August Turak

Author Consultant Speaker

Transformational Organizations

Memories Made At Mepkin

Memories Made At Mepkin
by August Turak
Here is a collection of photos from our recent visit to Mepkin Abbey. We extend a very special thanks to the monks and staff at Mepkin Abbey Monastery for the graciousness and hospitality you provided us during our stay.

Service and Selflessness Spotlight: A Wise Community

by August Turak
The Spirit of Community    Sense of Pride                    Teamwork                    Kinship    Worthwhile Goals                    Leadership                    Shared Sacrifice    Sense of Purpose                    Self-Reliance                    Involvement    Community Culture                    Resiliency                    Dedication    Can-Do Attitude                    Mission                    Resourcefulness

Dedication of New Building: WBC Homecoming 2014        ...

Some Good News

Some Good News
by August Turak
I've just learned that The Boomer Business Owner podcast featuring yours truly just passed 1000 unique downloads.

Many thanks to Charlie Poznek for the opportunity and of course I am thrilled that my message of selfless service seems to be resonating with so many business folks.

Turak Talks on CBS Radio - Career Coach Caroline

Turak Talks on CBS Radio - Career Coach Caroline
by August Turak
On Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 August talked about his book with Caroline Dowd-Higgins on her CBS Radio show, Career Coach Caroline. Turak's book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks was the main topic as he shared business lessons he's learned from the Monks of Mepkin Abbey and how he applied those lessons to his own businesses with super successful results.

Click here to listen to the podcast. Thank you to August for being a terrific guest on Career Coach Caroline last night. The way he uses the lessons he learned from the monks is fascinating and certainly gives the audience a new way to approach their work life. We wish August great success and please keep us posted with his news. - Coach Me Radio, Caroline Dowd-Higgins

 

Turak's Business Secrets on Be More. Achieve More.

Turak's Business Secrets on Be More. Achieve More.
by August Turak
August Turak joined host Chris Cooper on his show Be More. Achieve More. on July 19th, 2103 to discuss his new book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks and how he came to know that the monks hold something of great value to the secular world—the key to business success. There are entrepreneurs and business leaders that are making so much more than profit in their enterprises... They are also giving back to the community and so can you... Turak demonstrates in his own super successful company how the monks succeed in business by practicing the idea of service and selflessness. And how the profits always take care of themselves. Click here to listen! Be More. Achieve More. is broadcast on the Voice...

Rethinking Business: What Is The Real Foundation of Business Success

Rethinking Business: What Is The Real Foundation of Business Success
by August Turak
August Turak guests on “Rethinking Business” a podcast that asks, “What is the real foundation of business success?”  August talks with host Elese Coit about his first book "Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity and how age-old monastic business practices, such as selfless service, hold the key to modern business success. He discusses why businesses must become transformational organizations and why authenticity is the only game in town.

This conversation is hosted by Elese Coit, CEO of TrueChange Consultants, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping companies release the full potential in their people.

August Turak Unplugged on Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks Book

by August Turak
 

In this video, Turak candidly speaks about his first book: Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO's Quest for Meaning and Authenticity (Columbia Business School Publishing; July 2013). He shares a behind the scenes look at why he first went to Mepkin Abbey back in 1996. Attributing much of his success as a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award winning author to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, he explains he never could have imagined then that he would write this book... A book that shares the secrets he learned firsthand from the monks as a frequent monastic guest as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses.

Order now through Columbia Business School Publishing

The Power of Why: 5 Keys to Getting Business Right

by August Turak
The mission of Truliant Federal Credit Union is to enhance the quality of life of our members and become their preferred financial institution.

I recently finished a draft of a book based on Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks; an article I wrote for Forbes that tries to explain why a small group of elderly monks who work only four hours a day in silence are such spectacularly successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. The book draws on the seminal work of Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey to argue for an ancient yet emergent leadership model based on service and selflessness that I call the Transformational Organization. Peak performance results from a passionate commitment to a mission worth serving and this is what...

The 11 Leadership Secrets You've Never Heard About

by August Turak
The old distinctions between leaders and followers are gone. Great followers follow by leading. Here’s 11 ways to make sure you do just that. In 1982 I left a great job at MTV: Music Television for what is now the A&E Network for one reason: to work for Jim Collins. A highly successful executive, Collins poured wisdom into my head by the bucket while keeping me in stitches with his big-hearted Irish sense of humor. One day he said:

“Remember Augie, everybody got a boss. The vice president reports to the president and 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. If you...

EPA on Memorial Day

by August Turak
On Thursday, May 26th 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency held a Memorial Day Celebration and welcomed August Turak as their modern day Renaissance Man and the guest speaker. With 40 years of protecting health and the environment, the United States Environmental Protection Agency knows what it means to recognize the selfless service of others and continues to strive towards what Turak describes as a Transformational Organization. Turak demonstrates through stories and case studies why motivation and passion are in short supply and why these are the two  most important things in life.  

Thank you!! –Elaine Manning, EPA

Great speaker. While society may now view it as just another holiday, we can do all in our power to make sure Memorial Day is properly acknowledged. Great Speaker....

Steve Jobs and MTV: Nine Steps to All the Power You'll Ever Need

Steve Jobs and MTV: Nine Steps to All the Power You'll Ever Need
by August Turak
Authentic power arises from compelling communication. Every great leader is a powerful communicator. It worked for Steve Jobs. Here’s how to make it work for you.

