Ramu and Shamu : Reader Comments

This time we cover an interesting thread of discussion initiated Sanjay Gadkari on the post Ramu and Shamu by Sanjiv Marathe

But before that, interesting thoughts from Suman Mukherjee as the year comes to an end.

1.  Success (Meaning how others measure you against some conventional standard) and Happiness (Pertaining to what you feel inside yourself) are tricky ideas when it come to professional growth. The real challenge is balancing the two when we are at the workplace.

2.  Work – Life balance (Implying work as the center of things and how life needs to be balanced around work to succeed at work without destabilizing your home) Vs. Life – work balance (Implying life and living well as the center of things and how work needs to be balanced around life to succeed at living life without jeopardizing your work)

Coming back to the post Ramu and Shamu

Sanjay Gadkari says…

Yes. Both Ramu & Shamu characters are seen every day around us. Today’s world is of street smart – Shamus. But most of us are brought up “Ramu way”. I mean our up bringing taught us to be Sincere, Hard working, Punctual, not to break rules etc. Unfortunately, the time has come to conclude that all these “qualities” are no more good for one’s success. In fact, the story tells us – Being always late, jumping stop signals.. etc. are in a way building the character of Shamu who would succeed in life.

The question is – are our ways of upbringing outdated ? Should we preach our children to be “Street Smart” the way Shamu was ??
I can understand to be little smart & enthusiastic. But today, the corporate world is promoting peolpe who are not sincere, who breaks the rules, or get the result buy hook or crook. Is this a good state of affairs ?

Sanjiv Marathe responds…


But I am also looking at the old man’s judgment. He trusted Shamu in spite of his initial failures and allowed his so called “experiments” to continue. He had faith in him that one day Shamu will learn from his mistakes, and eventually the ROI would be much higer.

Today, as a manager I have say 10 juniors reporting to me. To what extent do I allow them to break the rules? Hardly any!! Today’s juniors will just take advantage of “relaxed rules” and go party !!

How do I bring myself up to the maturity and trusting level of the old man?

Anyway, thank you Sandeep.

bhushan@shreyam.in interjects…

In an organisation we need both kinds of people and we need to encourage each person to develop his talents in the appropriate direction. An astute manager will recognise Shamu’s talents in entrepreneurship. At the same time, watch out for the shadow side i.e. ethically unacceptable practises.

Simultaneously, he will recognise Ramu’s talent for discipline and process orientation (we lament the lack of this in fresh engineers). I would then help Ramu with his shadow side i.e. not trying out new things for fear of being reprimanded.

Comment from Sanjay Gadkari…

It is really a tough task to identify Shamus who have great potential which can be developed. If we aquire that skill, may be we can make leaders for tomorrow ! But identification is the issue. Otherwise, all the Shamus (face value) will keep getting pat on the back; we will develop a culture that the way of life is – Jump the red lights, never be in time.. and so on.
Safer way could be to train Ramu to take some risks; be agressive in life.




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