Top Stories

Rudra Pandey

HIKE

Surya and Baadal: A Tale of Two Personalities

बुझ्नेलाई सिरिखण्ड नबुझ्नेलाई खुर्पाको बीड …

This popular Nepali proverb means, in other words, that if you have a diamond, it is only worth something to you if you recognize its value and put it to good use. If you don’t, the precious diamond is as good as a piece of rock. I learned this and many other pieces of proverbial wisdom when I was growing up in a small village about 20 kilometers outside the Kathmandu valley. I remember many small incidents from my village life. Back then, those …

…incidents did not mean anything deep to me. However, now many of those incidents have become management mantras to me. I am always amazed at how one can relate management theory to rudimentary learning in a village. I would like to recount one such incident that serves as a clear example of the importance of soft skills in our professional careers.When I was growing up, there were two 13-year-old village boys, Surya and Baadal, whom I knew very well and still do. Even though they were cousins, they had very different characters. In addition to his studies, Surya would spend time playing around, talking, joking, meeting new people, and debating and arguing with others. He would never give up and always wanted to have fun. Baadal, on the other hand, was serious, more focused on his studies, and considered it silly to be talking to people for no reason. Both of them did well in their studies.
I am going to recount an incident, which I vividly remember, that happened about 25 years ago. The two boys were attending a family wedding party, to which I was also invited, when their grandfather asked them to go up to each and every guest and introduce themselves. Surya, the extrovert, loved the opportunity, and did what his grandfather said almost immediately. Baadal, the introvert, did not like the idea, and excused himself after meeting a few guests. The boys’ grandfather summoned them after an hour or so and asked them to summarize what they had found out from the conversations with the people they had met. I, about 17 years old then, was watching the whole thing with great curiosity since I enjoyed seeing Surya saying “Namaste” and introducing himself to everyone at the party. I was sort of jealous of him because I did not get the opportunity to say hello. Then I said to myself, “Okay, he is not my grandfather and I am just an invitee here. Also I am not a kid any more!”

Surya, the extrovert, summarized his findings in three points:
1. I do not remember half of their names, but I made sure they remembered mine
2. Some of them thought I was a crazy kid but I still didn’t stop
3. They were all having fun and loved being at the wedding party.

Baadal, the introvert, who had hardly met 10% of the crowd, summarized his findings quite differently. Here is what he had to say:
1. The crowd was very noisy
2. Some of them were talking about how bad the food was
3. Some of them thought Surya was a silly kid.

Look at the differences in their analyses. Surya was not only an “extrovert,” but also a better observer, positive thinker, and a better summarizer. Furthermore, he had a “don’t give up” attitude toward the task. Baadal, on the other hand, picked up a lot of negatives and put all guests in the same category without finishing his work.
Only much later did I realize that these two boys portrayed two very different personalities and attitudes. And it took me several years to understand their grandfather’s reply to them. He said “Drishya Dristikon Ma Bhar Parchha,” which in English means what you see depends on how you see it. He went on saying, “I am not trying to pick negatives here, boys. Try to learn from every step you take and learn to make yourself distinct and clear to others, because what is important is how others see you rather than how you see yourselves.” I did not understand what he meant then and I am sure those kids didn’t either. But the way he lectured his grandchildren was very powerful and left a lasting impression on me.

As I think more about those kids (both of them are adults now). I am reminded of two different kinds of skill sets: soft skills and hard skills. Many of us do not worry about soft skills, but are eager to acquire hard skills which can be quantified. Before explaining the importance of soft and hard skills, I would like to recount how those two boys are faring today.

They continue to reflect and possess their childhood characteristics to a large extent. The ‘introvert’ is now a medical doctor and the ‘extrovert’ has made it big after several business failures.
It was an easy path for Baadal, the introvert, as he continued to do very well in school and got a scholarship to do his M.D. He opened up a clinic and happily settled down. He now has good earnings, and he still does not care about others. He sees his patients only because he has to earn a living and because it is his job. Overall, Baadal does not like associating with other people and has a pompous nature. He is proud of what he is and his arrogance has not changed. He blames everyone but himself for what is currently happening in Nepal. 2
Surya, the extrovert, graduated from an average college, but always remained outgoing, soft spoken, and adventurous. At the age of 22, he started a business by borrowing money from his grandfather, but managed to lose it all. However, his grandfather asked him not to give up. After three different failed ventures, he had the bright idea of establishing a western style cleaning service. He started the business by borrowing Rs. 10,000 (which was then US $ 3,000) from one of his friends. It was so successful that in three years he became a wealthy businessman, the owner of a large service company with over a thousand employees.

