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From the desk of Bob Meyer...
NATE Convention Coming June 2 Thru 5
exchange owners and others involved in the commercial barter
industry will be gathering June 2-5 at the Phoenix Marriott
Mesa Hotel for the National Association of Trade Exchanges
Lauren@natebarter.com or go to
Small Business Owners Fearful & Defensive
business owners won’t start spending again until they’re
more certain of a payoff. Today, rather than spending to
expand (as the economy improves) they are saving cash and
biding their time, just in case the economy turns south
College Grads Treading Water Too
to job placement firm Adecco, about 60% of recent college
graduates have not been able to find a full-time job in
their chosen profession. Last year the unemployment rate for
college graduates age 24 and younger rose to 9.4%, the
highest since the labor department began keeping records in
Barter For Perks Suggests CEO
Technologies of Redmond (WA) trades its software through
trade exchanges for employee perks, says CEO James Wong. An
example was getting 4 tickets to the Seattle Symphony for
each of Avidian’s 35 employees. (The company also traded
directly with a local restaurant for a Christmas party that
would have set them back $5,000.)
back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by
free to forward our newsletter to your friends and
colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the
newsletter for your convenience.
See you next week. . .)
Remembering David Wallach
last week’s issue we reprinted IRTA’s announcement on David
Wallach’s passing. Wallach was 72 and had put forth a relentless,
unwavering five-year battle against inoperable lung cancer. I
remember our first conversation after he had been told the dire news
that he had six months to live.
didn’t accept the 6-month prognosis, choosing instead to immediately
fly to the renowned cancer clinic, M.D. Anderson in Houston, for a
second opinion and various options. Those initial months turned to
years as he determinedly squeezed as much living out of them as
often talked over the intervening years, comparing notes and
suggestions, as well as reminiscing about our love of the barter
business, our earlier years, our travels and experiences. (When
battling cancer one tends to become introspective.)
looked forward to our chats as Wallach was consistently upbeat,
interesting and very focused on being productive in his remaining
time here, even while undergoing his debilitating chemotherapy
treatments. After his initial prognosis, he served almost two terms
(4 years) as President of the International Reciprocal Trade
reiterated time and again that “these days are some of the happiest
and fulfilling times in my life.” He was very grateful for his many
friends and the great support system around him that he lovingly
embraced. Wallach never took his friends or his condition for
granted. And, in helping others, his life was significant.
In Just A Few
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Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On
Valuable New Business?
your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you
are definitely missing out on new business. The web site
BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views
every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the
thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday
Report,” and the “Contacts
Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter
companies with which to do business.
your barter company’s listing up-to-date?
keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A)
update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location,
phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company
has not been listed.
Here’s how to get on board:
make changes to your listing
Trade-Dollar Personal Use Can Enhance Your Lifestyle
Once trade dollars have been transferred to an account for personal
use and accounted for properly, the enjoyment of spending them to
enhance your personal lifestyle begins. Many use trade dollars for
travel and entertainment, restaurants, home and auto repairs,
furniture, day care, remodeling, health and medical services, dry
cleaning, haircuts, or gift buying.
The best part of all is being able to make purchases without
the need to spend cash.
The FIT FACTOR
By Jim Beqaj
Like a sports team, your organization is only as good as the weakest
link: Sport focuses on talent that fits because winning depends on
Organizations need to connect what success looks like from the point
of view of the CEO and board on the one hand, to what success looks
like at every level, in every job, of the organization on the other.
They need to thoroughly assess what each job must do for the company
to succeed and ask whether the person in the job can deliver.
If this isn’t done at every level and for every position, then the
level of success defaults to the weakest fit in the structure. And
like a sports team, your business will be left behind the
I often ask CEOs if they’re prepared to get rid of the people who
don’t fit and don’t buy into the requirements for success.
Interestingly, they often say they’re afraid if they do they won’t
be able to find enough of the right people. That is unfounded. From
my experience as an executive recruiter, there is no lack of talent
out there. The problem stems from not properly defining fit, and
from not knowing what to look for.
