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.’

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