The Alchemy of Leadership: Turning Stories Into Gold

Stanford Continuing Studies

How long?

  • 10 days
  • online

Stanford Continuing Studies

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About the course

Alchemy is the process of transforming something common into something special, from lead into gold. Particularly effective leaders create alchemy by telling compelling stories—stories that unify and move employees, constituents, teams, supporters, and listeners toward particular ends. This course focuses on how they do it, and covers methods that will enable you to tell effective stories yourself. We will explore different types of leadership, and the stories that correspond best with particular situations and contexts. We will consider unforgettable stories told by such diverse leaders as Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, John Muir, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, and others. Students will learn the basics of effective and captivating storytelling, and we will address the three basic stories any leader should tell: about self, about the group identity and shared values, and about the dream or destiny of the group. By the end of the course, you will have a clear sense of why particular stories are memorable, and through the use of speeches, myths, movie clips, fairy tales, and abundant feedback, you will create and share your own stories with the class.

Experts

Marianne Neuwirth

Marianne Neuwirth consults with international executives and various departments at Stanford, teaching storytelling and conflict resolution, and training researchers how to communicate their work publicly and conversationally in succinct and compelling ways. She received a PhD in communication fr...

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The Alchemy of Leadership: Turning Stories Into Gold at Stanford Continuing Studies

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