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5th April 2022
Matt Tenney presents a controversial artifact in business called “Why the Best Leaders
Make Love the Top Priority.” He explains that business leaders who prioritize profits are more
likely to experience complete business failure as opposed to those that prioritize their employees.
When leaders prioritize employees more than profits, they are more likely to succeed than fail.
The employee input pivots the profits via what partners and customers see, hence it is critical for
business leaders to prioritize their employees over profits. The artifact integrates slang language
but still connect with Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm in the specified principles. The employee’s
skill sets that they introduce to the company account for about 85% of the organizational assets
(Tenney). Tenney consistently proposes that talent and efficiency ascertain the growth and pace
of a corporation. I concur with this perspective because employees are a company’s greatest
asset; hence the visual elements and the artifact are justifiable under Fisher’s Narrative
The speech provides multiple values that concur with the narrator’s remarks. First, he
believes that improving employee performance and efficiency is a priority because they directly
provide the organization’s services and products to the consumers. Second, content and happy
employees provide performance-oriented outcomes. However, this may have a negative impact
on the organization’s profits. The third proposition is that workers represent the corporation in its
entirety because dissatisfied workers may spread negative information about the business to
outsiders once they are no longer working for it. Fourth, organizational success is a combination
of sustained efforts smart and dedicated employee efforts. These are the individuals who give
their all to ensure that the business thrives. Fifth, highly knowledgeable and skilled employees
introduce experience, development and training programs in specified domains that may
ultimately reform the organization’s work procedures, systems and cultures in a positive manner.
Motivated workers make remarkable contributions to the organizations. Finally, employees
highly contribute to the worth and profits of an organization. These values underlie Tenney’s
narrative on why the best leaders should prioritize their employees.
The second tenet in the paradigm establishes a correlation between the narrative and the
espoused value. Tenney was once a prisoner, a monk, and is now a social entrepreneur. He
expresses the story from a perspective where he understands the world from diverse perspectives
and has taken the time to understand the essence of making employees a priority over the
company’s profits. In the initial stages of the speech, he remarks that companies which prioritize
profits as opposed to other organizational goals are more likely to die early on. In this ineffective
hierarchy, companies will prioritize profits over the customers and employees. These types of
leaders will neglect their workers consistently, becoming disregarded over time. The customer
and product quality declines and innovation fails to serve the customer needs sustainably. This
perspective establishes a reasonable connection between the story and the proposed value, which
aims to position employees at the top of the organizational hierarchy.
The third principle in Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm does not directly apply to the speech
but completely relates to the author’s values. When Tenney consistently argues about loving
employee’s he does not directly refer to showing them physical love, affections and fuzzy
emotions but ensuring their long-term well-being. For instance, he recommends asking workers
about how leaders can help improve employee welfare both at the workplace and at home. This
may include eliminating obstacles that may prohibit people from keying in their best input at
work, decreasing bureaucracy, facilitating is meaningful conversations around workplace issues,
expressing clear work/home boundaries such that workers do not necessarily feel they should
consistently keep checking work emails when out of office, and investing resources to promote
employee professional and personal growth. Most of these factors may have the power to
transform employees for the better but the business leaders have to assume the top role in
The fourth dimension refers to the artifact’s consistency in communicating the author’s
values to the audience. The TED talk mentions several times “lead with love” as an attempt to
fuse the Tenney’s thesis with the multiple perspectives presented in the speech. For instance, he
poses a rhetorical question to the audience, “why is it so beneficial to make love a top
priority?(Tenney)’ He goes on further to provide a real life example of how South West Airlines
is still at the top for 46 years straight because it never laid off one employee and never reduced
payments – when love is a priority, employees are at the top of the hierarchy of organizational
priorities. This narrative is relatively powerful and believable because it supports the author’s
claims with valuable facts. For example, Tenney further states that according to Harvard
research, 207 publicly stated corporations outperformed their profit-focused counterparts for 11
years because they took better care of their workers (Tenney). In this regard, the net income for
people-centered companies grew by 756% while that of the profit-focused corporations grew by
1% (Tenney). The stock prices for the former grew by 901% while the latter only accounted for
74% growth in the same period (Tenney). Ideally, the author’s story is believable and relatively
powerful because he integrates facts and maintains consistency in backing up his values.
Finally, Fisher’s final criterion goes into the degree through which the story’s values
reflect the highest human existence values. Tenney’s final remarks echo his premise – lead with
love – and claim that fully engaged employees provide world class customer service. He
counters this with the notion that the lack of innovation leads to innovation to appeal to both
ends of the spectrum. Leaders represent large groups and populations at different levels of
society. He argues that leadership is the capacity to influence the actions of others and this
proposition succinctly fuses with the preceding principles of the paradigm. The speech
references the roles of the leader in ensuring employees remain focused on their respective work
roles despite the challenges that may plague their experiences with different clients. For instance,
people who have worked in customer service will agree that some customers are ungrateful,
extremely demanding, and impose extra pressure on the other workers. A leader can salvage such
situations by intervening and communicating with the customer and informing them that if they
fail to adjust their behavior, the business may no longer have the ability to serve them.
