How to Improve Programming Skills of Students….??

c72a3cc3-207e-4ea6-bb55-c75c1abf69b7

Introduction

Programming is the process of writing, testing and debugging of computer programs using different programming languages. For this, a programmer requires declarative and procedural knowledge. The former is the knowledge of programming language syntax and semantics which in turn needs memorization and comprehension abilities; whereas the latter is problem solving and program design skills which in turn needs additional skills like abstraction and logical thinking, and domain knowledge. So programming is a complex task and needs multiple skills and knowledge. Teaching programming languages is one of the foundations of computer science education. It is important for the teachers to gain students’ attention and strengthen their motivation for learning to programme with the help of a variety of teaching methods. Learning programming is a difficult task for many students and teachers are looking for methods to improve this.

Basically there are 3 main resources to teach/learn programming:

  1. Classroom teaching: In class room teaching, the teacher spends a significant amount of time in teaching the program constructs of a specific language and gets less time to expose the actual programming process. The problem with this method is that students with good comprehensive ability and logical thinking will survive but the other students find it difficult to bridge the gap between language constructs and program construction.

 

  1. Lab sessions: Lab sessions play a significant role because of the importance of practice in learning programming. But in lab sessions also, if some teachers start giving large programs as assignments to students rather than starting from small and simple programs. This non-systematic teaching will increase complexity in students’ mind, since brain has a natural tendency to learn in an incremental way. In addition to that, students may not get sufficient individual-feedback during lab session.

 

  1. Programming text books/Learning material: Programming is a dynamic process, “program” text books being a static media are ill suited to expose the process of programming.They can be used just for knowledge acquisition and they do not reveal the program construction process.

 

Difficulties of students in learning programming

A survey conducted of 137 undergraduate engineering students claims that most of the students choose “C language” as there first programming language.

d77351ad-43da-4437-a5c4-324451055783

The students in programming course can be categorized as effective and ineffective based on their effectiveness in programming. Effective students can write programs and they typically learn programming with moderate effort. Whereas, ineffective students cannot write correct programs and need more personal attention and cognitive support to learn programming. Since the failure rate is high, the ineffective category plays a significant role in the effectiveness of programming courses. Survey respondents (both category) were asked to list at least five difficulties they faced during programming. Since the question was in open format, a wide variety of difficulties they encountered during programming were listed.
These are classified as follows, mainly based on the programming process aspect:
i. Starting problems
ii. Language syntax related
iii. Logic related
iv. Debugging related
v. Lack of knowledge related to various aspects like OS, problem domain etc.

                             Domain Associated programming difficulties
 Knowledge: Recall data
  • Difficulty to remember the syntax of a Programming Language and makes syntax errors
  • Lack of knowledge of useful library functions and header files
  • Lack of knowledge about system software
  • Forget to declare/initialize variables
  • Lack of problem-domain knowledge
Comprehension: Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems; state a problem in one’s own words
  • Difficulty to understand the problem to solve
  • Unable to interpret the compiler generated error/warning messages
  • Difficulty in translating a logic to program
  • Difficulty in minimizing the number of steps
  • Difficulty to comprehend a given program
Application: Use a concept in a new situation
or use an abstraction unprompted; apply what
was learned in the classroom to novel
situations in the workplace
  •  Unable to apply theoretical knowledge
  •  Unable to solve a given problem
  •  Difficulty in algorithm design
  •  Difficulty in code optimization
Analysis: Separate material or concepts into
component parts so that its organizational
structure may be understood; distinguish
between facts and inferences
  •  Difficulty to comprehend a program without comments
  •  Difficulty to understand recursive functions
  •  Difficulty to understand the logic of large/complex programs
Synthesis: Build a structure or pattern from diverse elements; put parts together to form a whole structure, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure
  •  Taking more time to find a correct logic
  •  Difficulty in algorithm design
  •  Difficulty to integrate different modules
Evaluation: Make judgments about the value
of ideas or materials
  •  Unable to describe a program logic
  •  Difficulty to justify and debug a program logic
  •  Taking more time to debug a program

Ways to improve Programming skills in students:

Regarding this issue we had a talk with Prof. Sagar Chitte from CMCS college, Nashik. Sir shared his teaching experience with us and suggested following ways to improve programming skills in students.

