Entrepreneurship, StartUp

Management by Story Telling – Circle of Light.


I like listening to stories and telling them too. Ever since I was in school, whenever we got a free period, my friends would force me to tell them a story and I too enjoyed doing that. Eventually, I discovered that story telling is an art. One may be born with it or the best part is that one can develop the same over time as well. At whatever age, there is a child alive in each one of us and hence we all love stories.  Stories make the subject interesting and palatable. The learning can be retained easily and can be recalled as well. I have been practising Management by Story Telling since years.

I have experienced that stories enhance personalised interpretation as the listener would discover appropriate meanings and references in a contextual manner. The learning then becomes more of a realisation rather than an advice.

Let’s look at a question often asked – “Mentoring: How much is good enough?”

This is one question often asked by start-up founders as well as many angels, VCs and mentors. In my experience, many entrepreneurs dread to interact with certain people as they get too involved in advising the start-ups. It is as if they have realised their unfulfilled dream of running a start-up. At times, the thin line between mentoring and interfering gets blurred. Let’s read this short story that will help us find the answer.

A Zen story. : Circle of Light


A Master called his young disciple at night and asked him to deliver a note to the Master of another Ashram almost a mile away. The young disciple very enthusiastically took the note and stepped out of the ashram to promptly return to his master.

Master:  Why did you not go?

Young disciple: Master, it’s too dark outside. I can’t see anything

Master offered him a lantern. Young disciple took the lantern in his hand and left. But came back puzzled and worried.

Young Disciple: Master, the light of the lantern is falling in a circle just around my step, not enough to brighten the whole path. I could hardly see beyond my steps.

Master smiled:  My son, the light of a lantern is good enough to brighten each step as you take them in the right direction. Let the path be long, you will not fumble or fail to reach your destination.

‘फासला भी ज़रूरी है चिराग रोशन करते वक़्त,
तजुर्बा यह हाथ आया हाथ जल जाने के बाद l’

“Fasalaa bhi zaroori hai chirag Roshan karate waqt
tajurba yah haath aaya, haath jal jane ke baad.”

‘Safe distance is important while lighting the lamp,
I could learn that lesson after burning my hand.’

About rajivvaishnav

Rajiv Vaishnav Managing Partner Cornerstone Venture Partners Rajiv is Managing Partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners, a global tech VC fund focused on Consumer business enablers (such as Applied AI) and Enterprise / SME BI solutions (vertical SaaS, AR & VR applications, Blockchain for enterprise, etc.). Cornerstone is a Pre-series A / Series A fund, the first institutional support for promising tech ventures enabling growth and customer access in unique ways. Rajiv brings over 35 years of solid experience in building brands, developing teams, expanding the market share and building organisations from grass root upwards. He was heading the Ecosystem & Partnerships Developmentt at Jio-GenNext Hub, A Reliance Enterprise. In this role, Rajiv is responsible to evangelize the Start-Up ecosystem, identify and connect with the deserving start-ups, academia, government agencies, mentors, angel investors and VC networks globally. Since 2002 till end of 2015, Rajiv was an integral part of NASSCOM’s senior management team. He headed NASSCOM’s first regional office in Mumbai and grown to manage the membership outreach nationally. He initiated many path breaking initiatives at NASSCOM including Cyber Safety initiatives with enforcement agencies, start-up incubators with State Governments under 10K Startup programme, evangelised Animation and Gaming industry and nurtured it, lead the ISO Standards initiative to establish a Global BPO and Product Quality Framework Standards out of India. He helped establish NASSCOM’s emerge forum in its formative days. At NASSCOM, he was enthusiastic about developing new IT destinations in the country, and fostering platforms for Industry-academia interactions as he believed that these were the two most critical requirements for the Indian IT industry to maintain its globally advantageous position. Rajiv was a member of AICTE (WR) and of IQAC of the SNDT Women’s University and Trustee at Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust. With Harish Mehta, the first President of TiE, Mumbai and the first Chairman of NASSCOM, Rajiv co-founded TiE in India. He built the organisation bottoms-up and nurtured the start-up ecosystem in India since early 2000. He got early exposure to work with TiE in Silicon Valley and investors, entrepreneurs and mentors such as Kanwal Rekhi, Suhas Patil, Desh Deshpande, Sridhar Iyengar, Raj Jaswa, Shabir Bhatia, Raj Desai and many others… He has worked with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Franchising Association of India (FAI) and US- Environment Resource Center (US-ERC). In the corporate sector, his experience includes stints with two U.S. Freight Forwarding giants Emery Worldwide and Air Express International in sales & marketing. In 2000, Rajiv was invited by the U.S. Government to participate in their International Visitors programme on US Trade and World Market. Rajiv has administered several outward trade delegations including those to International Franchise Expo ’99, USA, Emerging Companies delegations to CeBIT Australia and Silicon Valley. He has represented NASSCOM in the International Advisors Council to the Mayor of Luwan District in Shanghai, China and E-Sports Symposium in Seoul, Korea. Rajiv is a Science graduate from Mumbai University. He is passionate about music and literature. His blog url: www.rajivvaishnav.com
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