Abraham Kamarck Leadership Lessons From The Sky active CEO Podcast

active CEO Podcast #68 Abraham Kamarck Leadership Lessons From The Sky

Abraham Kamarck Leadership Lessons From The Sky active CEO Podcast
Abraham Kamarck – Founder True Made Foods

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Abraham Kamarck about leadership lessons from the sky, being a Naval Aviator, transitioning from the Navy and how a dislike to ketchup led to creating True Made Foods. We also dive into air speed is life and altitude is life insurance, learning to say no, understanding the cultural environment you work in, and placing family at the core of the story.

Abraham Kamarck – Leadership Lessons From The Sky

Abraham Kamarck is a design thinking professional who makes cool products, starts movements and changes behaviour. He is a former Seahawk Helicopter pilot on counter-narcotics missions, business mentor and judge of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region. With a zest for launching multiple businesses in challenging environments, Abraham has lived and been an entrepreneur in more than ten countries including Bulgaria, Ghana, Jordan, Egypt and currently the USA.

Abraham has studied a BA East Asian Studies from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in Business Administration and General Management at the London Business School. His career commenced as a US Navy Naval Aviator and Division Chief for the US European Command, before moving out of Defence Forces to become an independent consultant, CEO of Viomel Limited, Director of Innovation Coexist Foundation, Principal of Maendeleo Ventures LLC and is currently the CEO and Founder of True Master Foods.

Abraham talks about:

  • Growing up in Washington DC and Brooklyn, with diverse cultures, people and food.
  • “Moderation in all things including moderation”
  • Being a fox and not a hedgehog.
  • Remain calm, composed and focused during very complex and high-pressure situations.
  • How to process a lot of information very quickly and get to the most important things first.
  • Aviate, navigate, communicate.
  • Prioritising information as a senior executive or an entrepreneur
  • You have got to realise what is going to kill you, and focus on it first.
  • The importance of having a “tool program”.
  • Not being prepared for transitioning out of the Navy.
  • The core for doing well in business as a start up is saying no!
  • Starting True Made Foods at 38 years old with four kids.
  • Being an entrepreneur and working with the culture in Qatar.
  • No one is really disrupting ketchup yet.
  • Will it pass the five year old test?
  • Why Amazon and e-commerce are valuable for start-ups.
  • The pro’s and con’s of having co-founders.
  • How to figure out that work life balance and get it right?

Active CEO Performance Tip

CEO Flow – It’s the psychological state that we need to get ourselves into where we have an out of body experience, because everything happens so effortlessly. If you’ve planned, prepared and you put yourself in a state where you feel like you are living what you are about to say, then you are more likely to get into that flow state. When you are in flow, everyone engages and connects with you.


“The more people working for equity and not salary the better your company is going to do.” The importance of co-founders, with Abraham Kamarck, on the active CEO Podcast.

“A lot of my aviation training works well as an entrepreneur. In both cases you are basically trying not to die the whole time. You basically use the same strategies. How to process a lot of information very quickly and get to the most important things first? When you are falling out of the sky you don’t have time to spend time figuring out what is happening with the aircraft. You have to identify the problems immediately and fix or save yourself. ” Focusing on what will kill you first, with Abraham Kamarck, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Abraham Kamarck LinkedIn
Abraham Kamarck Facebook
Abraham Kamarck Instagram
True Made Foods www.truemadefoods.com
True Made Foods Facebook
True Made Foods Instagram
NRG2Perform www.nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns craig@nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life

active CEO Podcast #61 Mark Turner Coaching Saved My Life

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life
Mark Turner – Lead Performance Coach Triathlon Scotland

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Mark Turner about how coaching saved my life, losing humility, being vulnerable and establishing a high performance environment.

We also delve into the lessons he learnt working in the Queensland Police Force, being an agent for change, losing it all after selling a highly successful Shapland Swim School franchise, establishing Triathlon Nation and being recruited as the Lead Performance Coach at Triathlon Scotland.

Mark Turner – Coaching Saved My Life

Mark Turner is a leader who focuses on developing people to maximize their potential athletically, unlock their true why and purpose, and creating a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. He is a passionate, driven and humble leader who has raised over $100,000 for Epilepsy Queensland and Special Olympics, Mark Turner.

His education includes an Advanced Certificate in Policing from the Queensland University of Technology; and Management Development Post-graduate Program at Queensland Police Service.

He has a passion for serving the community with 13 years in the Queensland Police Service, a business owner of the Shapland Swim School Everton Park, Head Coach for the Brisbane Girls Grammar School athletics team, General Manager of Healthstream Aquatic and Fitness Queensland, State Manager and Elite Programs Manager AFL Umpiring Queensland and Coaching Director of Tri Nation Triathlon. Earlier this year our guest was recruited as the Lead Performance Coach for Triathlon Scotland.

