The expectations were high.  We heard from classmembers of 2011 and from this year’s leaders that Paul Voss’ speech on Transformational Leadership was the best of the best.  I was not disappointed.

This afternoon, at the beautiful/traditional Cherokee Town Club in the heart of Atlanta’s business center–Buckhead–was a brilliant backdrop for Dr Voss’ talk. Voss insists, “Building a successful career requires hard work, dedication and specialized knowledge—and most importantly,” according to Voss, “we individual Catholic business leaders must incorporate Ethos, Logos and Pathos into our business philosophy in order to be directly affective in our respective fields.”

Voss describes the importance of Aristotle’s business viewpoint as opposed to the Sophists of his day. To Aristotle—and from my reading St Augustine would concur—there are three concepts which should govern the individual and co-oporative citizen:  ethos, logos and pathos.

ETHOS refers to the ethical character of the “seller.’  As an individual businessperson– this would be your “reputation.”  Are you, as a business person worthy of my trust? Are you professional, honest, reliable? Are you sincere?  Or are you phony and goofy?  Why, in the final analysis should we listen to you?  What is your reputation in the office?

The second aspect of Voss’ talk is LOGOS.  Logos is the appeal of the businessperson to one’s “logic” or “reason.”  Logos often refers to the type and quality of the evidence presented. Logos measurements usually take the form of a number: revenue, sales, growth, batting average, profits, grade point average… is the evidence factually correct?  Incorrect evidence will cause credibility problems.  If the evidence cannot be trusted then the speaker/seller cannot be trusted.

Finally, the third aspect of ethical businesspersons according to Voss is PATHOS.  Pathos is an appeal to the emotions and supposition of the audience.  We must consider the audience when making an appeal and persuasion to desired results. Failure to understand or consider “audience” often leads to ineffectiveness.