A couple of years ago, I met both of them at a party. Baadal does not like his cousin’s business because he thinks his cousin is exploiting workers. I found it hard to believe that he still picks the negatives and complains like he did 25 years ago. Baadal does not like the fact that his cousin, with little success in college, is a hundred times richer than him. He blames the system and believes that smart people in this country are undervalued. Again, I was astonished by Baadal’s rude comment. After all, who is the smarter one here – the doctor or the entrepreneur?
These two cousins reflect two different personalities that we see all over the world today – from a little village in Nepal to big and glamorous cities in the U.S. We often find people enriched with either soft skills, hard skills, or in select cases, both. There are many with hard skills because that’s what we learn at home and in most of the schools. We are used to measuring things up. Parents measure their child by the grades they score rather than by the things they learn that are important in life. Colleges select students based on their SAT/GRE scores and GPAs rather than by the soft skills they possess. We all judge people accordingly because we, too, were once measured like that and are used to such quantitative measurement.

What, then, are soft skills? They are very difficult to define, and almost impossible to measure. But, we can instantly recognize a person with great “soft” skills. Some of the soft skills that people appreciate are: the willingness to take risks, positive thinking, a great sense of humor, the ability to step up in emergency and critical situations, effective communication skills (tone and body language), the willingness to participate in discussions in areas outside of core competencies, the ability to mix up and communicate with people other than regular buddies, the ability to get tough, the ability to express frustrations and excitement openly, and so on. These skills are not necessary to get good grades in school, but are of paramount importance in the overall development of a person.
How are we to acquire soft skills? Some people have them at birth, some learn from their parents and friends, and some acquire them in their workplaces, whereas some never do. And it is never too late to learn these skills. There are opportunities every minute in our lives to hone our soft skills, starting from a meeting room to the dinner table.

Recently, I was talking to one of the elder family friends of Surya and Baadal. I took the opportunity to learn more about their childhood (when they were 5 to 15 years of age). The revelations were interesting.
Surya was raised by his mother because his father passed away when he was five, whereas Baadal was raised by both his parents. Surya was one among five children his mother had, while Baadal was the only child of his parents. Baadal had a very protected and pampered childhood. His parents would fulfill his every demand (note that demands were not of helicopter rides from Boston suburbs to Las Vegas, as he was from a middle class village family). His parents would not let him hang out with neighborhood kids and would always take pride that their son was a top notch student in his class. The special treatment Baadal got led him to believe that he had access to privileges that others in the village did not have. Surya, however, always sounded smarter when people outside the school talked to him. Relatives were surprised that he was not doing as well as Baadal in school. Surya’s mother would ask her kids to treat everyone with respect, and loved seeing her kids play with neighborhood children. She also made it clear that she had limited resources and would not be able to fulfill each of their demands. She used to tell her kids that to succeed they had to be a good and likable person. She always reminded them that their father was one of the best in the village when it came to making money and helping villagers, even though he did not have a city education like some of his contemporaries did. She had seen people failing in life because of the lack of social skills in spite of a great educational background. She always emphasized the need of speaking up and trying new and different things because one never knows what one ends up doing in life. Thanks to his upbringing, Surya started to ponder more and more about these things through his adolescence. It became clear to him that there was more out there than what he could learn in school. Baadal had his entire world inside his text book. This summary made me understand why Surya could not do as well as Baadal in school, though he was smarter than his cousin.

This issue of hard skills and soft skills becomes even more relevant among those with a strong technical education (particularly engineers and medical doctors). In the last 26 years of my career, it has become very clear to me that 90% (maybe) of technical graduates come out of school lacking significant “soft” skills. Yet, they do not realize their shortcomings since no one reminds them of the need for “soft” skills. These techies are usually singing their own songs and reading their own books. The question is – can they go back to their childhoods and do the kind of analysis I did here for Surya and Baadal? However, you cannot always relate things back to your childhood and adolescence. Many people change during their high school and college education because technical schools tend to carve them up to certain “hard” skills. I have seen this among many of my friends.
We want the best of Surya and Baadal. Surya was an extrovert and Baadal was focused. Can you be both focused and an extrovert? Yes. Surya could have been asked to focus on getting good grades in school while also being told of the importance of knowing things that go on outside of school. Soft skills can be acquired while traveling and eating, while playing and while attending school, and even while reading books. Surya’s mother did not have that idea. Surya finally succeeded on the lesson of his grandfather, but he could have failed miserably and never achieved anything. One lesson – never give up – from his grandfather really helped him. “Not to give up” is the equivalent to getting focused. Surya was sort of lost, not knowing how to prioritize, during his adolescence. That problem persisted a few years after college, until his grandfather asked him not to give up, and advised him to take one thing that he had started and see it to completion.

