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

Issue #62; April 2016
Coming in APRIL
Inventor's Month and Decorating Month!

1 Walk to Work Day
2 World Autism Awareness Day (UN)
7 World Health Day (WHO)
10-16 N'l Volunteer Week
11 World Parkinson's Disease Day
12 Walk on Your Wild Side Day
19 Garlic Day
20 Volunteer Recognition Day
22 World Mother Earth Day (UN)
23 World Book & Copyright Day (UNESCO)
27 Tell a Story Day
28 World Day for Safety & Health at Work (UN)
29 World Wish Day

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

Jennie Ambrose
Bonnie Andriachuk
April Banigan
Stephanie Baran
Erica Brown
Julianna Cantwell
Tracy Carroll
David Cheoros
Liz Garratt
Helena Hill
Norman Kyle
Iris Moellenbach
Gerald Osborn
Darlene Ramsum
Lori Schmidt
Shelley Carmichael Silins
Derrick Sorochan
Arlene Vaxvick
Alan & Alba Fernandez
Ten to Tour Torrington: Brian, Jim Donna, Joan, James, Sarah, MaryJane, Gord, Gerry

"The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side." 
~Margaret Carty"  
Infographic on Federal Budget (by Collins Barrow)
Click Here

One Simple Act
(Gov't website re environmental tips)
Click Here

Amazing Statues from Around the World

Click Here

Learn How to Speak Chickadee
Click Here

The Who
(When they were The High Numbers)

Beth Portman "Take a Trip"
(Good music video)
Click Here 

LUE-42 Enterprises  (Mine) 
Devil in
the Details
     I am a detail kind of person, but after reading an article by Dean Brenner of Switch & Shift, I may have to rethink it.
     In " Details Matter. Use Them Sparingly" Brenner tells us that times have changed. Very likely, many meetings that you are in give you more detail than you need or want. What about YOUR meetings? (I already know I detail on the high side).
     Until now, mountains of details meant you were prepared. Apparently now it means you are NOT prepared! Brenner advises: Include enough detail to satisfy the expectations and facilitate discussion, but not so much that everyone is looking at their watches.
     Have deeper details at the ready in case the group needs go to there, but make your main slide deck shorter. (Again, I fail here).
     Are you an old-school detail person like me or a "21st Century Just-get-it-Done" person?        Here's the article:

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time."
-- Blaise Pascal

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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Please and Thanks

     March saw me on the road a bit, which is a good place for me sometimes. I had a couple of days in Golden with some excellent writing time and few good laughs. I got a progress report on the Whitetooth Brewery, which should open there this fall. The roof is on, so I hope the rest goes smoothly.
     I had an interesting project that took me to Vancouver for the first time in a couple of years. I was able to use my off-hours to catch up with three dear friends, all from different parts of my life. The best part is that with all three, it was like no time had passed since we'd last chatted.
     I pulled together a road trip to Torrington, AB for 9 friends and myself. We left at noon on Good Friday and got back about 26 hours later, having been thoroughly entertained by the World Famous Torrington Gopher Hole Museum (which opened especially for us). We also hung out (and stayed at) the Torrington Inn where we had our fill of pickled eggs, pool, and darts while we were entertained by a country singer. Not normally my scene, but when in Torrington...
     I expect we'll be retelling some of the stories for years to come. It's good to laugh, and I am blessed to have such excellent sports for friends.
     I got to hear a good chunk of my new play Trail and Error -- a deeply personal story -- read by the talented April Banigan (directed by Tracy Carroll). I am always impressed how a good actor can take my words and make them sounds even better than I'd imagined. But when the actor takes not only my words but is ME as a character, well, I was blown away. April rocks, as do the terrific women who put together the SkirtsAfire Festival and PeepShow.
     In between PeepShow events I got to see 2/3 of the StageStruck Festival. It was great to see so many friends on stage, back stage, and in the audience. Congratulations to all of them -- I plan to be back with a new play for the 2017 Festival.
     One of the things that's been using my time lately is the development of a new website for my plays. I've been work with two amazing women and we're pretty close to done. I love what they've come up with, as well as the potential for more on the site. What do you think of Northern Sabbatical Productions now? NorthernSabbaticalProductions
     Last month we talked a bit more about shame. I was interested to see this article (and three videos) in How Stuff Works. Apparently shame is an evolutionary tool that helps humans live with each other. (Go figure!) It's a way to keep your behaviour in check so that others will feed you, protect you, and take care of your children.
     The researchers talked about the difference between shame (I am bad) versus guilt (I did something bad). "Shame is an emotion responsible for the lies we tell, the paranoia and depression we feel, and can sometimes lead to dramatically self-damaging behavior." This is bad, obviously. If you're guilty (and not inclined to blame others), then you can " own" what you did and correct. But when you feel shame, you turn in on yourself and the results can be damaging and long term.
     So based on this, guilt (without blaming others) is the key to moving on. Shame is a downward spiral. For the entire article and some interesting videos, Click
     Let's see if we can get through April without guilt or shame, and with a bunch more grace and kindness -- to ourselves and others.
     Finally, it seems there may have been a mailing glitch last month and some who have always received my e-zine didn't get it. If you're one of those and would like me to resend, just let me know. Thanks!

