HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One…
Loading...

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO's Quest for Meaning…

by August Turak

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
229476,730 (4.89)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
There was a time when the church mined the business shelf for wisdom on managing ministries, leadership and growing your church. In some circles, this is still the rage. August Turak appears to be attempting to do the reverse. Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks recounts Turak’s experience of working alongside the monks at the Mepkin monastery. For seventeen years, what he has learned from the brothers’ example, and that has helped him be a better, more successful CEO. Of course, the monks are not Turak’s only source of spiritual insight. He studied Zen Buddhism with some guy in West Virginia and apparently has watched the Devil wears Prada a lot. His association with Mepkin came through a connection he made the Self Knowledge Symposium (a group of college students he leads, where he shares his spiritual insights). He went for a weekend retreat after a student of his had been spending his time volunteering there. That began his long relationship with the monks.

So what is it exactly that Turak has learned from the monks? The content of this book is not significantly different from any other business self-help book. Turak attributes the monk’s success to: their commitment to quality, their commitment to community, their selfless service, loyalty, the opportunity their life together makes for personal transformation, integrity and their commitment to a higher purpose. Because Turak is writing for the widest possible audience, his appropriation of the monk’s insights are applied far beyond their particular Christian, monastic commitment. He wants to help business people translate monastic style commitment to their organizations.

What makes this book a fun read is Turak’s blend of monastery stories with stories of his own business success and challenges. His spiritual commitments (and personal commitments to running the SKS) has often meant that he has had to forgo opportunities. However these commitments served to pave the way to the particular shape of his success. Hearing his story is part of the fun and of course he makes you wish you knew a bunch of Trappist monks. The Trappist’s Benedictine heritage ensures their commitment to the sacredness of work, as one component of the spiritual life. So it seems natural that Turak can appropriate their insights and experience to the workplace.

I enjoyed this book but I am not sure what I will take from it. Secularizing the insights from the monastery means reducing the spiritual insights and religious commitments of the monks into something useful for everyone. There is something good about this, but it is also part of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ lowest-common-denominator impulse. The monks have a vocation. So do business people. They can learn from each other, but their distinctive call is their greatest gift to the world. I think Turak gets this, but when he talks about getting business’s to commit to their organization’s purpose, this will always be a different order of commitment to me than a Trappists commitment to God, community and prayer. The former may be worthwhile, but is temporal. the Godward life connects us to the Transcendent. I would have difficulty committing to my current organization (in the business world) with the same tenacity that monks devote themselves to God. I don’t think I should, even while I agree that commitment to a common purpose will lead to greater corporate success (in general).

I give this book four stars and think that if you like quasi-spiritual business books, you likely will love this one. I liked it. ;)

Thank you to Speakeasy for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Turak gained business secrets from a most unique source: Trappist monks. Living and working along these monks allowed Turak to gain the previously unknown business secrets that allowed them to develop a successful business portfolio. Using personal stories and descriptions of his business accomplishments, Turak makes a connection with his readers. A great book full of important lessons and messages! ( )
  LandonBookman | Oct 11, 2013 |
You don’t have to be business-minded to appreciate the great arguments that August makes in his book. He takes some of the most intuitive principles, developed by the Trappist Monks as effective strategies for business success, and highlights the intuition and the intelligence behind a business strategy that still has validity in today’s world. ( )
  Zaw | Aug 13, 2013 |
The depth and breadth of Turak’s research is viewed throughout the entirety of this book as he makes comparisons between simplistic and complex business strategies. What does it mean to really transform your way of thought? What is the ideal model? Turak inspires his readers with his brilliant ideas, eloquently presented in a manner that will keep you reading while your brain is trying to keep up with his genius. ( )
  Kasey_D | Aug 13, 2013 |
Why does it seem that in today’s society, we keep finding out that people of the past had things right to begin with? This is yet another installment of the ongoing discussion that continues to remind us that sometimes, the fastest production that can make units in the most cost-effective way is not the best for business. August Turak’s book has no shame when it comes to calling out society today for the ways that we fail to do what needs to be done in ensuring customer satisfaction for the sake of “optimizing” our business practices. An inspiration to us all! ( )
  loveland_sl | Aug 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231160623, Hardcover)

August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award-winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey for seventeen years. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses.

Service and selflessness are at the heart of the 1,500-year-old monastic tradition's remarkable business success. It is an ancient though immensely relevant economic model that preserves what is positive and productive about capitalism while transcending its ethical limitations and internal contradictions. Combining vivid case studies from his thirty-year business career with intimate portraits of the monks at work, Turak shows how Trappist principles can be successfully applied to a variety of secular business settings and to our personal lives as well. He demonstrates that monks and people like Warren Buffett are wildly successful not despite their high principles but because of them. Turak also introduces other "transformational organizations" that share the crucial monastic business strategies so critical for success.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award-winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey for seventeen years. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses. Service and selflessness are at the heart of the 1,500-year-old monastic tradition's remarkable business success. It is an ancient though immensely relevant economic model that preserves what is positive and productive about capitalism while transcending its ethical limitations and internal contradictions. Combining vivid case studies from his thirty-year business career with intimate portraits of the monks at work, Turak shows how Trappist principles can be successfully applied to a variety of secular business settings and to our personal lives as well. He demonstrates that monks and people like Warren Buffett are wildly successful not despite their high principles but because of them. Turak also introduces other "transformational organizations" that share the crucial monastic business strategies so critical for success.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.89)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4 1
4.5
5 8

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,381,911 books! | Top bar: Always visible