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It's Not What We Think but How We Think: 3 Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School

It's Not What We Think but How We Think: 3 Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School
by August Turak
About a year after we started our company an ice storm shut down the city. Yet despite some hilarious misadventures that were quickly embedded into our corporate mythos, we all made it to work.  Three days later I ran into a friend at the gym who worked for the state of North Carolina. Surprised to see him during business hours, he told me that state employees were still off for the ice storm.

“I don’t get it.” I blurted forgetting my manners. “You can’t get to work but you get to the gym?  We worked right through the ice storm.”

“You don’t care about your people,” he retorted obviously stung.

“No,” I said, “We care very deeply about our people. We just call...

Triangle AMA Event

Triangle AMA Event
by August Turak
On January 20th August Turak presented "Cutting Through the Noise: Turning Products and Services into Iconic Brands" at the Triangle Marketing Association luncheon in Raleigh, NC. Following the event, president of the Triangle AMA, Shane Johnston said: "We definitely recommend Augie for another event, including our own!" Comments from Attendees: Excellent presentation. Great verbal & visual examples to get points across. –Leigh McLeod, Bank of America

Much of this speaks to psychographics. The underlying emotions aspirations of the audience we seek to tap into as part of marketing. -Diane Staton Loved the Mad Men Clip – it really taught a good lesson & provided a good example. -Emma Finch, University Conference Services Great! I just wish we had more time. Maybe...

NASCAR, Coca Cola and Transformation

by August Turak
You gotta’ check out this recent Coke ad:



Updating and reusing the iconic commercial from the 1970's was EXACTLY what I recommended Coke should do in an article I wrote for Ad Age, What Bolsters the Bottom Line? Selfless Marketing.

It may be a coincidence but I still feel pretty smart!  Either way this is another data point demonstrating that the defining trend of the 21st Century is going to be a transformation of being from selfishness to selflessness.

3 Keys to Competing

by August Turak
3 Keys to Competition



Listen as August Turak expands on the 3 Keys to Competing, his most successful article on Forbes.com yet, in this recent interview with Doug Foresta, host of the "Doug Foresta Show" (previously BreakFree to Success) on Blog Talk Radio leaving listeners with the keys to unlock the doors standing between you and the creativity that is essential for your success in business and life.

Top 5 Ways to Cultivate Successful Character Traits

Top 5 Ways to Cultivate Successful Character Traits
by August Turak
Years ago I was interviewing with a tough, no nonsense, all business CEO. At the end he called in his head of human resources and tartly said, “Scrub his references.” Then he turned to me, “Listen, I don’t want a bunch of your friends. I only want people you worked for or with.”

“We have a problem.” I replied. “Everyone I’ve ever worked with are my friends.”

In this Forbes.com video, The Three Key Traits that Will Get You Hired,Mike Bormant, the CEO of Blue Coats Systems, surprisingly argues that humility is the single most important attribute that a leader must have. While modestly admitting that most of us might find his priorities “atypical,” I was extremely impressed and pleasantly surprised.

As an example of...

3 Types of Transformation

by August Turak

Spirituality is Already Successful

by August Turak

Turning Products and Services into Iconic Brands

by August Turak

West Michigan Business Rap

by August Turak
After hearing Turak speak at the West Michigan AMA, Michael Ritsema, President of i3 Business Solutions, LLC was moved to not only blog about it on his company site. In his own words: I find August Turak's message of selfless service by putting aside preconceived notions and questioning everything compelling. This notion of choosing to change not only one's personal or business condition but one's entire being reaches beyond business value to transformational spiritual implications.

The idea of improvement through focusing on serving others was a notion that I wanted my entire organization to hear. Then it occurred to me that this message was bigger than just my company. I wanted everyone to hear it. August's concepts and ideas are vital to the growth of our...

Listen to Brother John Essay

by August Turak
Streaming audio version: Listen to Brother John Essay

Lecture Menu

by August Turak
What’s the Business of Business? Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School What makes a great leader? Is success a function of skills or something much bigger? Why is most leadership training a waste of money? How do we stop managing and start getting results? What is the teleocratic business model?

In 1979 August Turak moved in with Louis R. Mobley and his family to learn first-hand from this legendary founder and first director of the IBM Executive School. In this deeply personal and highly inspirational talk, Turak reveals the leadership secrets, now largely lost, that Mobley invented to transform IBM Corp. into the most successful company in the world for the next two decades. Using case studies drawn from his own highly...

Giving Away Credit, Is It Worth It?

