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

Issue #61; March 2016
Coming in MARCH
Nutrition Month, Women's History Month, and Cheerleading Safety Month!

1 Zero Discrimination Day (UNAIDS)
1 Plan a Solo Vacation Day
3 World Wildlife Day (UN)
3 National Anthem Day
8 Intern'l Women's Day (UN)
9 Barbie Day
11 World Plumbing Day
13 Ken Day
20 Intern'l Day of Happiness (UN)
21 World Water Day (UN)
21 World Down Syndrome Day (UN)
21 World Poetry Day
28 Something on a Stick Day
30 Take a Walk in the Park Day

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

Liz Garratt
Shelley Carmichael Silins
Ernie Paustian
Louise Reinich
Gord West

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable."
~Kenyan Proverb 
What Makes a Good Life -- Robert Waldinger (TED Talk)
Click Here

How We Get Bananas
(Interesting, from Dole)
Click Here
Capsule Wardrobe
(Get down to 37 items and look good!)
Click Here 

Cats compared to Pin Ups
(Cute pics)
Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises  (Mine) 
Habits of the Unhappy
     Dr. Travis Bradbury wrote a LinkedIn article called Troubling Habits of Unhappy People (Jan 6/16).
     He argues that while happiness is difficult to define, we know what makes us unhappy immediately. In addition to making us difficult to be around, Bradbury says that these 10 things are as lethal to us as second hand smoke:

1. Waiting for the future. "I'll be happy when ..." Instead focus on being happy right now.
2. Too much time and effort acquiring "things." Material things don't make you happy.
3. Staying home. Socializing, even when you don't enjoy it, is great for your mood.
4. Seeing yourself as a victim. "Life is out to get me, and there's nothing I can do about it" fosters a feeling of helplessness, and therefore you are unlikely to act to make things better.
5. Pessimism. If you expect bad things, you're more likely to get bad things.
6. Complaining. By constantly talking-and therefore thinking-about how bad things are, you reaffirm your negative beliefs.
7. Blowing things out of proportion. Bad things happen to everybody. Happy people see them as a temporary bummer. not as evidence that life is out to get them.
8. Sweeping problems under the rug. Problems get bigger when they're ignored.
9. Not improving. Don't sit back and wait for life to happen to you.
10. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Jealousy and envy are incompatible with happiness.
      So change your habits in the name of greater happiness and it will make everyone around you happier too.

Read the article 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



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Pretty Please, and Thank You

     I used to see situations as "black or white," believing my sense of right and wrong was absolute. Long ago I moved to the " grey" and am definitely more happy (and no doubt easier to be around).
     However, in February I was reminded I still have a couple of "absolute" buttons. One of them is our national anthem. In my view, there is a right way (and a million wrong ways) to sing " O Canada!" It has a fairly speedy tempo so a slow version drives me nuts, but the worst is when someone jazzes it up to show off his/her vocal prowess.
     This happened during the NBA All Star game in Toronto. I've been so careful to avoid internet shaming, and yet I kind of did it. To be honest, I was surprised that not everyone agreed with me that Nelly Furtado did a horrible thing (even though I got trapped in the same darn argument when Nikki Yanofsky did similar for the Vancouver Olympics).
     So while I do feel a little hypocritical about posting my opinion on the internet, I know I would have been better off keeping my opinion to myself. To date, I am unable (or unwilling) to shift my position -- you just shouldn't screw with the national anthem! And yes, I am also aware that I can have a happier life if I let that go. I'll get back to you on that.
     I've listened to " What Makes A Good Life" (Ted Talk; link in left column) a few times now. In 1938 Harvard began a study of 724 men (60 are still alive). Here's the punchline: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. We've heard this before -- social connections help us, loneliness kills us. It turns out "quality, not quantity" is a good measure for friends as well as goods and services. I remember when I didn't used to think that way. I'm sure glad I've changed!
     Lately I've been focused on work and on writing my new Fringe play. I've managed to see a few plays and even a few of the Academy Award nominated films. Now that the Oscars have been handed out, I can see there are a few more I should check out.
    My "cull" has slowed to about one item per day, but I am still committed. I recently ran across something I cannot get rid of: Barbie. I've kept one of each size plus a vintage Ken who was gifted to me as an adult. Just so you know, loving Barbie did not cause me to be less than what I am capable of being. Ken, however, never really did it for me. No matter the version of him, he fell short. GI Joe was a better boyfriend for Barbie, in my view (so I had to find friends with brothers). I suspect it was that scar on Joe's cheek that made him so tough. And now there are variations to Barbie, which I think is a good thing. I can't imagine what they'll do to Ken!

