Join me for an interview with August Turak, author of “The Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks”. Augie discusses his spiritual quest, how it led him to Mepkin Abbey, and eventually extraordinary business success. We discuss how selflessness and a total dedication to service can produce both a transformation of being and success in the workplace. His words are especially important for those of us who work in schools on behalf of children.
August Turak is a corporate executive, entrepreneur and award winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist Monks of Mepkin Abbey for over 17 years as a frequent monastic guest. After a corporate career with companies like MTV, August Turak founded to highly successful software businesses, Raleigh Group International and Elsinore Technologies. In 2000 he sold his companies to an Identify Software and the combined firms were eventually acquired by BMC Software for $150 million. In 2004 Turak won the $100,000 grand prize in the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purpose Essay Contest for his essay Brother John. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and the New York Times, and is a popular leadership contributor for Forbes.com and the BBC radio show, Money Matters. Turak lives on a 75 acre cattle farm outside Raleigh, NC.
At its heart work is a spiritual endeavor. Educators spend much of our waking lives in the classroom or at school. It’s a place where our values and beliefs are revealed and manifested for no matter how hard we may try to compartmentalize our work lives from our home lives, in truth we have only one life…and one self. August Turak takes us far beyond the typical leadership tips and techniques so common in business books to examine the mysterious inner currents of successful organizations.
At the heart of Augie’s book is a deep rooted belief that life, and therefore work, is a spiritual quest, a yearning for transformation. He describes how “transformational organizations” …those that pursue service and selflessness as their main goal, (I would argue that schools should be exemplars of this) reap success as a by-product. By embodying our values and beliefs and pursuing spiritual growth…and selflessness, we can find meaning and professional success.
Augie’s premise is insightful and extremely relevant for educators. His amazing life story takes us behind the scenes at Mepkin Abbey, MTV, and his two highly successful software businesses, Raleigh Group International (RGI) and Elsinore Technologies to see how service and selflessness can help one thrive professionally and at the same time bring meaning to our personal lives.