Giving Away Credit, Is It Worth It?
by August Turak
My first service and selflessness business lesson came as a complete surprise. I was just 23, only four months into my first “real” job flogging 3M copy machines, and had just been named the New England region’s “Salesman of the Month.”  Somewhere a voice started yelling, “Speech! Speech!” and instantly it was echoing throughout the room.  Utterly unprepared, I stumbled to the podium and looked out over a sea of reps, managers, and executives. Almost all were strangers to me. Genuinely moved, I started mumbling that I owed all my success to my manager, Kevin Moriarty.  Suddenly my fifteen minutes of fame was cut short by cat calls.  “The hell with Moriarty!” shouted our Boston manager.  “That no−good Irishman gets plenty...

Moving People Means Moving Products

by August Turak
Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of everywhere into here. Where did you get those eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through. What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry spikes left in. Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here… George Macdonald In a recent article for Forbes, Lessons from Mad Men: Sales Tips from Don Draper, I described this clip from Mad Men as the most moving three minutes of television I’ve ever seen. And in an article for Ad Age, What Bolsters the Bottom Line? Selfless Marketing, I alluded to it as an example of how the emergent business trend toward spirituality can be applied to business...

Why Google is Losing Billions

Why Google is Losing Billions
by August Turak
Why Google is Losing Billions

Listen to August on Blog Talk Radio as Doug Foresta, host of Breakfree to Success, gets August Turak to reveal why Google is losing billions of dollars and why paying employees more money makes them work less. Turak shares why creativity, meaning and purpose are so important in the workplace.

The Creative Leadership

The Creative Leadership
by August Turak
Creative Leadership

In August Turak's previous  interview on Breakfree to Success with Doug Foresta, Turak shared Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. Answering the question: What do people really want? Turak left listeners wanting more of the transformational tools necessary to succeed in life.

In this Part 2 episode, Turak shares lessons on creative leadership with Doug Foresta and Blog Talk Radio listeners. Find out how you can improve your leadership skills and what creativity has to do with it all by listening now.

Didn't hear Part 1? Click here to listen to the Interview that lead to this follow up Blog Talk Radio appearance.

The College Question

by August Turak
I’ve often wondered if college makes people successful or successful people go to college. If smart, driven people seek out college then we have the cause/effect reversed. I remember a study done years ago on achievement motivation. The study concluded that education does NOT produce achievement motivation. Instead people with achievement motivation seek out education. Someone sent me this Chronicle of Higher Education article recently and that got me wondering what you think about the question, “What is a college degree really worth?” Here's an excerpt from the article: Higher education has a public-relations problem. Family incomes are stagnant, but tuition keeps going up. Many students who begin college don't graduate. Even among those who...

Why I'm Conflicted about Conflict

by August Turak
Louis Mobley, my mentor and the founder of the IBM Executive School, considered optimizing between conflicting value systems critical to good decision making. One of the most difficult challenges every great leader must face is optimizing between win/lose and win/win approaches to problem solving. A friend recently sent me this YouTube video on conflict resolution, and while neither she nor I can recommend it, it did spark some thinking, which is never a bad thing even if its critical thinking. What bothers me about this video is the implicit premise, so prevalent today, that all conflict between human beings is a bad thing: that every difference of opinion can and should be negotiated in the cooperative spirit of win/win. Either/Or is one of...

Business Secrets of the Trappists

by August Turak
For more than 12 years I have been going to a Trappist monastery in Moncks Corner, SC, called Mepkin Abbey. As a monastic guest, I wear a habit and temporarily live the life of a Trappist monk. I go primarily for spiritual reasons, but as a businessman and entrepreneur I am fascinated by the worldly aspect of the monastic life.



The business secrets of the Trappists that August Turak learned through his relationship with the monks of Mepkin Abbey are at the heart of the ancient yet emergent business model he calls service and selflessness.

He outlines these monastic secrets and their application to your business in: A four part Forbes.com series:

Blog Talk Radio Interview: The Hero's Journey

Blog Talk Radio Interview: The Hero's Journey
by August Turak
Hero With A Thousand Faces

Doug Foresta, host of Breakfree to Success, questioned August on the power of service and selflessness. With a thorough explanation of Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces and it's transformative applications to the everyday non-heroic lives we all lead, this is a must-hear interview!

There were so many great questions from Doug, that they ran out of time prompting him to send us this email: Please pass along a big THANK YOU to August for coming on the show! He is truly amazing! I would love to schedule a part 2 to have him come back - there is so much more I'd love to have him share with listeners. Listen to Part 2 of this interview, Creative...

Radio Interview: How to Set a Mission as an Entrepreneur

Radio Interview: How to Set a Mission as an Entrepreneur
by August Turak
Mr. Turak was interviewed on E-Factor radio on 8/30. Listen to the archive on www.smallbizamerica.com!

Turak discusses his secrets for becoming a successful entrepreneur. Always aim past the target; have a higher goal than making money. Higher missions can and should be intimately connected to every aspect of your business through your management model. Service and selflessness is a model specifically designed to prove that it is in your own self interest to forget your self interest. You will be more successful the more you focus on your mission.