John Austin’s secret to his success as the president of Bengal’s three companies — Bengal Transportation Services, Bengal Crane & Rigging and Bengal Logistics — sounds simple. He just merely tries to do it all and has peace at the end of the day knowing he gave it 100 percent. BIC Magazine recently visited with Austin, who discussed who is really “in charge.”
Q: What led to your position at Bengal?
A: I became friends with Shane Tubre, the owner of Bengal, through our married life group at church. He knew I had moved here to be a branch manager at another trucking company. In late 2009, I said to Shane, “Hey, when are you going to let me come and run your company?” He laughed and said, “What do you know about heavy haul?” About a year later, I approached Shane with the possibility of joining the Bengal team. I expressed I wasn’t looking to move since I had planted roots already and called Louisiana “home.” Due to my prior company moving me several times to turn around troubled branches at different locations, they wanted to move me again. Shane said it was then he realized my former company knew the value of my leadership abilities and he would be letting a good thing go if he didn’t bring me on board. He brought me on board as operations manager for Bengal Transportation and Bengal Logistics in December 2010. Shortly after, I was promoted to president of all three companies and have been setting records ever since.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: Though sometimes challenging, I do manage to maintain an overall well-balanced lifestyle for my family and me. I find it somewhat easy to balance the pressures of being a president of a growing company with also being a husband and a dad. Ever so often, I repeat to myself, “Tomorrow’s another day.” Let’s face it, we are only human! If you can stop being serious and act like a kid from time to time, you’d be amazed at how big of a difference that makes in your attitude and decision-making. In overwhelming situations, I have to make time to clear my head and gather my thoughts.
I often hear, “I don’t know how you do it all.” In reality, I merely “try” to do it all. Every day I give it 100 percent, and at the end of the day, I’m reassured knowing that’s the best I could have done in any situation. Even though the demands of a full-time president at a rapidly growing company alone are enough to keep one’s stress level on the rise, it is my family, as well as my faith in God, that puts it all in perspective and gives me the motivation to keep moving forward. I get out of bed every morning, thank God for blessing me with another day and hit the ground running. I love my life, and I love my family. Putting my faith in God has helped instill the best in me, to give me the strength to continue my journey. I try as often as possible “to stop and smell the roses.” It’s not about the destination so much as it is about the journey. I know I’m headed in the right direction, so I might as well enjoy every minute of what I do.
Q: What is your best management tactic?
A: Treating people the way you want to be treated, having a heart for our employees. I try to see everyone as an individual, making this company whole. Without them, there would be no Bengal, at least not even an inkling of where it is today.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “I believe God is managing affairs and that he doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?” from Henry Ford is my favorite quote because I believe by having faith in God, everything will work out the way it was planned. I believe God is in control of our destiny.
For more information, visit www.bengaltransport.com or call (225) 677-8890.