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Winding River resident Joe Koletar’s third book targeted to businesses, “Rethinking Risk: How Companies Sabotage Themselves and What They Must Do Differently,” will be available for purchase this week.
During his career as a fraud investigator, Koletar wrote extensively about fraud in various professional journals, leading to another career for the now semi-retired expert.
“I started writing an article for a professional journal. I got carried away,” he recalled.
Koletar’s first book was “Fraud Exposed: What You Don’t Know Could Cost Your Company Millions,” which was marketed to businesses as a way to prevent fraud and embezzlement.
“I’ve been on study teams with psychiatrists to determine why people do it, and it’s not the bad guys…The average [embezzler] is 45-55 years old, and 93 percent of them have no criminal record. They usually have about 10-15 years with the company.”
His latest book aimed at helping businesses is about fraud and dealing with all types of risk.
“What I got interested in is why companies are not smarter. I took the fraud issue as an example of risk in general,” he said.
Koletar said the main problems companies have are trusting their assumptions, not organizing information and misunderstanding risks.
One of the business owners profiled in the book is Eddie Gartner of Fast Eddie’s Texaco Xpress Lube in Shallotte, where Koletar has taken his car for the past several years.
“When I interviewed him, he talked about how he trained his technicians. He said, ‘I tell them to clear their minds.’
“He says, ‘Clear your mind, and let the customer talk. Try to understand the situation before coming to a conclusion.’”
Gartner said he was flattered when his longtime customer approached him with the idea.
“As a customer, he sat around many times and observed things I did in business. He approached me and said he wanted to write about my management style,” Gartner recalled.
He said the “personal touch” is what sets him apart as a successful business owner. Gartner has owned Texaco Xpress Lube for the past six years.
Not jumping to conclusions is one way to manage potential risks, Koletar explained.
Another, he said, is to focus on the people in your business rather than putting all your faith in numbers and data.
“People are your most productive source of information,” he said.
“Rethinking Risk” is published by AMACOM, a division of the American Management Association and is available at amacombooks.org, amazon.com and other bookseller websites.