In 1981 I joined Warner- Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC). WASEC distributed The Movie Channel, Nickelodeon, and MTV: Music Television to the nascent cable television industry, and my job was convincing cable television operators to carry our programming.

The first thing my boss did was send me out on the road with Mark Greenberg. For three days we crisscrossed New Jersey calling on clients before returning to New York with a brief case bursting with freshly signed contracts.

I considered myself a pretty good salesman, but I was dazzled by Mark. As we drove through the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan I blurted out his secret,...

10 Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School

10 Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School
by August Turak
But failure was not an option for Mobley, and after many a dark night of the soul he hit upon the answer that turned IBM into the fastest growing and most admired corporation in the world…

In 1955 IBM’s legendary CEO, Tom Watson Jr., gave my mentor, Louis R. Mobley, a blank check and carte blanche to create The IBM Executive School. Fresh from successfully implementing IBM’s first supervisor and middle management training programs, Mobley confidently set about churning out executives as well.

The first thing he did, in conjunction with GE and DuPont, was hire the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the same company that still does the SATs, to identify the skills that make great leaders great. Once these intellectual skills were identified, Mobley and his colleagues at GE...

Making the World Go Round: What You Must Know About Success and How Business Really Works

Making the World Go Round: What You Must Know About Success and How Business Really Works
by August Turak
Success always results from unpredictable “happy accidents.” The secret to success is becoming happy accident prone, and these 6 steps will teach you how to do just that.

I asked a highly successful entrepreneur one time how he had managed to sell so many of his companies. “I’ve never sold a company in my life,” he said with a broad grin. “I just know how to bump into the right people.”

Despite what business school professors would have you believe, business is not a cold blooded science. Success can’t be turned into a step by step approach like working out a geometry proof. This doesn’t mean there is no method to the madness of business. Being able to tell a receivable from a payable does...

5 Ways that Steve Jobs, Steve Denning, and Peggy Noonan are Dead Wrong

by August Turak
I’m a fan of Steve Denning and this column has repeatedly praised Steve Jobs. I religiously read Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. But as another hero of mine, Popeye, would say, I’ve had all I can stands ‘cause I can’t stands no more. It’s time to right some wrongheaded thinking about why great companies die.

 

In 1985 I became VP of Sales for a start-up called Applied Control Systems (ACS) that made PC based inventory and accounting software for restaurants. I soon discovered there that were 25 competitors selling a similar product. Worse, at the time very few mom and pop restaurants had a PC or plans to buy one. This meant a “two step sale.” We had to sell a third party PC...

Start With Leadership

by August Turak
What do I do? It’s always better to manage culture, not people. Start today by being the person who shows a dedication to hard work, selflessness, and your customers. Your colleagues will follow suit.

Don't figure it out, find out: Make a commitment to excellence and keep it. Find out what Turak is really offering those who are willing to take the trip. Begin by leading yourself. Read how Turak suggests that you overcome the resistance that creeps up even when you are doing your best to put others first. Start by doing small things. Read Turak’s response to the question: What did you lose, and find out what was at stake as he was transformed from a selfish to a selfless person. Demonstrate leadership...

Leadership Secrets from a Navy SEAL

Leadership Secrets from a Navy SEAL
by August Turak
Even in great pain, faced with the test of his life, a Navy SEAL has to have the ability to step outside his own pain, put aside his own fear and ask: How can I help the guy next to me?

Scientists constantly caution against “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias is just a gussied up way of saying that to the man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. If, for example, we believe that people are lazy we will see laziness whereever we look. I try to be objective, but everywhere I look I still find confirmation that service and selflessness is the key to success.



Eric Greitens, a Navy SEAL, recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal called The SEAL Sensibility. Greitens...

Goosebump Leadership and the Death of the Big Idea

Goosebump Leadership and the Death of the Big Idea
by August Turak
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard…” - John F. Kennedy

If you put me behind a telescope I would be hard pressed to find the night sky, let alone Venus. But notwithstanding an astronomical education largely limited to cable TV, when I fantasize about what I would do with Bill Gate’s or Warren Buffet’s money, I often think I would fund space exploration.

People are often surprised by this admission. First they ask what space exploration has to do with my philosophy of service and selflessness or my interest in mystical spirituality.  Then they flourish their trump card: “Don’t you...

Job One for Leaders

Job One for Leaders
by August Turak
One day a student approached a Zen Master.

“Master,” he said, “what is Zen?”

“Attention!” The Master replied.

“Yes Master, but what is Zen?”

“Attention! Attention!”

“Yes Master,” the young man repeated, “but what is Zen?”

“Attention, Attention, Attention!” The Master said and then he walked away. ♦           ♦           ♦ As CEO I always told job applicants that my primary job was increasing pressure while decreasing stress. Most people equate pressure with stress, but they are actually not synonymous. So what is the difference between pressure and stress?

When my loved one is undergoing a serious operation as I pace in the waiting room, the surgeon is under pressure while I am under stress. In this scenario both the surgeon...

5 Ways to Keep Prospects from Picking Your Pocket

5 Ways to Keep Prospects from Picking Your Pocket
by August Turak
As I moved from sales into management, I also moved from the sell side to the buy side of the proverbial “street.” And as a buyer I became involved in a strange ritual. At the end of each month my phone would ring incessantly as sales reps desperate for business eagerly tried to outdo each other offering me discounts.

Usually price had little or nothing to do with the fact that I was not ready to make a decision, but since these reps never bothered to ask, I felt no obligation to tell them. Instead I played along and usually negotiated an even lower price than they initially offered before finally telling them that the timing was just not right. Each...

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...