Employees are a company’s greatest assets.
The artifact fits into Tenney’s perspective because he is a social entrepreneur who has
taken his time to investigate the role of a leader in empowering employees and the need to
prioritize them over profits. The story can potentially influence public opinion because in the
contemporary business realm some corporations tend to be profit-oriented at the expense of their
worker’s well-being. Tenney supports his remarks with credible evidence, claiming that peoplecentric corporations will grow at a significantly higher rate than profit-oriented corporations.
Furthermore, the stock prices of the former will rise faster than the latter, making his story
relatively believable and powerful as opposed to TED talks supporting the profit stance. Good
leaders will spot skills and opportunities; they will train their workers, nurture a sustainable
organizational culture, and ultimately generate more revenues from a content workforce. Tenney
believes that top leaders nurture great leaders and will ultimately generate extraordinary results.
I believe that is a rhetorically good artifact in its ability to influence people’s beliefs and
values. Small-sized and vast corporations may get overwhelmed with competition in the markets
and transform their focus to the profit dimension while neglecting the overall well-being of their
workers. Such employees have little to no motivation and may end up resigning prematurely or
generate poor organizational results. However, business leaders have the ability to understand
and transform team members by showing them love as a strategic means to enhance
Tenney, Matt. “Why The Best Leaders Make Love The Top Priority”. Ted.Com, 2019,
Essay #4 SAMPLE
Syllabus: The ideal critic possesses a complete understanding of the method being used as well as being
open minded. They must be able to determine whether the method and artifact used were successful.
They need to be able to carefully examine the language used, any symbols, and most importantly what
the message is and how it affects us. Rhetorical methods assist in analyzing artifacts in the public sphere
through use of the particular method that is chosen as well as the situation that exists or is created from
analyzing the artifact. The critics narrative greatly affects their view of the artifact as do their morality
or ideology. The critics perception is the most important factor in examination and analysis of the
artifact as well as the effect it has on the audience overall.
For example, If the choice of method is Narrative Paradigm the emphasis is placed on storytelling and
the worldview of the person giving the speech or persuasive story. There needs to be coherence with a
great deal of detail to the surrounding events as well as fidelity or a natural occurrence of values that
most people hold in common.
Part I: I feel the two most effective methods would be Rhetorical Criticism and Neo-Aristotelian.
Rhetorical Situation of course being as described by Lloyd Bitzer as three parts. The first being exigence
or the urgency created from the discourse, the audience and the impact the rhetor has on them and the
events that occur as well as the way they are described. The second less effective method being NeoAristotelian which is analyzed in 4 steps. Selecting an artifact, analyzing the artifact, formulating a
research question and writing the essay. Rhetorical Situation allows the rhetor to focus more on the
artifact they use as well as the effect whereas Neo-Aristotelian is more concerned with the beauty of the
language and use of artifact and the impact is secondary. An example of a Rhetorical Situation would be
the survivors of the Parkland shootings.
The student survivors turned activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school are teenagers who
have been thrown into the spotlight and a few even developing a celebrity of their own have taken this
tragic situation and through social media and speeches making great headway in affecting change in gun
carrying laws. They have singe handedly caused the NRA to lose funding and members and have also
sparked the greatest year of donations the NRA has ever seen in its history. The situation existed before
they started to plan the walk outs and marches but it has now created a great exigency to change gun
laws in this country. These kids will not take no for an answer and they have their terrified parents and
grandparents and teachers marching right beside them.
If we were to use the Neo-Aristotelian method we would focus more on the location and ideas for the
speech, the structure of the speech, the rhetors mastery which in many of the cases of their speeches
was not great but was powerful and impactful due to their victim status. In my opinion this status and
generally their social media presence, their photographs, the way they dress are the most influential
artifact there is because there is a common feeling of sadness due to what happened to them at MS
Douglas and also due to the fact that they are young kids.