             "Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you.  Never excuse yourself."
 -- Henry Ward Beecher
"Peak performance begins with your taking complete responsibility for your life and everything that happens to you."
-- Brian Tracy


The Answer   

     I recently participated in a session where an Executive Director was talking to current and potential board members about the challenges in his role. He hit the mark on most of my challenges and of those I've heard from other EDs. Here's a list.

1. Board/Staff Relations. You want to do things that support building the relationship, but not that permit the Board to stray into operations.

2. Information for Good Decisions. Agendas (should) come with briefing notes that outline the issue, the background, options/ considerations, financial implications, impact on regulations/ policies, and enough to discuss and decide the motion/ resolution. When a board member brings something to the table the day of the meeting looking for a decision, you don't get an ideal conclusion and also it is unfair for to board members who weren't there. (Moral of the story? Don't allow this).

3. Keeping a Long-Term Focus to Support the Vision. Boards often like to deal with the immediate, but you need a solid 3-5 year strategic plan, an annual business plan, staff work plans and budgets -- all of them measurable. Then stick to the plan.

4. Finding Champions. Every strategic element in the plan needs a champion (board or staff) or it doesn't get done. (NB: I really like this).

5. Committees are Not the Board. Committees help the board make better decisions by bringing expertise to the table, but always the board makes the decisions.

6. Directives, Policies, Procedures. You need good ones and then you need to have the will to follow them. Know when it's the right time to change a policy. IF you're changing it frequently, you've got the wrong policy.

7. Reporting. Have the right people making the right kinds of reports at the right time. Structure your agendas accordingly.

8. Preparedness & Participation. Yes, agenda packages can be lengthy and detailed but they need to be reviewed ahead of the meeting or you don't get the best decisions. (One ED even mentioned a shared document site so you can actually see if the board member even opened it!).

9. Communications. Speaking with one voice was singled out as a key communication principle. Tell people how the decision was made and how the process was used and you shouldn't have to defend the decision. Make sure, through good orientation, that people are there for the board and are not "reps" (even if they come from a specified sector, geographic region, etc.). A board decision is a board decision, no matter who said it.

10. Evaluation. The entire board should be evaluated annually, but also the Chair should evaluate each director and then meet one-on-one to discuss the results. There should also be a peer review component. Evaluation highlights the training and development opportunities that should be seized.  
Values for Work Places     

     The following values are attributed for making "high performance" work places. In SmartBlog on Leadership, Sue Bingham reports that 70% of U.S. employees are miserable in their jobs. The misery is caused by low morale, and it is argued that putting these five values up front in the work place will improve this.

1. Positive assumptions. Believe people are good and want to do well.

2. Trust. Lack of trust leads to micromanaging.

3. Inclusion. Actually listen to others' ideas when problem solving.

4. Challenge. Set the bar high and allow people to reach their potential.

5. Recognition. Acknowledge positive behaviour immediately.

Here's the article: Click

We did it again, thank you!

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