Business management

Oliver Yonchev’s optimism for AI in business

In the final episode of season four, Flight Story co-founder Oliver Yonchev joins Angellica Bell.

Flight Story, the company Oliver founded with Stephen Bartlett, promises it will ‘keep brands at the forefront of what’s possible’, working with them to make accelerated learning less intimidating. The agency helps brands ‘lean into new opportunities through a range of strategy, content, communication and media services’.  

In this episode Oliver discusses what led him to work with Stephen and the founding of Flight Story. He also discusses his optimism for AI, the importance of workplace culture and learning good leadership.

Oliver’s Business Confession:

“I used to work in media sales. It’s not every day a big sale just lands on your lap. But one day that happened to me at the start of the month. I take it easy for the rest of the day - I literally got my full month's target in one phone call. 

“My boss grabbed me and said: ‘Oliver, as a team, we haven't hit our target, so I'm taking it off you’. I'm quite agreeable as a person, but I walked out and I felt hurt. I came in the next day, probably with a bit of attitude, and he said ‘Oliver, I can see you're being a baby still, but if you hit your target this month, I'm gonna give you that sale back. You have to be a team player’. 

“So, I left the room and I had two choices. I could either be a baby and Sulk or I could try and do what he said. I went home and thought I'm gonna quit. But then I thought I'm not gonna quit. I don't generally quit things. And I just worked really hard that month, ended up hitting my target, ended up getting all my commission bonuses. The team hit their target. And I learned a ton from that experience really early on”. 

Great leadership is not always about doing the thing that everybody wants you to do, but it's about knowing how to get the most out of people.

Oliver Yonchev
Co-Founder of Flight Story

Oliver on discovering ‘skill-stacking’

“Skill stacking is the idea that you can be the best in the world by being the best at nothing. It seems contradictory, but take Steve Jobs, for example, an iconic entrepreneur, built one of the greatest companies to ever exist. What was his skill stack? Well, you could say he was in the top 10% of developers. He wasn't the best developer but he understood code. He was a great communicator, speaker and writer. Okay, but is he in the top 10 %?  Absolutely – maybe in the top 1% in that field.” 

“But then he had these unusual skills. He studied typography and he had an appreciation for design. And typically, people that are very analytical and great at code - it's not natural for them to necessarily be great communicators or understand design. But when you combine these skills, that's how you create an exceptional person.”


Watch Stephen Bartlett’s episode of the NatWest Business Show.

Watch the episode to find out more about Oliver’s inspirational business journey.

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Please note that the views and information have not been endorsed, issued or approved by NatWest. Any views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of NatWest.

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