In critiquing my previous essays I feel the most effective method was the Rhetorical Situation. The first
step of choosing the artifact can be a very powerful introduction into the situation that exists or the
situation created by the rhetor. The second step of recognizing and realizing the type of audience is
being influenced. The more you understand about the audience the better you can structure your
speech or story to suit them. The #NeverAgain movement is an excellent example of this. David Hogg,
one of the victims of that tragic day explains in his interview in Time Magazine “I’ve become more of a
citizen and more of an activist,” (Chan, 2018)
President Obama described them in this way “By bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough
questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our
complacency,” (Chan, 2018) A former president of the United States stands with them and is
spouting their rhetoric. These kids David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Sara Chadwick have all become
household names. They’re on Twitter and Instagram being interviewed on CNN and in Time
magazine. These kids are now their own movement. It is nothing short of amazing. By standing up,
marching and speaking out against gun laws they have created a Rhetorical Situation that is actually a
I can think of anything more powerful. It is astonishing to me the strength of character and sheer
courage that these kids have. Being a mother of two young girls it is a powerful thing for them to see. ‘
sorry that my girls are aware of the situation but very grateful that they have the chance to see these
kids protest and affect change. Both of my children joined in marches even when the school told them
they might be penalized for walking out.
Part III – The artifacts I feel are most appropriate for the two methods chosen would be speeches or
political ads. The Parkland teens behind the political ads for gun control are extremely moving and
many politicians are jumping on the band wagon with them. The ad with Sara Chadwick mocking a well
known NRA ad is extremely motivating. I love the use of the hour glass to flip the script. (Chadwick, n.d.)
In the ad Chadwick repeats the lines of the NRA spokeswoman while inserting her own rhetoric. She
discusses popular conspiracy views that these students were crisis actors before flipping the hourglass
upside down. The audience consists of parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, educators and
anyone who wants to make sure that this kind of thing to never happens again. People not interested or
the audience that would not be reached would be those insisting on gun ownership without increasing
safety or trying to update the laws. Those who are donating to the NRA in contrast to the current wave
of support. (Chadwick, n.d.)
In the video, the hour glass is a very obvious reminder that time is changing, that it is running out for
people who oppose them. This is a powerful symbol and artifact in itself. People tend to focus on an
hourglass because it creates urgency. The fact is that eventually these kids will be old enough to vote.
Once they are able to vote, they will vote for people who support their views. Its truly a matter of time.
Anyone on either side seeing that hourglass run will get it. I feel these type of mock ads and exigence
being created with the hour glass will work on a global scale as well. People in other countries know the
story and are also familiar with these kids.
Part IV – The role of the audience in the Rhetorical Situation is to be informed and persuaded. The
artifact chosen is an important way of making this happen. This is definitely the case in my essays on
the armed forces ads post 911. The patriotism that surged after the terrorist attack on the twin towers
was amazing. I was raised by hippies and my father protested the Vietnam war after fighting and
coming home. We attended peace rallies regularly. On September 11th I learned why we fight and need
a strong army. I learned about patriotism in a way I never did before. The Neo-Aristotelian method is
shown in my essay on the U2 song Bullet the Blue Sky and also the Alex Jones essay. The song lyrics try
to influence by painting a picture of a horrific scene of a war torn area that is being funded by the US
The music in Bullet to Blue Sky is hauntingly similar to Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner at
Woodstock and rhetorically is very patriotic. It is powerful but not nearly as gripping as the Parkland
Teenagers speeches. Or their political ads. To me this is extremely effective and persuasive. Their
victim status catapults them into another realm of persuasion. You can’t look away and you cant
disagree. The people who have tried to blame shift and refer to those kids in a demeaning way have had
their sponsorships pulled, and been ostracized in the public. People just will not stand for it. Celebrities,
politicians and major political figures have come out publicly to support them both verbally and
financially. The #NeverAgain movement has had millions donated for their lobbying efforts. There is a
big difference when an audience feels an allegiance to a rhetor and someone who is merely empathetic.
These kids have a powerful loyalty.
Their approaches are definitely not the same. A big distinction would be the existing narrative behind
the Parkland story. Its global news and known to everyone from the moment one of them speaks. The
situation in Nicaragua in the Bullet to Blue Sky lyrics is not well known. The Parkland kids already have
the audience on their sides. They just need to make known what they want and the audience follows. It
will be their legacy. That they stood up bravely when their classmates were gunned down and
murdered. They took on well known theorists and spokes people and refused to back down. That kind
of credibility is priceless when trying to persuade. They have it from right out of the gate. I think one of
my best examples of trying to persuade the audience was with my Alex Jones essay. I made sure I dug
deeper into his business model as well as his posts to get behind his true purpose which is to sell
terrified people vitamins. In my essay I showed how he preys on people and frightens them with his
conspiracy nonsense so that he can build a sort of false credibility to make them consumers. All said I
feel strongly that Rhetorical Situation is the most persuasive method of hose that we learned. I’m
grateful to have been able to take this class and learn to use it.
Chan, M. (2018, April 24). Parkland Survivor David Hogg: ‘I’ve Become More of a Citizen and an Activist’.
Retrieved from Time Magazine: http://time.com/5248853/parkland-survivor-david-hogg-attime-100/
Foss, S. K. (2018). Rhetorical Criticism Exploration and Practice. Long Grove, IllWaveland Press Inc.