Mark talks about:

  • Being a shy child, who lacked confidence, growing up in a socially minded family.
  • Key lessons from a thirteen-year career in the Queensland Police Force.
  • Learning how to read people, listen to people and look at behaviours.
  • Switching from serving the community to building your own community.
  • How a lack of humility, meant losing it all.
  • Not being able to pay rent, and not have a job or a business.
  • Putting a peg in the ground and starting again, when he lost it all.
  • Making the decision to go full-time coaching.
  • Living in a mate’s garage and the struggles behind the scenes.
  • Coaching Saved My Life.
  • Excepting he had depression in 2014 after a full breakdown.
  • What he had been through was significant and didn’t need to battle alone.
  • The power of vulnerability is amazing.
  • As humans we are designed to live in communities and be connected.
  • Chasing the dream of being a high performance coach.
  • Lead Performance Coach for Triathlon Scotland.
  • Building open and honest relationships, having a genuine care for the athletes and having the technical expertise.
  • What causes people to react in two different ways emotionally?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Playing the Long Game – It’s so easy to get caught up in the detail of the business and forget to look after the health and wealth of your company long term. Focus on long game and put things in place so that in the future your company is thriving, growing and stepping up the game so you can stay one step ahead of the game in the market place.


“We need to be at our best for the athletes that we coach to get them to be at their best. It’s is the same for us. If we are not at our best, how do we expect the athletes to be at their best?” Being a high performing leader with Mark Turner on the active CEO Podcast.

“Getting the basics right. Getting all the things right that don’t require talent and holding each other to account.  Having environments where there is psychological safety where you can have open and honest challenging and candid conversations between coaches, support staff, athletes-to-coaches.” Mark Turner discusses a high performance environment, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Anyone in a position of leadership whether it is a coach, a teacher, an educator, politician or anyone in a position of influence, the more that they can say, I have had my struggles to and it was really hard.” Mark Turner talks about a real sense of power for being vulnerable, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Mark Turner LinkedIn
Mark Turner Twitter
Mark Turner Instagram
Mark Turner Facebook
NRG2Perform www.nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns craig@nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Mark Turner – Triathlon Secrets For The Age Grouper (E-Book, Coming Soon)

active CEO Podcast 59 Tim Oberg parkrun

active CEO Podcast #59 Tim Oberg parkrun Moving A Nation

active CEO Podcast 59 Tim Oberg parkrun moving a nation
Tim Oberg – CEO & Founder parkrun Australia

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Tim Oberg, CEO of parkrun Australia, about creating a healthier and happier planet, building communities, and parkrun moving a nation. We also delve into his leadership style, CrossFit, anxiety and empowering volunteers.

Tim Oberg – Moving A Nation

Tim Oberg is a charismatic CEO who is inspired to build a healthier and happier planet for his kids, has created a movement that has seen people run 38,771,680km and is a proud mental health advocate. He is a successful entrepreneur, devoted father, passionate cross-fit athlete, an anxiety sufferer, and a man who is driven to move a nation.

Tim has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies and Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education Teaching from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Masters of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University.

His career has included the roles of Managing Director of The Tourman, Managing Director of The Celebrity Planet, President of Active & Healthy Alliance Gold Coast, CEO and Founder of parkrun Australia and has recently commenced a role as Strategic Director Asia Pacific of parkrun international.

parkrun Australia

parkrun is now the largest mass participation sporting activity on the planet. In Australia alone there have been 62,765 events organized by 365 locations, involving 589,122 runners who have completed 38,771,680km. The average person has attended 13.2 parkruns.

Tim talks about:

  • His first entrepreneurial venture as a Mobile DJ during university.
  • How he became “Tim the TourMan”.
  • Guinness World Record for the largest pub-crawl.
  • The challenges and opportunities of starting your own business.
  • People first style of leadership.
  • Not being afraid to employee people better than you.
  • Starting parkrun in 2010 after meeting founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt.
  • parkrun moving a nation
  • Far less about the run and far more about the community connections.
  • Making friends, health and happiness with parkrun.
  • Volunteers gain as much at parkrun as those who participate as walkers and runners.
  • How parkrun has assisted the growth of running clubs.
  • Can the parkrun mentality be successfully transferred to other sports?
  • Why volunteering has been so successful in parkrun.
  • Volunteering is not about sacrificing, but giving.
  • How a panic attack and anxiety has changed his life.
  • Starting meditation and developing a toolkit to manage anxiety.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Own Your Own Mental Conversation – Everyone has a commentator inside their head which owns the voice that you can easily over-consume your version of the truth. The voice that is observing criticizing your own actions, behaviours and thoughts can blur your view on the world. You need to own your own thought-chatter and ensure that it has perspective and clarity. The more we tell ourselves something, the more it becomes in grained and leads to our own truth. If that truth is negative by nature, then it can have a profound affect on your mood, opinion and the ability to make clear and appropriate decisions. Be objective and look at home you can ensure the conversation is positive and open.


