August Turak

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CBEX Presents August Turak

CBEX Presents August Turak
by August Turak
CBEX Speaker Series Transforming Business A conversation with August Turak Charlotte Business Exchange is pleased to be hosting successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award winning author, August Turak for a conversation about values & business. The public event will be held on May 1st from 7 - 8:30am at the UNC Charlotte Center City campus. A book signing follows at 9am. Tickets are $25 before April 15th and $30 after. A special student and non-profit rate is available for $20. Date: Thursday, May 1st Time: 7:00am – 8:30pm Booksigning: 8:30am – 10:00am Location: UNC Charlotte Center City (parking) Event Sponsors   See http://www.cbex.biz for more details and ticket purchase.

The Life-Changing Leadership Secrets of The Trappist Monks

The Life-Changing Leadership Secrets of The Trappist Monks
by August Turak
August Turak recently joined Terry "Starbucker" St. Marie on The More Human Leadership Podcast to discuss Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. Listen to the podcast to discover... Why August drove through the gates of the Mepkin Abbey in 1996 How his observations of service and selflessness led to a popular Forbes article, and then the book How to “aim past the target” to a higher purpose The big difference between having a mission and having a plan Why having a coach and mentor is so important to your mission Why leadership has to be about something “worth doing” The essential task of leadership  What really made Darth Vader evil How leadership success relies on keeping promises- even the smallest ones. What the Monks and Warren Buffet have in common If...

Purity of Purpose

Purity of Purpose
by August Turak
It's a long story that should be book: A book I'd write if I thought anyone would believe me, but I once met and befriended an American man who had spent 17 years fighting to the death in an Asian underground martial arts circuit.

He happened to be staying at my house for his birthday so I threw a small party for him replete with chocolate cake. Taking a big fork full of cake he grinned and said, "I love chocolate cake. But for 17 years I never had a slice because I was always in training."

"How often did you fight?" I asked.

"Two, maybe three times a year," he replied.

"So do you really think skipping a couple slices of cake made a...

Business Secrets Wins Axiom Book Award

Business Secrets Wins Axiom Book Award
by August Turak
My editor at Columbia University Press just informed me that Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks is now an award-winning book. I was delighted to hear this and wanted to share the news with all of you and thank you once again for your help in making my book so successful.

Hi August - I'm delighted to let you know that your book has been awarded a silver medal in the Business Ethics category of the Axiom book awards (believe me, we think it should have been gold!). Congratulations! There will be an award ceremony in May in New York, should you wish to attend. The Axiom Business Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary business books and their...

Gone... But Not Forgotten

Gone... But Not Forgotten
by August Turak
March 18th was my brother Jamie's birthday. 12 years ago he, my brother Dan and my brother Tom were snowmobiling in the Rocky Mountains near Vale when they veered off the trail in whiteout conditions and -40 degree temperatures. One, two, three they all plunged over a 400 foot cliff.

Though seriously injured Dan and Tom managed to dig a snow pit and crawl in, but there was no sign of Jamie. When the rescue workers finally reached them they said they had found Jamie but "he is not breathing." He had plunged head first into a snow drift and unable to free himself Jamie had smothered.

For several years after his death I suffered from what I can only assume was...

Turak Named Keynote Speaker for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

Turak Named Keynote Speaker for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network
by August Turak
August Turak has been named the keynote speaker at the OEN's Angel Oregon Spring 2014 Showcase which is being held on April 16th, 2014.

Whether you're an early-stage entrepreneur hoping to gain visibility for your company, an investor looking for the Next Big Idea, or a business leader seeking new connections, OEN hopes you'll join them on April 16 at The Sentinel Hotel (formerly The Governor) in Portland, OR.

This Showcase event will feature the three finalists from OEN's Angel Oregon Investment Program and introduce you to the state's most exciting early-stage companies—from consumer goods to biotech to cleantech to software.

Where & When The Sentinel Hotel (formerly The Governor Hotel) 614 SW 11th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Start: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM End: Wednesday, April...

