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  • Scott Ferris

Why You Need a Ghost Executive

For many small and medium sized companies, the need to have full-time staff in some key management positions is increasingly recognized as not necessary. With the growing skill sets available from talented people now in the Gig Economy, you don't need to stress about getting key projects moving in your company.


One of my mentors, a women I have always looked to as a stellar example of determinationation and work ethic, is Caroline Tompkins, the President and CEO of FITT - the Forum for International Trade Training. in 2017, FITT celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Certified International Trade Professional (CITP/FIBP) designation. Caroline once said to me, "If I was going to write my memoir but didn't know how to write a book or get one published I'd probably hire a ghost writer. Someone with the experience, skills and knowledge to get this important project done for me."

When Caroline said this to me was around the time early in 2018 when I was starting up The Saddle Up Management Co. While I had a good idea of what I wanted to do, I was still looking for a good way to describe my services and how I could help companies. The description of a ghost writer nailed it - but in my case I'm not a writer/publisher, I'm a global business development trade professional. That makes me a ghost executive - someone with a depth of skills and experience who can step into a company and take on a project, provide results, help drive growth, and then just as easily step away and only those who saw me, will ever know I exist.


In July 2018, one month before the incorporation of Saddle Up Management, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) published findings from a study it had just completed on the gig economy. https://www.bmo.com/assets/pdfs/wealth/bmo_gig_economy_report_en.pdf As someone with 27 years experience in business development and global trade, with two bachelor's degrees, MBA studies and a Certified International Trade Professional, I am not your typcial temp worker. And there are many people like me now making up a large percentage of the gig economy. Sure there are risks for people who work in this economy, but like any entrepreneur, it's a choice we freely make. If you are hiring professionals like me, that's not your worry. You get to reap all the benefits.

Why Should Your Company Hire Gig Economy Workers

  • Companies get to review and select from a wide range or highly skilled professionals with experience specific to projects that need to get done;

  • The cost savings for companies is real - no desks or other infrastructure needed, no full-time salaries, benefits, pensions, or health plan costs;

  • Gig workers generally provide faster turnaround on work, use more efficient process, are much more flexible and able to meet a company's ever changing needs.

Small and medium sized companies have always had access to temp workers available to help in times of employee shortages, big projects coming along, or when specific skills are needed. The most common example I can think of are accountants and lawyers. At some point in time every small company needs an accountant or a lawyer; but few hire them on a full-time basis. The same thing is true when it comes to growing your business in domestic or global markets. I've been doing some work with small companies that have made some really great products/services and are just starting out on their export journey. The owners of these companies are passionate about their products and services. Their core competency is building or delivering their service. When it comes to business development, especially in global markets, they need help and most importantly reached out to get help. For them to tap into a pool of talented professionals,in a gig economy, has been a game changer. Their growth reflects the fact they made the right decision.


As your company grows it's exciting times; you want to be involved in every aspect and ensure you control what happens. The help you need is out there and we can help your company grow. You will run into situations you are unfamiliar with and when it comes time for you to write your success story, your memoire, the ghosts who have helped you along the way will silently and invisibly stand right beside you.


Standing ready to support the herd, these wild horses survive by relying on each other on Sable Island.

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