“What they are doing is making friends, it is a friendship things, you are making friends with new people in the community. Reconnecting with friends and family who you may have not seen for a while or even seen for a week.” Tim Oberg talks about the drivers of parkrun, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Creating a healthier and happier planet.” Discussing the parkrun mission with Tim Oberg, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Tim Oberg LinkedIn
Tim Oberg Twitter
Tim Oberg Facebook
Tim Oberg Instagram
parkrun Australia www.parkrun.com.au
parkrun Australia Facebook
NRG2Perform www.nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns craig@nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Magnus Grimeland (Antler) – Fast Tracking Entrepreneurs With Antler

active CEO Podcast #30 Magnus Grimeland Fast Tracking Entrepreneurs With Antler

Magnus Grimeland – Founder & CEO of Antler

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Magnus Grimeland about his desire to make a positive difference in the world; excelling as a Norwegian Navy Seal; studying at Harvard University as Facebook launched; global learning’s working at McKinsey & Company; accelerating into Managing Director at Rocket Internet; capitalising on the diverse markets in Southeast Asia with fashion e-commerce companies Zalora and Global Fashion Group; and turning the world’s best talent into great founders of great companies with his new company Antler.

We also delve into three characteristics to be successful; front-loading; failure is not an option; knowing the right time to become an entrepreneur; senior leadership being close to the customers; why it is important to support the direction of your suppliers; fully aligning your own passion with the work you do; and why being healthy allows you to put a lot more energy into work.


Magnus Grimeland is an entrepreneurial catalyst and game-changing futurist who is driven to accelerate global aspiring entrepreneurs through connecting them with compatible co-founders and investors. He is a venture capitalist and angel investor who is on the search for the right talent, drive and ambition to change the world.

Born in Norway he dove in head first to kick start his career as a Navy Seal, before heading to Harvard University to study a Bachelors of Science and Economics. He then exceled as an Associate Principal and Junior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he discovered his true talent, as a leader.

In 2013 he found his feet in the entrepreneurial and venture capital space when he took the reigns of Rocket Internet GmbH as Managing Director, as well as co-founding Zalora Southeast Asia. He then successfully transitioned into Managing Director and COO of Global Fashion Group, which offers over 8,000 brands, and operates across four continents and 28 countries, employing over 10,000 people.

Magnus is currently the Founder and CEO of Antler, a new start-up generator turning the world’s best talent into great founders of great companies. In less than two years he has grown Antler to more than seventy staff and is in the process of expanding to 6 cities across 5 continents in less than one year.

Magnus talks about:

  • The influence of his grandmother on considering the meaning of being on earth.
  • Decided early that he wanted to have a positive impact on the world.
  • Becoming a Norwegian Navy Seal with the intention of being an astronaut.
  • Developing a SPIKE, knowing what drives you and having the grit to make it happen.
  • Deciding to leave the Navy Seals to go to Harvard University.
  • The impact of his teacher at United World College of the Atlantic in Wales.
  • Starting life in the corporate world, and the huge learning curve at McKinsey and Company
  • Taking the leap into the unknown and setting a deadline to make the change from employee to entrepreneur.
  • Any great business must have a great team, validate their business model and identify the tipping point that will lead to incredible growth.
  • Convincing brands that you are a great sales channel for them and why you are the company of choice for the major brands.
  • Being inspired by Steve Jobs who would respond to customer requests and feedback.
  • Creating a platform that enables entrepreneurs a jump from whatever they are doing now into building a truly impactful company, much easier.
  • Antler providing a tremendous network of advisors and external investors and capital that most people would not have access to.
  • Finding that passion, your why and really make a difference for people.
  • Sharing the common passion about what you are building as an entrepreneur.
  • The Antler process and why its global platform enables entrepreneurs in a whole new way.
  • Ironman triathlon as an outlet from work and a form of active meditation.
  • The power of front-loading your work.
  • Taking on one uncomfortable thing every year, ensures you think outside the box.

Active CEO Wellness Tip                                                       

Workplace Motivation – You can’t build a company culture on free snacks in the boardroom or a foosball table in the office. Company culture is built on talking with your team and understanding what motivates each person. What makes them tick, why are they there and what do they want in the future. You also need to remove the negative influencers in a team before they effect the behaviour of other employees. Because this is important for not only for your welfare as a leader, but also to ensure you keep the team, long-term.


“Many people don’t become an entrepreneur, as they get caught up in life instead of setting the direction for your own life.” Why people don’t become an entrepreneur with Magnus Grimeland, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Great teams are put together when every team member knows what they are good at and what they need around them.” Building a great team with Magnus Grimeland, on the active CEO Podcast.

“A lot of start-ups fail not because they don’t have a great team or business model, because they give up when the first challenges arrive.” What challenges entrepreneurs face with Magnus Grimeland on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Magnus Grimeland LinkedIn
Magnus Grimeland Facebook
Magnus Grimeland magnus@antler.co
Antler www.antler.co
Antler LinkedIn
Antler Facebook
Antler Twitter
Global Fashion Group Website
Zalora www.zalora.com
Rocket Internet www.rocket-internet.com
McKinsey & Company www.mckinsey.com
Harvard University www.harvard.edu
NRG2Perform www.nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns craig@nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching www.bengathercole.com.au

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole