Coming in FEBRUARY
2 World Play Your Ukulele Day
4 World Cancer Day (UN)
7 Send a Card to a Friend Day
11 Make a Friend Day
14 Intern'l Book Giving Day
20 World Day of Social Justice (UN)
21 Single Tasking Day
26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day
A big thanks to some who made my life better in
"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to
Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking (TED Talk)
Great G&M Article about L'Arche (further to my Jan. e-zine story)
Tiny Chef (Cool restaurant gimmick hologram)
Where Pork Sausage Comes From (A prank)
Cat Who Takes Selfies
|10 Tips to Declutter Now
I am 2+ years into my decluttering project and while I make progress every day, it is slow.
Robyn Shanks recently reviewed
The 8 Minute Organizer by
Regina Leeds (
Chatelaine on-line; Jan 07/16), so I picked up a few tips to help me:
1. Ditch the junk drawer. (I nearly quit reading right here due to hyperventilation!) She says you need ONE pen, pencil, highlighter, and Sharpie. Ziploc and store the rest.
2. Tackle things daily. (I'm OK on this one). Mail, bills, voicemails.
3. Help your kids stay organized. e.g., put photo labels on bins.
4. Don't sweat the sweaters. Put cardboard between each sweater. You can pull it out almost like a shelf to ensure the rest of the pile doesn't budge.
5. Organize, don't just tidy up. Ensure every item in your home has its place. Tackle one drawer/cupboard/shelf at a time.
6. Say no to multi-tasking. Complete one task fully and enjoy the few seconds/minutes between each.
7. It doesn't take any more time.
It takes as much time to toss your keys on floor as it does to hang them up. Start creating
organized habits and
save time in the long run.
8. Invest some money.
, shoe racks, new hangers, etc.
Create a list of tasks others can help you with.
10. Give it time.
"Choose a single routine to add and work it for three weeks before adding another."
Read the article here
Heard in the Board Room
(Another way to say Term Limits for Board members)
Will be sharing the culture part of your (Jan.) newsletter with clients...I find all of your monthly gems so insightful. LB
Enjoyed the leadership points. PR
Loved your newsletter as always. GAW
I enjoy your energized and positive outlook on all that life has to offer us...I've been sharing your mail outs. RW
Really enjoyed the newsletter - I'm going to share the corporate culture items with a friend. WS
Your newsletters are most interesting and thought provoking, always a "good read." JP
Amazing newsletter, Linda! LR
My mom used to buy margarine with the colour pouches, and we would watch TV and squeeze the colour into the margarine. TW
Contributors to this issue: Ginny Arnott-Wood, Helena Hill, Laureen Regan, Wanda Stephens
Wish I'd said that...
"The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them."
"No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying."
-- Tony Robbins
"If I didn't do this well, I just wouldn't have anything to do...I can't cook, and I'd be a terrible housewife."
-- Freddie Mercury (Queen)
"Actually I don't remember being born, it must have happened during one of my black outs."
"I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us,
I will stop telling the truth about them."
-- Adlai Stevenson (1952 campaign speech)
Books by Moi
Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations
Exceptional Board Members, Exception Boards
|With fond acknowledgement to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
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Colour me kooky but I love
. Perhaps it's because the extra day is all about resetting and synchronization. It happens every four years when we synchronize our Gregorian calendar with the solar year (which, incidentally, is 26 seconds shorter). So why not hit our own "reset" buttons? Who cares if we've already blown some of our new year's resolutions?
! Today is a new day.
Did you know that Leap Year occurs in every year that is divisible by four and only in century years that are evenly divided by 400? 800, 1200, 2000 were leap years but 1700 and 1900 were not because they are not divisible by 400, even though they are divisible by four (cool, right?). The Julian calendar doesn't follow this rule, but I think it's fun.
Did you know that another term for Leap Day is
Day? That's too close to "calorie" for me, so I stick with "Leap." Did you know that if you were born on February 29, 1932 on Leap Day 2016 you'd be turning 84 and 21! How great is that?
