August Turak: Author, Teacher Speaker, Consultant

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 17 years. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses.

Service and selflessness is 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 alike 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 that are so critical for success.

After a corporate career with companies like MTV, August Turak founded two highly successful software businesses, Raleigh Group International (RGI) and Elsinore Technologies. In 2000 he sold his companies to Identify Software and in 2006 the combined companies were sold to BMC Software for $150 million. In 1988 he founded the Self Knowledge Symposium, a nonprofit organization that mentors college students. He received a BA in history from the University of Pittsburgh and is pursuing a Masters in theology at St. John’s University, Minnesota. Turak’s essay, Brother John, won the $100,000 grand prize in the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purpose essay contest. He has been featured in the Wall Street JournalFast CompanySelling Magazine, the New York TimesBusiness Week, and is a popular leadership contributor at Forbes.com.

Drawing on his experience as the protégé of the man who founded the IBM Executive School, 17 years working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, and over 30 years of business experience, Turak offers the power to transform your business and your life in his book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity published by Columbia Business School Publishing. Order now through Columbia Business School Publishing.