33voices interviews August Turak, author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks.
Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks
Few would argue that Phil Jackson is amongst the greatest coaches in professional sports. With 11 NBA championships on his resume, his record is without peer – but, being a few years removed from coaching, I am convinced that it was his unorthodox approach to leadership, and life for that matter, that made him a towering figure in NBA land. He may have earned the title ‘the Zen Master’ because of his calm demeanor, but ask anyone who has had the privilege to play for him, and you’re likely to hear that his true greatness lay in his almost magical approach of transforming a group of young, ambitious individuals into an integrated championship team.
After winning his last title with the Lakers, he revealed that while ‘some coaches are obsessed with winning trophies; others like to see their faces on TV. What moves me is watching young men bond together and tap into the magic that arises when they focus – with their whole heart and soul – on something greater than themselves. Once you’ve experienced that, it’s something you never forget.”
Too often in business, leaders use sports analogies to rally their teams, but it’s a rare occasion when that spirit lingers – unless perhaps its a monastery. August Turak was a highly successful entrepreneur when he discovered that his life was missing meaning. So, he turned to the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey for answers. In his book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks, he unveils the unconventional approach that the monks have used to build an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses, it starts with this belief.