The start of the February 29 tradition of role reversal wherein women propose to men is unclear, but in 1288
Queen Margaret of Scotland
(age five and living in Norway) made a law requiring that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man with compensation to be a pair of leather gloves, a single rose, £1, and a kiss. Gloves, flowers, money, and a kiss? That's not bad for a rejection! Will you do something special on February 29?
I admit I've enjoyed 2016 so far. I've had fun with new and long-standing
, plus I've helped some families say
to loved ones. The world has also said good-bye to some wonderful musicians and actors. I'm so glad I got to see
I've been in and out of Edmonton several times already this year, but due to a nasty cold I had to miss a trip to Golden. Guess I'll have to find a way to write the next draft of my play from home. Thanks so so many who came out to hear the reading of
-- it was a blast to hear it performed by talented actors and to hear the questions and comments from the audience.
I did not win the Powerball lottery but did win $14 on the scratch tickets that
brought me. I continue to cull my stuff and every now and then people pay me for some of it. I am trying to get rid of at least one thing every day but even at that it is slow going!
As we head into Heart Month I am feeling
and healthy. Perhaps it's our mild weather or perhaps it's the realization that despite our poor economy and general grumbling, we really do live in a great place. I'm
for it every day.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
-- Zig Ziglar
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A CONTROLLING STAFF MEMBER IN A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?
A: GET BACK THE CONTROL (OR AT LEAST SHARE IT)!
This question comes at the request of a reader and I sat on it a couple of months before trying to answer it. The fact is, I don't have all the answers but I do know that if you're in the not-for-profit sector you've probably experienced -- or at least heard about -- this problem. Heck, maybe you've even been the problem!
Even when boards understand their fiduciary duty and their responsibilities, they sometimes slack off -- especially when they trust the Executive Director/CEO. In a great organization people work to find the best balance between board and Executive Director and when they do, it is a thing of beauty. But as we know, for volunteer board members life gets in the way of helping our organizations. Sometimes the board is the 5th or 6th most important thing they are involved with, so it's tough to stay engaged the way we think we will when we're elected.
Let's say a new opportunity arises for an organization and let's say the board agrees to pursue it ONLY if the ED can do it and can resource it with what's already been approved. The ED wants to do it so she says YES, and then YES to the next opportunity, and the next one, and the next until the things taking up the ED's time are just footnotes on the quarterly report to the board. Yet they take up resources that were approved for other things.
The board may even feel badly about all the work the ED is taking on, but are often reluctant to stop something that appears to be going well (even if it wasn't on the strategic plan). Eventually the organization gets a burned out Executive Director, which is bad enough. What's worse though is a disengaged board, or a negligent and liable board, or even the opportunity for criminal activity simply because of the disconnect between board and ED.
This disconnect can even extend to the board's committees. With an over-zealous ED the board's committees might still meet, but all the work is done by administration and just reported to the committee which, in turn, reports it to the board. This does not make for a well-run board!
I recently facilitated a case study where
the CEO was a control freak and the board trusted the CEO to do it all. After all, the CEO was the face of the organization and had done well by them for many years. That is, until it was revealed that a member, who was about to declare bankruptcy, was in arrears for dues to the tune of half-million dollars and there was no way the NFP would be able to collect. This, of course, got the board's attention.
It was fascinating to hear the groups decide what they would do in this case. They all had plans for the CEO, the board, and the board chair and these plans dramatic, sound, and even innovative.
From there, we put them into an "emergency" board meeting simulation with their CEO to figure out what to do (essentially, to put the plans they just came up with into action). I played the role of the CEO and (I admit it) I was a jerk because I was fighting for my job.
After an hour, the board still had not had the courage to have a frank discussion with the CEO (me) about how things went off the rails or how the CEO proposed they work together to fix them. I found this the most en
lightening part of all with this case study.
