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ORGL 681 – Leadership & Storytelling

3-day on-campus immersion – Spokane, Washington

Stories permeate virtually every dimension of our existence as noted in the familiar quote: “Civilizations have existed without the wheel, but no society has ever existed without story.” With groundwork in narrative, the class focuses on the kind of leadership that is demanded by the current world situation: Leaders who lead from their real selves or Authentic Leaders. After exploring an understanding of authentic leadership, the course will shift focus to a key tool for leaders: the leadership story.

“Dr. Albert’s Storytelling course was a very eye opening experience. I was surprised by how reflecting on my own experiences and sharing them with my classmates helped me rethink the way I thought about myself – boosting my self-esteem and my confidence to lead in both my professional and personal life.”

Tim Taylor, ORGL student

Taught by Dr. Joseph Albert, Ph.D., Leadership and Storytelling explores the growing synergy between two research areas: leadership and narrative or story. The point of departure for the course is a focus on understanding the role of narrative in our lives.

Dr. Albert describes the course as an identity formation course meaning it’s about the safe space it provides, the vulnerability students feel when telling their stories, and re-framing these stories to become a strength creating purposeful, positive action.

Noel Tichy (2002) describes three types of stories leaders have access to: Who I Am stories; Who We Are Stories; and, Future Stories. The remainder of the course will involve exploring each story type in terms of: definition, examples, usage, and developing skills for personal use.

On-Campus Schedule

Session 1: Exploring the Narrative Landscape for Leaders

  • Introductions
  • Course overview
  • Authentic Leadership and Narrative
  • Staking out the narrative territory we will explore

Session 2: Who I Am Stories

  • Who I Am Stories: agency and communion themes
  • Childhood through adulthood

Dinner Break

Session 3: Promising Who I Am Stories

  • The focus of this session is on identifying Who I Am stories that might serve as a focus for the first assignment.

Session 4: Issues in Self-Narratives and Utilization

  • A number of issues will be addressed in this section that will be influenced by the needs and interests of students.
  • Some of the issues include: autobiographical memory and identity, ethics and values from a narrative perspective, and methods of evoking self-narratives of others.

Session 5: Introducing Future Stories

  • Understanding Future Stories from a leadership and personal perspective.
  • Examples of Future Stories will be offered.

Session 6: Identifying Promising Future Stories

  • With an understanding of what a future story is, this session is designed to help you identify a future story you want to work on.

Dinner Break

Session 7: Who We Are Stories

  • This session will explore the various styles of group narratives for leaders.

Session 8: Who We Are Stories Continued

  • This session will provide some opportunities to focus in on some promising Who We Are stories for the second assignment.

Closing Activities

A comprehensive schedule including times and classroom location will be available in Blackboard on the first day of class.

Program information subject to change.

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