        March first is a "Plan a solo vacation day." This is something I do with regularity, but I appreciated the reminder. So Friday I'm heading to Golden for the weekend. I've been doing ok writing at home, but I feel another creative burst coming on and there's no better place for that than the mountains (and maybe I'll celebrate "Walk in the park" day early, too). What might you get up to, I wonder?

"Either you run the day, or the day runs you."
 -- Jim Rohn


Sorry, could not find photographer's name -- but these critters are awesome!
The Answer   

     It became "best practice" in the last half-dozen years or so for a board to NOT have an Immediate Past President position. The rationale was solid, but not understood widely. I suppose that's why in recent months I've seen many organizations asking to have their Immediate Past President added back to the board.
     I don't disagree, but I do think it's a great time to change the rules around this position. In the last couple of months I've reviewed bylaws for, and talked to, about 24 not-for-profits about what they do with the Immediate Past President (Chair). Here are the thoughts I've pulled together as a result.

The intention of the position was to provide continuity, wisdom, and support for the President. The position was often in charge of the nomination process. The research was divided as to whether or not the position was a) voting or b) an officer.

Current Situation:
Many of the NFPs who eliminated the role now claim the position had value although most cannot articulate that value (beyond continuity, wisdom, and support for the President).

What to Do?
1. Do What Makes Sense (even if not "best-practice").
2. Set up so the President (Chair) mentors the Vice President (Vice Chair).
3. Break the culture of the Past President (Chair) mentoring the President (Chair).

If You're Going to Have An Active Past President (Chair):
Please consider these principles for the position and for the person:
  1. Individual must adhere to all the same legal, member-approved, and board-approved responsibilities as any/every board member;
  2. Position is not elected; role is assumed and is counted within the size range allowed in the bylaws;
  3. Position remains vacant if Immediate Past President (Chair) is unable or unwilling to serve;
  4. Position must be voting (in fact, federal NFP legislation does not permit non-voting directors);
  5. Position should count towards quorum;
  6. Position must NOT be an Officer (aka "member of Executive");
  7. Position should not be a signing authority (unless there's a really practical reason);
  8. Position may be appointed to any board committee (e.g., Governance, Nominations, Audit & Risk Management, CEO Compensation & Review);
  9. Position should not be responsible for strategic planning;
  10. Position should not (at least not automatically) be the board's "appointee" to another organization's board;
  11. Position, like all others, needs a clause about "other duties as directed by the board."
Role Description:
A role description for the Immediate Past President (Chair) would be virtually identical to that of a Director-at-Large, other than some exclusions as noted about. For illustration:
Position: Immediate Past President (Chair)
Authority: Same as any duly elected director
Accountable to: Same as any duly elected director
Responsibility: Same as any duly elected director
Other duties as directed by the board (examples):
-       A member of the Nominating Committee (recruits/evaluates/recommends candidates for board and officer positions)
-       Assists with certain components of board orientation and/or training
-       Advises (when requested) current President (Chair) on meeting procedures
-       Provides continuity (when requested) regarding CEO evaluation and compensation
Term: One year (From the AGM at which the Presidential term expires until the next AGM - no matter how many years the incoming President will serve)
Vacancy: Vacancy at this position in no way prohibits the board from carrying out its complete mandate and duties
Limitations: May not be an officer
Bylaw changes may be required (66%-75% vote of members at a duly called meeting with appropriate notice). Policy changes may be required (majority vote of the board).

How does this sound to you? 

By the way, BoardSource recently added the following to our conversation. (With respect to Emeritus and Honourary Directors, which are both non-voting): " Recognition and thanks for board service is always necessary and appropriate. For the special status to remain special, honourary titles and positions need to be handed out sparingly according to pre-established criteria and an impartial selection process. Retiring board members should not automatically be given particular honours or positions; such titles should
be earned."  
Water is Precious     

About LUE-42 Enterprises 

Contact LUE-42 Enterprises                 

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

Issue #59; January 2016