The fact is, by and large our volunteers are
! They get on the board to
, not to get into scraps with people who generally do good work. Yet with overwhelming evidence that the CEO had
and that the board had not even done its own job properly, they could not find their way to having the
So how does a board get control back from a controlling ED/CEO? I can tell you any number of things which, in combination, could work. But if you're not prepared to a) get back to doing the
and b) have a
with the ED/CEO then none of it will be effective.
What are your war stories about a controlling ED/CEO or a board abdicating its responsibility?
Something that bugged me
In December I received an email about an article (you probably did, too) called "Tips for Staying Engaged With Your Members Over the Holiday Season." My first thought was WHY? Really, why do we need to? Why can't we just let everyone have some peace for a week or so?
The article was provided by a company who is a great supporter of the non-profit sector, so I chalked up my reaction to a case of the Christmas "crankies." I waited a month and opened the article again. Guess what? It still ticks me off! Am I the only one that thinks it's OK to NOT be on our members'/ donors' radar for one week a year? Let me know, please. Seriously.
And if I'm out to lunch and/or you want to read the article, here it is.
Meeting Etiquette in 2016
In the online Daily Star (Jan 08/16) Barbara Pachter, author of The Essentials of Business Etiquette offers the following tips for getting through business meetings this year:
Go up to people and introduce yourself, starting with the person of the highest rank.
2. Stand when you're being introduced.
Besides being respectful, standing helps establish your presence.
3. Get to the point.
Don't reveal unnecessary information.
4. Higher-ranking etiquette.
If you're hosting or are the higher-ranking person, extend your hand first.
5. Be punctual.
6. Adjust your chair.
Be equal height with everyone else at the table and don't cross your legs. (Huh?!)
7. What's the dress code?
Make sure your attire falls within the guidelines.
8. It's okay to hold open a door.
But don't pull out someone's chair for them. (Wow)
9. Prepare yourself.
Know the content of the meeting beforehand.
If you stray from the agenda, have a co-worker maneuver you back.
11. Speak loudly and speak early.
Find something meaningful to add at the very beginning so people know you are there.
12. Understand the unspoken rules.
Get your position across so that you can have a productive meeting.
13. Keep your phone in your pocket.
Avoid taking notes in your phone; set your phone on silent and step outside if you have to make a call.
Read the article Click
11 Adult Skills to Learn in 2016
I saw this article by Nadine Silverthorne in
(Dec 30/15) and thought it was terrific. If you've made it this far in life and think you may still be lacking a few things, try this "
list, guaranteed to make you a
adult." Let's give ourselves a
1. Learn one stanza of poetry by heart.
(I've got this, but I'll learn another)
2. Have a karaoke song.
(I've got 2.5, but I should stop there lest I become a mic hog)
3. Figure out how to order wine.
(I'm not even close on this)
4. Memorize something sincere and concise
that you can write to acquaintances when their loved ones die. (I
I have this)
5. Learn how to budget and track your spending.
(I track well but don't learn from it). "According to
, in 2015 the average Canadian household "had nearly $1.64 in debt for every dollar of disposable income." (I'm doing the
52 Week Money Challenge
6. Perfect a killer recipe for a meal or cocktail. (I'm famous for a couple of dishes but I still look at the recipe)
7. Finish something. "A really challenging book. That half-knit scarf. The book you've been writing in your head. Give yourself a deadline." (My list is long!)
8. Treat someone to dinner without making a big deal about it. "And let someone treat you to dinner without making a fuss." (Not making a fuss is the hard part)
9. Know how to say sorry and mean it. (I can do this!)
10. Have a story that you can tell in your sleep. (I definitely have a couple of these)
11. Be on time. (I used to be punctual but I've been sloppy lately. I'll do better!)
The article is
About LUE-42 Enterprises
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.
Contact LUE-42 Enterprises firstname.lastname@example.org www.lue42.com