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RALEIGH, N.C. (April 28, 2008) – Forbes.com is currently featuring a must-read essay by August Turak on selfless service, a core value of the American Armed Forces. Military families understand the challenge of translating the spirit of service into the practicality of everyday actions. It is a value that can only be learned through real life experience and sacrifice, and one that requires reinforcement by communities sharing common ideals that help build strength, unity and success, whether in a family or in defense of a nation.
In our current economic upheaval, business leaders are also returning to this fundamental concept. In his essay, "Business Secrets of the Trappists," Turak examines the remarkable results produced by a monastic community dedicated to the principles of Service and Selflessness, providing a field guide for organizations everywhere seeking to instill meaning and purpose into the core of their operations. Recommended by Fred Allen, editor for the Forbes.com Leadership Channel, this essay inspires our highest aspirations of service to the greater good.
The genesis of the story dates back to the sixth century, near Rome. The monk Benedetto drafted a framework of rules for a community structure calling for selfless dedication of individuals in service to the common good. His organizational canon, championed throughout medieval Europe by the emperor Charlemagne, became the preeminent model for monastic life in Western Christianity, introducing ideals of ethics, trust and democratic order, and recognizing nobility in the simplest tasks of labor. In his devotional visits to Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina, August Turak discovered the critical business management precepts at work at the self-sustaining Trappist monastery that thrives, spiritually and commercially -- as have similar orders for 1,500 years – abiding by the Rule of St. Benedict.
August Turak is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and speaker who divides his time between New York City and North Carolina. Turak has integrated an intense, life-long interest in spiritual experience with a highly successful career, and draws from both to teach others how to turn ordinary life experiences into spiritual opportunities rather than obstacles. Though progressive, pluralistic, and theologically liberal, Turak’s principles hearken back to the more traditional values so often impugned in our post-modern, relativistic world. Combined with the rattling good stories that bring his philosophy to life, it is this approach that is striking such a nerve with people all over the world. His writings include "Brother John," winner of the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purpose Essay Contest, also inspired by his experiences at Mepkin Abbey and many other essays that can be accessed on his website, www.AugustTurak.com.
August Turak’s Website: www.augustturak.com/business/index.html