Baadal could have done as well as Surya if he had some of Surya’s skill sets. Baadal is too scared to make mistakes and taking chances is not in his book. He continues to follow that lesson even today, and he pretends to be happy about his achievements. But he is not. A happy person always has some appreciation for others and always has good things to say to others. They also always see opportunities for improvement. All these things are sorely missing in Baadal’s life.

If we shape ourselves to the best of Surya and Baadal, we can have not only enjoy the moment but also come out as winners every day. There is a battle in every minute of our lives, and winning or losing it depends on one’s attitude. There is a saying in Nepali, “Ek Thakkar Chaudha Buddhi,” which, in English, means you can learn 14 tricks for every blow you receive. Those 14 tricks are not ready made for us. We have to possess the skills to grasp them. Surya learned from his grandfather how to learn from mistakes. He once mentioned to me that those who have the skill to carefully analyze their mistakes and extract lessons from them will definitely come out victorious. He also said to me that those who become arrogant after some success eventually deprive themselves from even more success in the future. He further reiterated that the quest for success does not guarantee success if you do not have patience, the willingness to take risks, a strong belief in yourself and in what you are doing, respect and appreciation for others and a determination to work hard.

I constantly refer back to things that I have learned from Surya and Baadal. I have great appreciation for them both for what they have accomplished, and I am grateful to them for sharing their feelings with me. Hats off to Surya for his entrepreneurship and to Baadal for his focus and determination! And let us learn lessons from their lives, mistakes, and careers.

94 thoughts on “Surya and Baadal: A Tale of Two Personalities

  1. Right here is the right blog for everyone who would like to
    find out about this topic. You realize so much its
    almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for years.
    Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  2. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific site.

  3. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  4. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “A second wife is hateful to the children of the first a viper is not more hateful.” by Euripides.

  5. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

  6. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried
    it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

  7. Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  8. But a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style and design. “The price one pays for pursuing a profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” by James Arthur Baldwin.

  9. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  10. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never
    found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever
    before.

  11. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  12. Today, considering the fast life-style that everyone is having, credit cards have a huge demand throughout the market. Persons from every area are using credit card and people who are not using the credit card have lined up to apply for even one. Thanks for sharing your ideas about credit cards.

  13. I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for posting. “The goal of revival is conformity to the image of Christ, not imitation of animals.” by Richard F. Lovelace.

  14. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  15. These days of austerity and also relative stress and anxiety about running into debt, some people balk against the idea of using a credit card in order to make purchase of merchandise or even pay for any occasion, preferring, instead to rely on a tried as well as trusted procedure for making settlement – hard cash. However, if you have the cash available to make the purchase in whole, then, paradoxically, that’s the best time for you to use the card for several factors.

  16. I and my friends were checking out the nice guidelines found on the website while instantly came up with a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to you for those strategies. All the ladies became totally stimulated to learn them and have surely been tapping into those things. Many thanks for getting so thoughtful and for going for some helpful resources millions of individuals are really needing to learn about. Our own honest regret for not saying thanks to sooner.

  17. of course like your website but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth nevertheless I’ll certainly come back again.

  18. Some truly great info , Sword lily I observed this. “Genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.” by Charles Spencer.

  19. Thanks so much for giving everyone remarkably wonderful chance to read from this blog. It really is so cool and also packed with a lot of fun for me and my office friends to search the blog a minimum of three times in 7 days to find out the newest issues you have got. And definitely, I’m so certainly fulfilled with your astonishing thoughts you give. Some 1 facts in this post are essentially the most suitable we have ever had.

  20. I precisely desired to appreciate you again. I do not know the things that I would have accomplished in the absence of the entire hints shared by you over my industry. It had become an absolute daunting circumstance in my circumstances, however , seeing this well-written way you managed that took me to weep over joy. I’m just grateful for this help as well as pray you realize what a great job you are providing educating many people using a blog. Most probably you’ve never got to know all of us.

