jim Gwartney
Helena Hill
Julia Kopala
Lynn MacAskill
Kelly McClung
Joyce Pelletier
Paul Rechner
Carole Ross
Donna Stonehocker
Ralph Suppa
Jean Tait
Theresa Tsoukalas
Gord West
Family of Catherine Williams
Debra Wingrove
Rob Wood, Ginny Arnott-Wood, Emily Wood
"Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
 -- 1 Thess. 5:11
In Memoriam

        Wanda Wetterberg

    In July my friend Wanda passed away. Her celebration of life was one of those events that just makes you shake your head at the enormous impact a single person can have on a person, a community, a world. Wanda was an "impact" person.
     Over the last 18 years, Wanda and I were governance sparring partners. If one of us was confronted by a unique board problem, the other had probably seen it before. We took turns working behind each other in support and encouragement, sharing skills and knowledge, all with a view to helping boards and organizations. I cannot count how many, in addition to me, are better off because of Wanda. 
     I will miss her generousity, humour, and kindness.  Rest in peace, Wanda.
Excessive Wisecracks/Puns Might Mean Brain Damage (So interesting!) Click Here

The Life Destroying Magic of Tidying Up
(Great spoof on Marie Kondo's book) Click Here

Enclosed Cat Patios (Interesting Edmonton-based business) Click Here

A Study on Well Being (Eudaemonic Happiness, derived from living with a sense of meaning and purpose, is connected to healthClick Here

Short Films on/with Canadians (From NFB, to help you celebrate Canada 150) Click Here

Late Night Eating May Increase Your Chance of Sunburn (Our skin pays attention to stuff like that) Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)   
Heard in the Boardroom
Fun Things To Know
Reader Notes  
Wish I'd said that...   
Finding the Humour
     In the article "Funny Business" (, Fall 2017), Dave Treber shares some ideas of how to use humour to combat stress at work and at home.
     Here are 4 steps to find humour in the every day.

1. Look for humour in unexpected places. You can even find it in a board agenda or a budget meeting if you look for an opportunity.
2. Don't let people get to you. Even when things are going sideways, you can control how you react. It may be helpful to tell yourself you'll probably laugh about this later!
3. Community is key. Find a group of peers to share the laughs and humour; create inside jokes.
4. Take it home with you. 
Find ways to connect humour to your home life, like a dinner conversation about the funniest thing that happened that day.

     Remember, it takes less energy to smile than to frown!


Need a website or a reboot?


Are YOU under all that clutter?


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



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     In a flash, August was gone! Seems to me it was only a week long, but looking back I can see there really were 31 days. I didn't get ripped off at all, and I managed to live fully in most of the minutes of those days, too.
      Festivals? We've got them! I was only in town for a few days of the Fringe, but managed to catch five very different plays (out of >220 available). Theatre in Edmonton is an embarrassment of riches and I feel so privileged to live and work (and sometimes write) here. Going to plays really tugs at my heart, so I'd better hustle to finish my next play so I can be part of the fun again next year!
     I also spent a beautiful Saturday downtown with friends watching the Cariwest parade and party in the square. Great music, food, beauty, company, and all-around vibe.

At Cariwest Festival

     I attended a memorial service of a friend and I performed a service for a lovely family who lost their matriarch way too soon. It is such a privilege to share a family's stories!
     I attended a big meeting in Ontario at a lovely venue with industry leaders who were truly engaged in the future of what they do. These are not easy conversations for most boards, and I am always thrilled when one is brave enough to ask (and answer) difficult questions. The wine education/tasting session was also excellent. Now I can use terms like "old world", "nose", and "tannins" in public with a straight face. 
     While out east I also got a few days with my brother and his family. Good company, good food, and a few great hikes. Did you know that Hamilton is home to more than 100 waterfalls and cascades? Now you do. I think I saw most of them.
     The hikes were really well timed because I've joined #GreyCupFitUp, where the CFL community has committed to a 30 minute work out every day for the 100 days leading up to Grey Cup in Ottawa (November 26, 2017). The Twitter community is a good motivator, and it's not too late to start. Check out @BrodieLawson and @DavisSanchez if you're interested.

Hiking with Emily, Otis (4 legs), and Rob

     Of course, it wasn't all hikes and good decisions. I visited a brewery as well! Sampled a couple of craft beers and got my butt handed to me in a crokinole game with my brother. I'm sure I'll improve in the rematch. 

Crokinole at Shawn & Ed's (Lager Shed) Brewery
     I continue to work on my  social media  course and am excited about where I might end up in all of this. Specifically, how might this e-zine change, or will it even be there at all? Feel free to weigh in on that.
     I honoured the eclipse  in August and continue to observe its aftermath with interest. Things all around me seem to be shifting, I think in a positive way, despite all the sorrows on our planet right now.
     This inspired me to re-read a book that was given to me in 2001: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. In case you need a reminder of those principles: 

Be impeccable with your word
Don't take anything personally
Don't make assumptions
Always do your best

     If we can do those things, I like our chances on this pretty blue planet. Have a great month, all!

