The paper shows an example of how interaction in a leadership development forum can be reflected and analysed from a narrative-in-use and small story perspective. A multimodal discourse analysis is conducted of the identity work accomplished in a research and dialogue-based leadership development forum in a university setting. Among other things the analysis shows how different socio material interactional setups in a positioning exercise shape the space of possibilities for identity work in situ. A micro-generic positioning analysis of the participants’ small story efforts is combined with an analysis of dialogicality involving other-orientation to show how storytelling takes place and how opposing discourses within organization and leadership studies co-emerge in multimodal interaction, allowing a space for certain lines of subjectification. The research contributes to the emerging study of organizational dialogical and narrative practices up close, and it questions the taken-for-granted assumption that staged dialogue is a natural and positive phenomenon that trigger emancipating consequences. It emphasizes both the broad (D) and the local (d) dimensions together with social material aspects of discourse and storytelling, which is increasingly pursued and recommended within the fields of narrative, dialogue and discourse studies.