Business Secrets Released in Korea and Taiwan

by August Turak
Good News! My book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks has been translated into Korean and Chinese for release in Korea and Taiwan.

I just heard that a Portuguese version will soon be released in Brazil.

My congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Justine Evans at my publisher Columbia University Press for doing these deals.

Here's a picture of the book covers side by side!



Here's a comment and photo from a Korean fan who purchased a copy of the new translation! Image my delight when I got this message. I read your book. Thank you for a great book." - JuHyun Mun

나는 당신의 책을 읽었다. 좋은 책을 가져 주셔서 감사합니다.

Unplugged with August Turak

Unplugged with August Turak
by August Turak
Behind the Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks 12 hour audio workshop with author August Turak In this 12-hour audio series August Turak talks in-depth about each chapter of his best-selling book Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2013). August personally explains the principles of selfless service and how to apply these Trappist secrets to our corporations, non-profits, families, and even our personal lives with equally explosive results. Each audio lasts one hour and focuses on one chapter of his book.

The audio workshops are hosted by Elese Coit, CEO of TrueChange Consultants. Elese is well known for her intimate talks with thought-leaders as the host of the radio show, A New Way to Handle Absolutely Everything.

Dive deeply into the backstory...

How I Won Isabel's Heart

How I Won Isabel's Heart
by August Turak
"In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." - Alfred Lord Tennyson I keep telling people that when service and selflessness pays off it pays off in ways you can't anticipate or expect. Well it just happened for me.

A Mexican-American bricklayer repaired a wall for me last weekend. On Sunday he brought along his 5 year-old daughter, Isabel as well as her 8 year-old big brother, Josh. Isabel has long black hair to middle of her back, BIG dark eyes, perfect features, and a beautiful smile that is actually enhanced by the temporary gap where her front teeth used to be.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I was a goner the moment I set eyes...

Tears and Cheers: A Touching Moment in an Unexpected Place

Tears and Cheers: A Touching Moment in an Unexpected Place
by August Turak
I went to the hockey game last night. During a commercial break they featured a girl of about ten whose father is in the military in Afghanistan. Her Dad surprised her by appearing on the Jumbo-tron. He told her how much he loved her as her eyes welled up with tears. He promised to "be home soon."

Then suddenly her father appeared in uniform walking toward her! The crowd was just as surprised as the little girl and, as she rushed toward her Dad to be swept into his arms, the sold out audience stood and cheered....and cheered...and CHEERED.

The crowd cheered for so long that the game was delayed for a couple minutes as the players joined in by banging their...

What Your Kids Need to Know About Leadership

What Your Kids Need to Know About Leadership
by August Turak
Great leadership is not a skill. Leadership relies on values and attitudes. Here is one attitude that every great leader has. Every month I have dinner with a group of local executives and entrepreneurs. Ostensibly we gather to discuss an assigned reading, but more often than not the conversation devolves into sharing “war stories.” At one meeting, a highly successful serial entrepreneur told us that upon graduating from high school he decided to take a couple years off, travel the country, and “grow up a little.” Every time he was ready to move on in search of fresh adventures, he would head to the pilot’s lounge at the local private airport. Parking himself near the telephone, he would eavesdrop on pilots...

Food for Thought

Food for Thought
by August Turak
Who Is Exploiting Who?

Years ago I read a fascinating biology book about how animals and plants "manipulate" and "exploit" people. From a biological perspective the goal of the game is to pass on genes.

From this perspective while an apple tree's competitors are busy going it alone and perhaps going extinct, the apple tree has shanghaied human beings into doing all the heavy lifting involved in survival and reproduction. While we may THINK we are "exploiting" the apple tree for its apples, in fact that apple tree is "baiting" us with apples just like a flower baits bees with pollen. In this sense we are the "suckers" not the apple tree.

If you buy the biological argument then the same might be...

