WhoDecember 2, 2019 2022-11-04 7:39
“Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.”
- Robin Moore
Hi I am Ravi!
You could call me ’The Storytelling Guy’ – I view everything (EVERYTHING) in life through a storytelling lens!
From boardroom reviews to big family gatherings, from TED Talks to teachers in classrooms, from magical monuments to mythology epics, from job interviews to jungle safaris, from CEOs writing shareholder letters to cricketers making superb videos, from Presidents making inauguration speeches to political experts cutting the clutter…
I see stories everywhere. And I can help you leverage the power of this ancient yet rare skill at your workplace.
But wait. Was I always like this? Born with the story-spoon in my mouth, so to speak? Not really. In fact, for the longest time I thought otherwise... and horror of horrors, instead of studying literature or history, I studied..... Accounting!
Connecting the storytelling dots
Like most middle class parents, my dad valued job security and thought Accounting would be among the safest options there is. And so I started my career as a Chartered Accountant (please don’t ask me for investing advice, if you value your portfolio). After a couple of years at my first job as an Executive Assistant to the CFO of Larsen and Toubro, I did my MBA from IIMA (batch of 2005). From campus, I joined the management consulting arm of an infrastructure advisory firm called Feedback Ventures in Delhi.
Those seven years were extremely formative for me, especially from a storytelling point of view. Post consulting, the social bug bit me and I worked for three years in B-ABLE, a social enterprise which works in the skill-development space. While I really enjoyed working with the people there, I realised after some time that I don’t have what it takes to work extensively with the government, which was a key requirement in that space.
Through all these years, history was an abiding interest for me, and in 2014, I quit B-ABLE to co-found CaptivaTour, a mobile app that told audio stories of famous Indian monuments. I researched the history and wrote the stories for the app - and really enjoyed myself doing so. Now, I’ll be honest - that app didn’t take off at all - our idea fizzled out. But for me, there was a bigger lesson - that it does not matter whether one is dealing with balance sheet data, or business ideas, social impact statistics or historical anecdotes - the underlying principles of storytelling are all the same.
And it is possible to learn and teach those principles to make a better impact with your work, especially in high stakes situations. But for a long time, I had a limiting belief - that storytellers are born, not made.
Storytellers are not born, but (can be) made
When I worked at the consulting arm of Feedback Ventures, my super-boss was a genial, smiling leader called Gopal (we used to call him Gops). One of Gops’ standout traits was his superb articulation. He just knew what to say and how to say it. When he spoke, the audience nodded in agreement… and we were struck in awe.
At that time, I had a belief… a story in my head. That there are two kinds of people in the world. The Storytellers, like Gops, who can magically conjure the right expressions for their thoughts.
And the ‘Non-Storytellers’ - the rest of us, who might be equally good at our work, but would not be able to tell a great story of that work. Because, you see, we ‘Non-Storytellers’ didn’t have that gift of eloquence, that gift of storytelling.
Over the years, however, my belief changed. As I honed my storytelling skills, I realized. “Hang on, this is not something that you are born with. This is a set of proven, repeatable techniques that you can actually use - to significantly enhance your work impact!”
Sure, not every storytelling technique will work all the time. And sure, you will end up using the wrong technique in some places. But that’s how you will learn. And as you learn, you will appreciate the immense power of this wondrous skill called Storytelling.
And so that original belief of mine - that there are two kinds of people - has now changed. Now I believe that you don’t have to ‘become’ a storyteller. There is a storyteller hidden inside you. All you have to do is to give that storyteller full expression.
My mission in life is to help you discover and hone your inner storyteller. Story Rules is my vehicle to fulfil that mission.
Hear what clients say!
Kevin IgnatiusKPMG Management Consulting
CEOYourNest Angel Fund
ParticipantLeading Analytics Firm
Ashwin NaikSerial Entrepreneur, TEDx Pune Leader
Senior HR RepInterGlobe Air Transport
Senior HR LeaderAmdocs
Vineet JainCFO, Medtronic India and COE Pricing, Asia-Pacific
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