  21. I must show my appreciation for your kindness for people that have the need for assistance with in this niche. Your very own commitment to getting the solution up and down had been extremely beneficial and have frequently permitted most people much like me to realize their objectives. The insightful guideline indicates a whole lot a person like me and much more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  22. I have not checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  23. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be actually one thing that I think I’d never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m taking a look forward for your next publish, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  24. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  25. Wonderful work! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the web. Disgrace on the search engines for now not positioning this submit higher! Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thanks =)

  26. I do trust all the ideas you’ve offered in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for starters. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  27. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  28. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  29. I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  30. I genuinely enjoy looking through on this internet site, it contains excellent blog posts. “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

  31. I wish to show my appreciation for your kindness in support of persons that really need help on the subject. Your very own commitment to passing the message up and down appeared to be extremely informative and have without exception helped workers just like me to attain their ambitions. Your entire warm and helpful advice can mean a great deal to me and even more to my mates. Thank you; from everyone of us.

  32. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  33. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  34. My wife and i got really fulfilled that Chris managed to carry out his basic research through the ideas he had in your blog. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be handing out tips which most people have been selling. We know we now have the blog owner to appreciate for this. The illustrations you have made, the easy site navigation, the friendships your site assist to promote – it’s many terrific, and it is making our son in addition to us understand that situation is exciting, which is certainly exceptionally pressing. Thank you for all the pieces!

  35. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  36. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  37. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  38. I do consider all the concepts you have introduced in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  39. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. Nevertheless think about if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this website could definitely be one of the best in its field. Amazing blog!

  40. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  41. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  42. Your style is unique in comparison to other
    people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have
    the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this web site.

  43. I think that is one of the most significant info for me.
    And i’m happy reading your article. But should observation on few normal things, The site taste is great,
    the articles is really great : D. Just right process, cheers

  44. I want to convey my affection for your generosity supporting people who actually need assistance with your concept. Your personal dedication to passing the message throughout appears to be exceedingly effective and has without exception made others just like me to arrive at their aims. Your amazing informative hints and tips signifies much to me and much more to my office colleagues. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  45. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have
    developed some nice practices and we are looking to
    swap strategies with other folks, be sure to shoot me
    an email if interested.

  46. Kurye olarak hizmet veren kişiler, bulundukları lokasyondaki her adrese en kısa sürede ulaşma yolunu bilirler. Üstelik verilen bu görevi hava, trafik ve buna benzer diğer olumsuz şartlardan etkilenmeden yerine getirirler. Yani iş hayatı başta olmak üzere hayatın hemen her alanında önemli görevleri üstlenebilir ve başarıyla yerine getirebilirler. Özellikle büyük şehirlerdeki trafik kaosu ve adres konusundaki karmaşa göze alınırsa, kurye hizmetlerinden faydalanmanın bazı durumlarda zorunlu hale geleceği anlaşılabilir. Örneğin İstanbul’un bir noktasından diğer bir noktasına acil şekilde önemli bir evrak ulaştırmak gerektiğinde ya da hastanızın ihtiyacı olan ilacı acil ve güvenli bir şekilde ulaştırmak gerektiğinde, İstanbul moto kurye hizmetimizden faydalanarak sorununuza çözüm üretebilirsiniz.

  47. I simply want to mention I’m beginner to weblog and really enjoyed this web blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You definitely have wonderful posts. Thank you for revealing your website page.

  48. Rudra dai:
    I finally got the chance to read your writings on management today. First of all, let me congratulate you for your excellent depiction of human personalities that ultimately “break” or “make” our life. Traditionally, the “hard” skills have been getting all the praise and attention in our society but as you have beautifully portrayed in this allegory what ultimately matters is soft skills. That’s the reason for the current shift from IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to EQ (Emotional Quotient) that we have been observing in the management field. Suffice it to say, your article has the potential to be used as a case in an MBA class.
    Gokul

  49. Rudra dai:
    I finally got the chance to read your writings on management today. First of all, let me congratulate you for your excellent depiction of human personalities that ultimately “break” or “make” our life. Traditionally, the “hard” skills have been getting all the praise and attention in our society but as you have beautifully portrayed in this allegory what ultimately matters is soft skills. That’s the reason for the current shift from IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to EQ (Emotional Quotient) that we have been observing in the management field. Suffice it to say, your article has the potential to be used as a case in an MBA class.
    Gokul

  50. Success and Satisfaction are two spiritual factors of human entity that cannot be compared with any other and that cannot be measured with any existing unit.

    As human being can be potraited as a volatile sculpture with soul, the unknown universal truth has not revealed anything that we have learnt to margin success and satisfaction by amorphous element befriending with destiny.

    Nishi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *