You have no idea how inspiring it is to watch you speak.  I can say that it was honestly one of the most entertaining, informative and creative speeches I have ever seen in my life.  I hope to get the chance to hear another from you soon!
Michelle Lam 
World Scholar’s Cup, Kuala Lumpur

Whether through his speeches, Socratic seminars, or coaching, William Cathers provides a dynamic catalyst for activating intellectual, ethical, and emotional development that provides the foundation for sustainable growth in individuals and organizations.  If you are an educational institution, corporation, non-profit, government body, or athletic team, Cathers Consulting can provide you with unique and profound professional development designed specifically to meet your needs.                

Cathers’ speeches are both instructional and inspirational because of his ability to convey essential insights concerning complex ideas with clarity, passion and urgency.  Moreover, his speeches transform learning from a burden into an irresistible opportunity for personal and professional growth. This sets the stage for comprehensive follow-up because Mr. Cathers clearly establishes the need for all of us to develop the intellectual and moral habits vital to living good lives and building successful careers.  In addition, his speeches present a clear mission to every individual within the organization while motivating them to accept the call. Finally, they provide a wonderful means for introducing his approach to professional development within your organization.


“Whatever your title, you will benefit from becoming a lifelong student in the university of the human enterprise.”1

Nothing prepares leaders, or prolongs successful leadership, more than Socrates’ ancient admonition to become self-aware, self-correcting, and self-fulfilling. Leaders who love learning and take pleasure in self-discovery and personal growth increase their influence and model the ethos that engenders a constructive culture for the entire organization. However, that learning must extend beyond operations and specialization. To this end, Mr. Cathers utilizes timeless readings in philosophy, history, and literature to provide leaders an opportunity to read, discuss, and reflect on the Great Ideas that encompass the entire “human enterprise.”

Mr. Cathers has developed seminars for The Aspen Institute, Leadership Kauaʻi, Roaring Fork Leadership, and others. He has also worked with various school districts and universities. For example, he has designed and moderated leadership seminars specifically for principals and administrators in the Los Angeles Unified School District. These seminars feature relevant readings in political and moral philosophy, literature, social science, and original documents and engage educational leaders in Socratic dialogue concerning the Great Ideas upon which to base their own principles of leadership.  In addition, Mr. Cathers’ coaching in The Arts of Listening, Speaking, and Persuasion empowers principals and administrators with the skills to build collaboration and lead positive change at their schools and in the community.  Finally, his expertise in secondary literacy is unsurpassed. His workshops on Mortimer J. Adler’s How To Read a Book are essential to helping educators improve secondary literacy and critical thinking skills in students.   

"Mr. Cathers’ speeches, seminars, and coaching are among the most effective and dynamic leadership development programs that I have provided to administrators and principals. His seminar, Leadership Under Pressure always elicits effusive praise from participants for both its content and relevancy to the daily challenges facing leaders in the workplace.  While the intellectual content is profound in his presentations, laughter is also commonplace because of his ability to handle the most difficult and controversial issues with equity, clarity, and wit; and his acute listening skills infuse his seminars with a compelling dignity because he is genuinely interested in what others are thinking. Most important, he consistently models the habits of successful leaders in his own presentations.  Thus, the relationship between theory and practice is both demonstrated and experienced. Watching an auditorium full of educators on the edge of their seats in excitement as Mr. Cathers leads them through a guided reading of Homer’s Odyssey, Euclid’s Elements, or Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”, is spellbinding.  Watching him do the same with high school students is to see theory manifested in reality in a manner that clearly reveals the hidden potentiality of all students. Finally, Mr. Cathers’ ability to design his services to fit the specific needs of individual clients is extraordinary."   

Susan M. Allen
Superintendent Retired Los Angeles Unified School District

Intellectual Fitness

As Aristotle explained many centuries ago, it is not enough to just live; our duty is to live a flourishing life filled with all of the real goods required for fulfilling our mission as human beings.  One of those real goods is a well-conditioned and masterful mind.  Just as a well-conditioned and coordinated body is essential for the successful athlete, a fit and fluent mind is a necessary attribute for the successful life.  Just as we chin ourselves on a bar above our heads to cause growth in our muscles, we must study great works above our heads in order to create growth in the mind.  However, we need help when beginning a new fitness program for the body or mind.  When we’re out of shape physically, we benefit from a personal trainer who provides preliminary exercises to condition our bodies, as well as a helpful boost during the actual chin-ups until we acquire enough strength to lift ourselves without assistance.  Intellectual training is similar.  In order to read books above our heads, or listen to music that we fear is beyond us, or view masterpieces of visual art with a keen eye, we need a coach who can prepare the mind for understanding great works while also lifting us up to a higher plane during our studies.  This is precisely what Mr. Cathers provides to clients through his intellectual coaching.  Now is the time to study the great works that you have longed to know and understand!

Speech and Communication
The art of communication is an aspect of intellectual fitness that calls for special attention because the words we speak, the ideas we convey, and the emotions we elicit can motivate or alienate others in a powerful manner.  Bill Cathers, an accomplished public speaker himself, has coached elite leaders in the art of persuasion and has transformed a variety of high school students into award-winning orators. He can coach you to a level of virtuosity that will help you explain complex ideas, handle nuance and controversy, persuade and motivate, and enthrall listeners with your insight and passion. Whether the task is prepared or impromptu speaking, his coaching will instill you with the calm confidence that comes from being prepared.  Dynamic leadership, however, also depends upon the ability to listen attentively while fostering productive dialogue. Cathers’ coaching in the arts of speaking and listening empowers leaders to build a culture of constructive communication. Mr. Cathers is also available as a speechwriter for specific occasions.

Message from William H. Cathers

As my mentor, Dr. Mortimer J. Adler once wrote: “To become better acquainted with Hamlet through a carefully guided reading is to become more intensely alive, not only to oneself but to the civilization of which we are a part.”  Great literature is populated with such persons. Not to know them is be imperfectly alive. Not to know them renders oneself unknown.  Of course, it is not only literature that provides the means for self-discovery. Expository writing analyzes the Great Ideas that also enliven us, while great music names things beyond the power of words, and visual art impresses the mind through yet another means.  These great works also connect us to the past in a productive manner that we can utilize in our contemporary lives. As foremost cultural historian Jacques Barzun explains: “Finding oneself is a misnomer: a self is not found but made; and the anti-hero, anti-history bias is an obstacle to making it, because the starting point from the past is missing, it has to be made from scratch.” 

Contact Cathers Consulting today and begin making a self that is more intensely alive!

1 What Happens Now?  Reinvent Yourself as a Leader Before Your Business Outruns You p.202
- John Hillen and Mark Nevins. SelectBooks, Inc. New York