What’s your view?

A couple of months ago I attended a seminar where I had the privilege of hearing Darci Lang, motivational speaker and author, she spoke to us about focusing on the 90%, the 90% positive that is. Before I attended I really took time to stop and think how I spend a normal day wondering, how it looked for me and whether or not I was focusing on the 90%.


Much to my surprise (and I like to consider myself a pretty positive person) I was literally focusing more on the negative than the positive. All the “hiccups” in a day – work, kids and home life and getting caught up in all the bad, if you will. I really couldn’t wait to hear what Darci had to say about how I could start focusing on the 90%.


From the moment she started speaking I was hooked – but there was one line that struck me… “how are you looking at life and everyday challenges?!” That was it! It was how I was choosing to see things! I needed to make a shift and look through a different “lens.” I needed to stop focusing on all the “hiccups” so to speak in a day because it was consuming me, I needed to start focusing on all the positives in a day, and believe you me the positives truly do outweigh the negatives. As soon as you shift that perspective or change your “lens” it’s quiet amazing how much it can change your outlook on a day.


So, while I was thinking of a topic to share with everyone this month, I knew this was the one I needed to share, “Focus on the 90%.” With all that is going on in the world right now let’s challenge ourselves to focus on the 90% instead of the 10%, start spreading the positive outlook on life and view life through a different lens.


March 16, 2020


Dear SYL Community,


It is with heavy hearts that we announce that we are postponing all in-person SYL events, including Retreat and the Young Leaders Inspiration Awards. These events were set to take place May 26-28, 2020.

As our province and Credit Unions manage the ongoing threat of COVID 19, we want to be proactive in supporting the health and safety of everyone within our communities. Pending updates from Provincial and Federal health authorities, we will update our event details as the situation pans out.


Thank you so much for your continued support; we look forward to seeing you at our events once the situation has passed.




2020 Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee


Have You Pooped today?

Over the past three years, I have had the privilege to volunteer with the Saskatchewan Co-operative Youth program and serve as sector staff at their annual Co-op Camp. The first ever camp that I staffed was the junior level, ages 11-12. I’ll admit, I was nervous being responsible for 35 kids at a remote camp in northern Saskatchewan for a week. What I didn’t factor in was how nervous the kids would be as for some; this was their first experience being away from home and a completely new environment.

In the beginning, there were the first day jitters. By day two, friendships had been formed and the participants were much more social, however, they seemed to be tired, lethargic and complaining of upset tummies. All symptoms of being home sick or nervous to try something new. Suddenly, I was met with a question asked by another staff with an audience of 35, “Steph, have you pooped today?”

This quickly became a moment of reflection for me and I instantly connected this experience to my day to day work and personal life and it all made sense. I took a moment to reflect on my response as I had a very impressionable audience. Then, it hit me. These kids haven’t pooped! That is why they are so tired and lacked energy and focus. They were not hydrated enough, and their nerves had them completely bound up. I replied, “Yup, this morning! Everyone needs to poop!” This of course was met with hysterical laughter. After a few hours, the participants continued to joke about it and there was a lot of talk about poop. This resulted in them not being embarrassed to go and the energy level soared.

By now you are probably wondering how this relates to self-development? We all have things that make us nervous or worried and can hold us back from new experiences. We are naturally inclined to fear change and disruption. When you are met with situations that make you feel stuck, unproductive, nervous or disengaged, you might just need to poop! In other words, discard the things or ideas that are weighing you down and approach new situations refreshed and inspired. This is always easier said then done, and sometimes it’s the simple fact of being able to identify contributing factors that you can then start to chip away at that helps find relief. This has had such a big impact on my own personal and professional development in my career in the credit union system. Even telling this story to a room full of professionals at the National Young Leaders conference helped me to get over my fear of public speaking. I thought I might poop right then and there but it turned into a moment of strength and the opportunity for me to leave my nerves at the door and absorb as much as I could from that experience. It resulted in some incredible networking opportunities and resources.

I’ll leave you now with two requests. First, when you are met with challenges, disruption and change, ask yourself, have I pooped today? You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you are energized and fueled and leave behind the waste that weighs you down. Second, please remember to leave some toilet paper for the rest of us!

Stephanie Burkell SYL 2020 Vice Chair

Affinity Credit Union


The Brain & Business

Do you have an “Internal Monologue”?

