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Business Secrets of the Trappist MonksOne CEO's Quest for Meaning and Authenticity$
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August Turak

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160629

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160629.001.0001

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Ethical Standards, or, Why Good Things Happen for Good People

Ethical Standards, or, Why Good Things Happen for Good People

Chapter:
(p.115) 8 Ethical Standards, or, Why Good Things Happen for Good People
Source:
Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks
Author(s):

August Turak

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231160629.003.0008

This chapter explains how adherence to the highest ethical standards contributes to business success by highlighting the case of the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey. A reputation for honesty and integrity is one the “intangible assets” that pays off in ways we can never fully anticipate. It is Mepkin's commitment to its core principles that makes ethical decisions easy even when the pressure is on. At Mepkin, the monks are rooted in a tradition that transcends the kind of everyman-for-himself mentality that so often leads to unethical behavior under pressure. In addition to the obvious role that religious morality plays, this chapter discusses three additional monastic secrets to ethical behavior that we can all learn to emulate: a long-term attitude, detachment, and aiming past the target. It argues that ethical behavior, like all the Trappist virtues, is one of the things that taking the Hero's Journey of personal transformation from selfishness to selflessness brings about.

Keywords:   ethical standards, business success, Trappist monks, Mepkin Abbey, ethical behavior, detachment, Hero's Journey, personal transformation, selfishness, selflessness

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