We're All Salesmen

We're All Salesmen
by August Turak
Jim Collins, my wonderful boss at what is now the A&E Network used to say: “Remember Augie, everybody got a boss. The vice president reports to the president. The president reports to the CEO. The CEO reports to the chairman of the board, and the chairman reports to his wife. All God’s children got a boss.”

Alfred North Whitehead said that the European philosophical tradition is just a series of foot notes to Plato. Many of my ideas are just foot notes to Jim Collins, and one of those ideas is, like it or not, all God’s children are in sales as well.

At heart sales is just the science of persuasion, and every day in many different ways our own success...

How to Write a Plan or Proposal That Rocks

How to Write a Plan or Proposal That Rocks
by August Turak
Pat Grotto is one of the most colorful and charismatic leaders I’ve ever met. He is also the only six foot three Italian-American I’ve ever seen. As a top executive, he spent a lot of time reviewing plans and proposals from various subordinates, agency representatives, and outside consultants. Most of these encounters went something like this. Someone would enter his office with a plan or proposal. Ten minutes later I’d hear Pat booming at the top of his lungs, “Don’t tell me how many bullets you’re going to shoot! How many bodies are you going to bring me?” Moments later the poor soul would come tumbling out of his office, and it is only with great difficulty that I remain...

I Leave the Monks Laughing

I Leave the Monks Laughing
by August Turak
I visited Mepkin Abbey over the Christmas holiday for a few weeks of soul inspiring janitorial work with Trappist monks! I thought I'd share this short story about my recent trip to the monastery.

One of my former Duke students sent me a copy of the movie My Life which I had never seen for Christmas. First because she loves the movie, and second because it stars a friend of mine, Michael Keaton - who was kind enough to endorse my book.

It is an "uplifting" flick so I took it with me to Mepkin Abbey and gave the DVD to the abbot, Fr. Stan. Much to my joy he decided to show it over Christmas to the monks and guests. (As...

Happy Thanksgiving - November Newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving - November Newsletter
by August Turak
  “To witness miracles unfold in your experience, count your blessings and be thankful. Perceived small blessings accumulate to be the most powerful.”   ~ T.F. Hodge Service and Selflessness Spotlight:  Thankful Hearts from Helping Hands I'm always saying that service and selflessness pays off in ways we can never expect! I recently read a blog from a dear friend, Chris Duke, that shows just what I mean. It inspires us to offer our hands in service, our thankfulness for what we have and our heartfelt hope reminding us that 'real miracles happen daily!' I invite you to read this touching story about bringing happiness to someone else, the importance of perspective, and the gratitude that comes from an opportunity to serve others.  10 Ways to Succeed in Any Job 

We often switch...

Why Adam Smith Was Only Half Right

Why Adam Smith Was Only Half Right
by August Turak
When Adam Smith argued that human beings are essentially selfish he was not wrong but only half right.  Sure, every baby starts out screaming “Mine, Mine, MINE!,” but while some of us will remain more selfish than others, we all move toward selflessness as we mature. In fact immaturity in adults is usually defined as being “spoiled;” which is just another term for self-indulgent selfishness. In other words the very process of maturation is a journey leading us beyond the innate selfishness we are all born with. Adam Smith was only half right because he didn’t realize that as human beings we are all longing to selflessly “give ourselves away” to something so much bigger and more important than ourselves.

While at...

Can Creativity Be Taught?

Can Creativity Be Taught?
by August Turak
Every great leader is a creative leader. If creativity can be taught how is it done?

In the early 1980s I was trundling along on a New York subway with a colleague when he suddenly said, “14, 18, 23, 28, 34.  What is the next number in this series?”

For the next ten minutes I manfully tried to figure out the mathematical relationship among these numbers. Finally, as we stepped off the subway I admitted I was stumped.  My colleague, with a devilish grin, merely pointed at 42 emblazoned on the wall of the subway station. We had just travelled from 14th to 42nd Street, and it had never occurred to me that the answer was a stop on the subway.  I...