In this highly engaging, interactive session, participants will be introduced to the art and science of leadership storytelling.


Gleacher Center
6th floor
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Dr. Dawkins begins with the research-backed benefits of storytelling in organizational contexts by way of the Narrative Paradigm (Fisher, 2009; Duarte, 2019); Dramatism (Burke, 1969); Neuroscience of Narrative (Armstrong, 2020); and Cultural Implications of Story (Postrel, 2004). She then showcases the theories in action using key icons from ranging from Iris Apfel and Steve Jobs to Eminem and Cornel West, to ground an evidence-based conversation about key qualities that contribute to dynamic, effective, and influential leadership. Iconic leaders— – and the stories they've made popular—provide the backdrop for this interactive exploration of four (4) characteristics good leaders use to inspire and encourage those whom they lead. These are:


As with all her keynotes, Dr. Dawkins makes use of interactive activities and question/answer throughout, offering participants a fun and engaging way to dive into this important topic. The session includes creative prompts to help participants uncover their unique stories and incorporate them into their personal leadership presence and a game-show style "name that icon" context audiences love.




Register Online

Deadline: 4/24/2024

Speaker Profiles

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, PhD (Speaker)

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, PhD, is an award-winning educator, keynote speaker, scholar, author, and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership. Marcia's pronouns are she/her/ella. She's been active in teaching, leadership training, research, and speaking for two decades. She's taught at the University of Southern California, California State University, Fullerton, Brown University, and East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, and her advanced degrees in Communication and Humanities have influenced her approach to working with leaders in business, healthcare, and politics. As a result, she has published, presented, written, and taught in each of these areas.

Marcia has written 5 books and is writing her sixth. Her first book, Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color was nominated for the Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order. Her second book, Eminem: The Real Slim Shady, was recognized by the NAACP and the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Her current work on strategic communication, storytelling, and effective leadership has been recognized by the Social Science Research Council, the National Communication Association, and The Mayo Clinic.

Marcia's thought leadership has also been featured in media outlets such as BBC World, NPR, AOL Originals, ABC News, HuffPo Live, The Leadership Alliance, Truthdig, and a number of podcasts. A native New Yorker, she now lives in Long Beach, CA, with her partner, Harry and child, Lee.


Chelsea Fishman