A good friend of mine (Thanks Len!) recently shared a blog he came across around the internal monologue that I assumed we all have. You know what I’m saying right – that conversation you have with yourself inside your brain when mulling over a decision or contemplating life? I was stunned to realize that not everyone has this. What was even more shocking was the reaction of those who don’t do this. It got me thinking – what does the decision making process look like for these people? How do they weigh the pros and cons? For me – I almost have a debate inside my mind until I come to a decision. I can hear my own voice working through the options. It’s natural – it’s always been there. Reading the article was shocking yes, but it was also a good reminder for me that everyone thinks and processes things in a different way – and we always need to be conscious of that. My next goal – find out how these people so easily turn it off! Take a read for yourself – and prepare to have your mind blown! https://ryanandrewlangdon.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/today-i-learned-that-not-everyone-has-an-internal-monologue-and-it-has-ruined-my-day/

Ryan Reiss
2020 Chair, Saskatchewan Young Leaders

Own Your Dash

I recently heard about “Own The Dash”.  Dakota Meyer is an American Veteran who’s spearheading this mission. The concept is simple, though it may have somewhat of a morbid undertone. When you die, your tombstone will read DOB-DOD. The two dates listed next to your name are the only ones you live with less than 24 hours in them. The days that contain a full 24 hours are the ones summarized by a single dash. What are you going to do with your dash? What will you do to leave an impact on people? In order to have a positive impact on others, you need to have a positive impact on yourself. What do you need to do to be your best self? How can you make the most of this day? Or month, or year? Extend that to your whole life. It might be something simple like drink more water. Eat the cake. Or DON’T eat the cake (again). Maybe take an art class, join a gym, bake something (and share it), or read a book. Maybe get your ass out of bed and in those runners!

We should also think about how we treat ourselves through external environments. How can we filter external influences in a way that best serve us and in turn those we love. Evaluate how you spend your time. We all know social media has a huge impact on our mental health, so filtering or limiting this is a good first step. If you scroll through negative tweets all day – quit. Both our physical and mental health requires a diet, so make sure it’s a healthy one. How and with who you spend your time affects your dash. Be with those who deserve you company. Spend time with people who make you better and happier.

Now the 2nd part of this is how do you leave a positive impact on people around you? I’m talking about your spouse, kids, family, friends, co-workers, and community. I’m also talking about people you meet one time. The kid you see at school drop off who is always by themselves. The person next to you in line for coffee. The new guy at the office. The person you see at Church once a year. What will you do for those people? How will you make them feel? I encourage you to be kind to them. Give them a smile. Ask for their opinions during meetings. Invite them to your kid’s birthday party. Take an extra snack to share. Tell them a classic Dad-joke or about your favorite episode of The Office. Lend them a book or buy their coffee. Join a volunteer group (or SYL *cough*). Hug people you love an extra second longer.

We need to be thankful for our dash. Look around; what are you grateful for? Not just one time, do this every day.

Your dash can make a difference.


Pamela Anderson, CPA, CGA

12 Days of Thought Leadership

A Time to Reflect

Understanding Personality Styles

Recently at our yearly retreat, we heard from Jolene Watson. She led a great discussion on personality tests and stress management – eye opener! One of the key points that she touched on referenced learning the personality styles of the people you work most closely with. While this seems like common sense, it’s not something that I had really considered up until this point. Why – I have no idea – because it’s pure gold.

There are a few reasons why I think her idea of knowing the personality style of your closest colleagues is one to follow. First of all, these are the people that you spend day in and day out with. Arguably, they spend more time with you than your own family. If you have no idea how or why they make decisions, the potential for conflict is always going to be greater. Now I don’t know about you, but doing things to create a conflict-free environment for my workdays sounds like a pretty good thought!

Second, almost anything can be brought down to your personality style. Your sense of humor, how you recharge, and how you like to be rewarded are just a few. While sense of humor and how you choose to recharge at the end of the day are important to understanding a person as a whole, how they prefer to be rewarded is a large part of creating a unified and cohesive team. Ultimately, you will work better together if you understand that they like to be quietly thanked rather than a large, CU-wide email going out detailing their accomplishment.

Last but not least, the work you produce as a team is bound to soar to new heights. Knowing that your close colleague is a thinker, rather than a feeler, is going to help you allot the right amount of time for those large projects that always seem to pop up. This should create a more contented team at the end of the day, as the timeline set would match their learning and personality styles.

While knowing the personality style of your team is not going to solve all the problems you may have, it would be a large leap towards understanding the people you’re with the most. This is something that I think would come in handy with not just my immediate team, but my larger work unit as a whole and I know that they’re just as stoked as I am to learn their personality style!

To discover your MBTI Personality Profile, there are tons of online tests that can be found. Or for a truly wonderful experience, you can contact Jolene Watson here.


– Larrisa Wesnoski