A couple of years ago I met with a senior executive who had recently
become head of a business unit in a large company. Stephen was
concerned about major changes he needed to make in his unit. During
the recent market downturn, it had become clear that the unit wasn’t
contributing to the company’s bottom line.
As his recruitment advisor, I asked for more details and he filled
me in on how he was planning to get his employees behind him to
support and execute a major change in strategy. “How’s the depth of
talent in your organization?” I asked. “Do you have the people you
need to successfully execute your strategy?”
We went through his company’s organizational structure. I asked more
questions about the people in each position. By the time we were
finished, Stephen let out a sigh.
“Wow. I’ve got a bigger mess than I thought,” he said. “I’ve been
looking at the business and the people, but I’ve never looked
closely at what is needed in each job to succeed. Obviously I’m
going to have to review many positions and change some people if I
expect to achieve real change.”
Stephen’s problem is all too common in organizations today — he had
been ignoring fit. He had not defined success, position by position.
He had not determined whether the person in each position fit his
unit’s requirements for success
Some companies get it right. General Electric under Jack Welch’s
leadership, for example. Also Isadore Sharp’s Four Seasons Hotels
and Resorts, where employee retention — an average of fifteen years
for employees and twenty-two years for management — tells the tale.
But the majority of organizations have much work to do. Most are
filled with capable people with plenty of talent, but who are in the
wrong jobs within the organization. Sustained success is not
possible for a company with too many wrong fits.
Putting people in the right positions is an ongoing process in
business. Companies aren’t ever going to reach perfection, but it’s
important for them to try. CEOs need to understand that getting the
right fit — the right people in the right positions in the right
parts of the company — is good for everyone.
The first question for management relates to the job, not the
person. Before you ask questions about any particular person in any
particular job — or a new person being recruited — you have to
decide what success looks like in the position, given the goals of
the CEO, board, and senior leadership.
I’m not talking about a standard job description here; I’m talking
about a description of success. It’s not, primarily, about what a
person will do (“lead,” “head up,” “be responsible for”) but what
the outcomes must be (“one million in sales,” “10% growth,” “10%
increase in throughput”).
I always ask, “What are the skills and personality type of the
person that is needed to generate the outcomes in this particular
job?” This is part of a broader examination of growth strategy and
human capital and how they mesh in a corporation.
After management has defined what success looks like in different
positions, it should examine the profiles of the people in those
positions, evaluating them on the basis of the skills,
characteristics, and experience required.
These profiles must be done independently of the people who
currently fill them. Knowledge of and feelings for an incumbent will
create an inherent bias. Jobs too often get defined according to the
incumbent’s skills and personality, rather than as a result of
Step back and ask the next critical questions: “What does the ideal
person look like in this job? What would they need to be good at?
What skills would they have? What specific traits would they have?
What type of people would they need to work well with?”
You won’t always find the ideal fit, but knowing what’s needed for
success will help you determine what the organization can do to
supplement and support the person who is the best available fit.
More often than not you’ll see that people have been “moved up” to
fill positions with little or no evaluation of their fit. They may
have been good in the previous job. However, as we all know, success
in one position doesn’t automatically mean success in the next
position. And yet, this type of move is made over and over. Why?
Because it’s easier.
As a manager, you have to be prepared to put fit before almost
anything else. If you don’t, you’ll get yourself leveraged into a
boatload of dysfunction, negativity, and underperformance.
Start with a clear description of success for the position and then
create the ideal description of the person who can meet the
requirements for success. That defines the best fit. Go out and find
the right person
[Jim Beqaj began his career in investment banking in 1977 with the
investment banking firm Wood Gundy, and at age 37 ended up president
of CIBC Wood Gundy after WG was purchased by CIBC. He subsequently
worked as vice-chairman of the Bank of Montreal and co-founded the
Internet-based IPO company Baystreetdirect.com. In 2002 he founded
Beqaj International, Inc., providing recruiting, coaching, and
business consulting services. Beqaj’s book
How to Hire the Perfect
Employer is available for purchase at all major online
For more information