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
 --  John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

The Answer   


A: Both!                       
       I spend a ton of time helping boards and Executive Directors differentiate between what is board business and what is operational. Often the answer is clear (to me, at least), yet when something goes really sideways the fingers start pointing. 
     That's why  I was so excited to read How to Succeed on a Nonprofit Board (Stanford Social Innovation Review, Aug 28 2017). In the article, Daniela Barone Soares and Jon Huggett challenge directors to "be curious" and to "dump assumptions." 
     They tell a story of a Not-for-Profit organization that had evidence government funds were drying up, but carried on under the assumption that because the money had been there before, it would be again. It wasn't. (Does this sound familiar?)
     The CEO took responsibility for the crisis but raised the question about the board's role in all of it. You see, the board was full of successful business people and the treasurer was even a CFO. What gives?
     Looking back from the brink of disaster, all parties agreed that the board "wasn't primed for effectiveness" and that the board did not understand its role. (Again, ringing any bells?)
      The authors conclude (correctly) that many business people join NFP boards with two misconceptions: "1) businesses are more efficient than nonprofits, and 2) nonprofits are more ethical than businesses." The upshot of this is that these directors may not be as observant or motivated when in a NFP director role. Indeed, they might even feel overqualified and therefore feel they are able to give less than their full attention. They might also think that NFPs don't require as much scrutiny.
     Those of us working in this sector know that Not-for-Profits are complex organizations, and that complexity requires critical thinking and scrutiny. In short, it requires a board to be curious.
     Soares and Huggett suggest that "great board members ask who, what, when, where, how, how much, and why?"  Specifically, they say great board members are:
  • Curious about impact. Are we really helping? Are we doing the right thing?
  • Curious about context. Who is the competition? How do we compare (in service of the client)?
  • Curious about money, where it comes from, and where it goes. Who gives what, and why, and when?
  • Curious about people. Who should I talk to in order to grasp every angle of this? 
  • Curious about the board, as a team. They seek out different views and watch how other board members approach issues.
     They also go out of their comfort zones in order to learn about the organization . Approaching your board role with curiosity results in both personal and professional rewards for the directors, and in better governance of the organization. 
    The authors conclude what we all know - that the best rewards of serving on a board come from being fully engaged. (PS: The organization in the article survived but many relationships did not).
     Is your board curious? Are you curious? It's probably time to ask some questions.

Here's the article: Click Here


Rethinking Tax Exempt Status 
and Rewriting History    

     In North America, not-for-profits are exempt from paying income taxes (subject to meeting criteria, of course). People set up not-for-profits to meet a need in the community or to establish a community of people with similar interests. But what happens when the interests of a registered society (a "community") are in conflict with the interests of society as a whole? We tend to not think about these (see assumption above that non-profits are seen to be more "ethical"). 
     I was jarred into reality with this New York Times op-ed piece by David J. Herzig and Samuel D. Brunsonaug (Aug 29/17) about whether racist groups should continue to be tax exempt. Specifically, they suggest they should not be and that racist groups should be culled from the tax exempt status starting with white supremacist organizations. 
     Read the article and decide for yourself. If you think tax exemption should be revoked, where would you draw the line? And who should decide?  Here's the article:  Click here

     Along similar lines, I have been in some thoughtful yet difficult discussions recently about removing statues and monuments to the founders in our communities and countries. We are all founded and built by people. People are flawed. For all the good decisions that have been made, many horrific decisions were made along side them.
     So  what do we do? Is it our role to rewrite history? At a minimum we need to provide context , but it would be impossible to provide context around every statue/monument on the continent (or in the world). So what do we do?
     I think a good start is all the discourse. Getting us talking (assuming we are also listening) will be the best way forward on this topic. Good luck!
Because this made me laugh. 
And laugh

     When my friend stepped out of her kitchen briefly, her 3-year old decided to make her own snack. My friend returned to a little girl gulping water. 
Is it wrong that I really want to try it now?
Dealing With 
    a Grouch     

     Kim Duke, Sales Diva recently blogged about dealing with grouchy clients (substitute: people), especially when there is a risk of you getting grouchy because of it. Here are Kim's secrets for managing grouches:
  1. Don't assume they are a jerk based on what others tell you.
  2. Listen.
  3. Don't get defensive.
  4. Don't over-promise and under-deliver.
  5. Do stay calm.
  6. Be very direct.
  7. Believe there is a fair solution.
Here's Kim's website   Click Here  

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