Guidelines for Essay #4 SPC 4680- Spring 2022-DUE 4/30 NO LATE
4. Essay #4 (25%): **DUE ON CANVAS 4/30 MIDNIGHT- NO LATE POSTING.
Finally, when taking all that you have learned from reading and doing criticism during the term, you have
the opportunity to create a better paper, more pertinent and better argued, thus, learning to edit and revise.
You will revise your own writing and add an additional rhetorical artifact connecting it to the overall
argument of the paper. 1500 words min. (5-6 pages ADDED TO THE PREVIOUS ESSAY 1, 2, OR 3)
Be ready to discuss your DF responses (that are the basis for your Essay #4) in class. Min. words: 1500
Due Date: 4/30. NO LATE POSTING Remember: Essay #4 weights 25% of your overall grade.
————————————————————————————————————–Additional Guidelines for Essay #4: BEFORE YOU WRITE THE ESSAY. PLEASE RESPOND TO
THE Week 13.14 Discussion Fora Posted on Canvas!! They are meant to assist with your essay #4!
Please consider the following as part of the format addressing this main question: How do rhetorical
methods assist us in analyzing texts/artifacts in the public sphere? NOTE: You will look at your previous
essays, and present examples and perspectives, modifying them if necessary. Of note, due to
Turnitin/Canvas Plagiarism Programs, if you cut and paste from previous works will immediately be
highlighted in your submissions, so any percentage of 45% or higher will result in a DOWNGRADE!
Please re-word in your own words previously presented works, this time as a rhetorical critic with more
experience accrued. After all, you already wrote three essays previously!
AS DISCUSSED IN CLASS, THIS IS AN ADDITION/REVISION OF SEVERAL SECTIONS OF
YOUR PREVIOUS ESSAY (WHETHER 1, 2, OR 3- YOUR CHOICE). The former essay does not count
for the grade!
PART 1 for Adding/Revising the Rhetorical Perspectives: Based on your choice of essays, you will
examine and ADD/REVISE your presentation of the rhetorical method of analysis presented in your
previous paper Basically, you will ADD/PROVIDE A BETTER EXPLANATION ANDOR REVISE
THE PREVIOUS SECTION IN YOUR CHOSEN ESSAY ON THE RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE.
Present the tenets/claims: what do THAT method have to say FOR A RHETORICAL PERSUASION OF
THE PUBLIC – WHY do you think IT IS effective/ and why? Provide examples from the chosen
perspectives, NOT from your essays. For example, if you choose Narrative Paradigm, cite what W.
Fisher writes as the definition of that method in his own words/approach.
Expected to present additional citation and information/explanation of the method. Use S. Foss book, the
articles if you choose Bitzer or Fisher, but explain and cite. Add 500 words min. to section on Method.
Example” Example: “ In essay #1 I used… NeoAristotelian to analyze XX, and it worked well for the
audience but not well for the standpoint of explaining the audience participation, etc…. I think that the
role of audience is more important in the other methods, and the audience is not as featured in NeoAristotelian, rather the message and the language/rhetorical style, for example….”
This section needs to have at least 500 words.
-Part II. ADDED RHETORICAL ARTIFACT – Since you have already examined ONE RHETORICAL
ARTIFACT TO EXPLAIN THE METHOD IN YOUR ESSAY (1, 2, OR 3) ADD ANOTHER
RHETORICAL ARTIFACT that could show HOW the method works and WHY it is important for
For instance, look whether for Narrative Paradigm- trailers of movies as artifacts (Political ads, speeches,
or persuasive advertisements that create a large effect in the culture, to name a few. How do they work
rhetorically? Are they effective? Are they appropriate? If so, for which audience are they targeted? How
much do rhetorical strategies make use of visual artifacts, and for whom do such persuasive strategies
work? Or, look at how defined is the audience for political campaigns, Ted Talks, or videos and discuss
whether they cover larger global audience or country by country?
This section had to add at least min. 500 words. Remember citations are also encouraged and
examples from the text!
–Part III: The Role of Audience: Explain the role of audience, in your view, on basis of your analysis.
What is gained when examining ‘audience’ from a narrative perspective, for instance, Or from a
“rhetorical situation’ approach? Do you think rhetoricians understand the role of audience or they
somewhat think on an easy answer and sometimes they are not persuasive in their messages because of
This section has to add at least 150-200 words.
-Conclusion. In your view, on basis of all your essays and DFs for this class, explain which one of the
methods you consider the most effective in order to examine the rhetorical presentations and public
communication discourse part of your experience.
This section has to add at least 75-100 words.
Word count needs to be included in EACH SECTION. If not, essay is considered incomplete!!!
Present YOUR OPINION! Have fun with your re-writes and edits!
Remember, RHETORIC RULES!!!:)
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Explanation & Answer:
global capital markets
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