Episode # 33 – Successful leaders treat “Praises” and “Insults” with balance!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed two important attributes of a “Panditha”, wherein Vidura explained the importance of facing problems boldly without buckling down under fear. We witnessed a brief explanation as to how to make up our mind to plan and prepare ourselves to face the problem, rather than developing a sense of fear by anticipating the problem. Also we had a discussion wherein we emphasized that failures are part and parcel of life and they shouldn’t bog us down. Rather, we should consider failures as opportunities to better ourselves for the future. The second attribute that we discussed yesterday was about doing the right thing at the right time, rather than wasting time doing unwanted activities. Here again we emphasized the significance of “Time Management” and how essential is it for our modern day life as well.

Now moving on further, we are going to see the next attribute that Vidura explains to King Dhirdhiraashtra as to who is a “Panditha”:

“Na krishyath aathma sammaane na avamaane tripyathe!!”

Here Vidura explains to King Dhirdhiraashtra that a “Panditha” is a person who does not care about somebody insulting him or somebody praising him at any point in time. In other words, a “Panditha” never feels bad and breaks down when someone insults him, but at the same time he never jumps up and down with joy if someone praises him a lot!

How relevant is this to our modern day life as well! Today we see certain people jumping up and down with super-excitement whenever they come across a victory in their respective professions. However, if the same people encounter a loss, they are into their own shell and they’ll never be seen outside at all! This extreme behavior is not advisable for a successful leader. If there is a victory, he has to take it with a balanced frame of mind and if there is a loss, he has to be ready to take it on the chin, analyse the reasons for the failure, learn from it and move on. Normally the habit of the world is that, if somebody does something good today, everybody including the media would praise them like anything! They would equate this person to a God! However, tomorrow if this person commits even the smallest of the mistakes in the world, this same media would not shy away from criticizing this person like hell and project him as if he’s the biggest criminal on earth! This is unfortunately the way in which the present day media operates. Thus if a leader should keep listening to all these “gimmicks” of the media every day, there is going to be no end to it at all!

For instance, we’ve seen people praising our Indian Cricket team when they won the world cup in 2011. People were going hammer and tongs by running on the streets, bursting crackers, exchanging sweets, etc. so as to celebrate the victory. However, one year later when the same Indian cricket team lost a test match series in England, the same spectators and the media who once praised the team, turned to be the worst enemies ever! People were ready to go to any extent to criticize the team and insult them and their families by throwing stones at the players’ houses, etc. Here, we need to realize that “Cricket” is afterall a game and victory and defeat are part and parcel of it. As spectators of the game, all of us fail to realize it and we do not give our players the space for them to learn and recover from their loss. After all they are human beings too! They’re bound to fail too! Thus, if a cricket captain in the likes of Mr. Virat Kohli or Mr. M.S. Dhoni is going to keep listening to all these praises and critics day in and day out, never in their lives, they would have succeeded as they’ve done today! Hence it is very important that we do not give into all such gimmicks and treat praise and insult on the same plane and by not bogging down with it!

Thus the message from this important sloka is that, a “Panditha” (in the modern day context, a successful leader) should be in such a way that he is not carried away by all these kinds of ups and downs in life, just like the water in a deep part of the ocean.

There are many more attributes still left over for detailed discussion, and we shall continue the same in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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