In this digital age when the technology of communication is so pervasive and accessible, leadership and creativity go hand in hand for messages to be thoughtfully paired with communication methods. Audiences for these messages are everywhere—your colleagues, your clients, your neighbors, your customers, and complete strangers—and the messages that resonate most are ones that communicate using storytelling as vehicle of trust, persuasion, and a sense of belonging. Through the two lenses of story and community, this foundational class considers an artful approach to social capital in the workplace, 21st Century organizational design and communication patterns, and personal leadership development, with particular attention paid to contemporary research on creativity. We will discuss how to connect meaningfully to communities and networks using new forms of communication outreach. You will be asked to consider how your own creative process impacts your livelihood, as well as how your networks and communities sustain and promote your professional and personal growth.
“This course is about being able to understand that leadership and creativity are main tools in developing authentic, real and strategic messages. The class enhances the understanding of communications patterns in current organizations where storytelling becomes a unique tool to reach audiences when messages are everywhere. I learned in this class that one of the main things to true leadership is about opening ourselves to others in order to connect with them. There needs to be an ability to listen to others and care. Online worlds created by the fast-changing digital media technologies go back to the essence of connection with others. This class is the best personal and professional learning experience I had since I started the program. It gave me the creative room to imagine that everything is possible if you open up to yourself and to others. Leadership is a trait you can develop by using storytelling as a tool but in the end it’s about being able to share who you are with others and connect by listening back. The best storyteller is one who knows how to listen. Anita Verna Crofts, the professor of the course, represents that ideal teacher who is not only academically and professionally experienced, but who also cares for the whole growth of the people around her. Having this class changed my perspective on leadership, creation of communities and storytelling, but most importantly on myself.”