  • Interest of a student is the basic factor which influences learning. If a student is not at all interested in learning then no matter how hard a teacher tries to teach, it will all be just a waste of time and energy. Hence a student should have serious and positive attitude towards learning.
  • Language can also be a barrier while learning something new. Some students may not be able to easily grasp something taught in English language. Hence the meaning of syntax should be conveyed to the students in a language they are comfortable to understand.
  • It is recommended to students to use good reference books to learn coding. Do not refer local author books.
  • Teachers should take more lab sessions than classroom lectures. In an annual pattern the theory lectures are of 36 hrs while practical lab sessions are around 100 hrs. if these 36 hrs of classroom sessions are conducted in the lab itself then more mileage can be achieved in terms of hands on programming for students. Starting with a presentation of 10-15mins and then let students practice on their own using a computer.

be5bf6fe-25f4-476b-86db-768bd38eb66f

  • On initial stage when a programming language is new to you, try to use comments for every line. This will help you to understand the code more easily and remember it for longer.
  • The assignments provided to students should be from low to high complexity. This helps students to grasp more easily. This technique will also eliminate the fear of programming in students.
  • Each student should be given different assignments so that they don’t copy paste it and just complete it for formality. Today every students gets the same assignment.
  • The assignments given to the students should be purely application based. For eg. instead of giving a direct assignment of ‘sorting’, tell students to write a program to create mark list of students starting from highest marks to lowest and announce top 3 students in classroom. This will increase their logical ability.
  • Students should continuously verify the code by changing some values or variables in the code and then check the corresponding output.
  • Students should themselves debug the code and find errors and correct it.

Hence by taking care of simple things we can give India better software developers and Engineers. Learn the technologies used in or related to your current projects, and learn them much more broadly and deeply than strictly necessary for the job. This way, you can immediately put your newly gained knowledge to work, which helps your motivation, and helps you to understand and remember what you learn.

If you have any suggestions or ideas to improve programming skills feel free to send us on shefali@cognifront.com

Cognifront.com develops worlds best engineering education software which saves 30% efforts of teachers and score 20% more marks and increase more admissions in the college

 

 

Failure Rate of Engineering Students in 1st Year – A study

4f0b81d5-f8ee-4811-b3f7-1e38a4c4ead7

As we know, there has been phenomenal expansion of self-financing engineering colleges throughout the length and breadth of the country without taking into consideration Need Analysis in respect of the demand and supply of engineering graduates. Today, if one desires to determine the number of engineering colleges in the country, it may indeed be a difficult proposition. Further, this has resulted into unemployment of engineering graduates qualifying from self- financing engineering colleges. In this context, it is important to study the paper of this author “Declining Standards of Technical Education” published by congnifront very recently.

It is important to mention that there was a time when engineering education used to be the first choice of students and now we are witnessing that good students are not opting for career in self- financing institution, with the result, in majority of these colleges, even 25-30% of the sanctioned intake could not be filled. Around 25-30% of such institutions are at the verge of closure and finding other ways and means to run the colleges by offering non-engineering courses and even to the extent of conversion to schools.

This author conducted a study of self- financing institutions by collecting feedback from 15 colleges and also looked at the university results of failure rate of engineering students in 1st year in these colleges. Following are the details arrived at from the feedback based on the result of December, 2014 examination:

  • 46-53% students could not qualify the subject of mathematics
  • 50-60% students failed in physics
  • 30-42% students could not qualify the subject of chemistry
  • 33-40% students also had compartment in engineering drawing
  • 50-55% students could not qualify the subject of English
  • 40-45% students failed in Bio-Technology

When the entire first year result was analyzed, it was noticed that only 20-30% students were such who could qualify all the subjects without having any compartment in any subject.

Results of some of the private universities are better because of internal system of examination.
This author interacted with good percentage of teachers to determine the reasons for such large failure of students in the first year. Following is the summary of feedback received from teachers:

  • 50-60% students joining B.Tech courses are of lower merit ranging from 40-55%.
  • Majority of these student are poor in basic sciences and humanities and do not possess cognitive abilities to comprehend what is being taught to them.

00f9f409-fa63-4358-bf2f-9e3bd3c52d8a

  • 30 to 40% students do not attend the classes on regular basis, with the result continuity is missed. These students comprise of those students who have been forced by their parents to join B.Tech courses.
  • Medium of instruction and the environment of engineering colleges is much different from school education. This is also one of the reason that students with lower merit feel inferior, particularly as compared to urban students.
  • Many teachers pointed out that in the school system, students develop the habit of cramming, which is not relevant in the professional colleges.

Some students also mentioned that good percentage of teachers teach too fast. They are not able to cope up with their speed. Students hesitate to clarify their doubts due to the fear of snubbing.

Under the scenario described above, what could be the solution alternatives? This author suggests the following:

  • Further growth of engineering colleges in the conventional disciplines should be stopped. The focus should be to stabilize the existing institutions.
  • It is also essential to limit the intake to a  maximum of 60 students in each discipline with at least 60% marks at 10+ 2 level. This is being suggested to admit students with minimum cognitive abilities. It should also be understood that the industry do not hire students below this level for employment.
  • It may be worthwhile to offer a foundation course of 4 – 6 weeks  in basic sciences to all new entrants before actual classes start.
  • Stress should be given on tutorial and laboratory classes to clarify basic concepts and principles involved.
  • It may also be essential to offer remedial classes for weak students.
  • Organization of quiz competitions in basic sciences can also be helpful to considerable extent. This can be further supplemented by organizing science exhibitions.
  • While teaching basic sciences, teachers may use A.V. aids/demonstrations to clarify concepts and principles.
  • The course contents should be proponed to keep essential aspects of applied sciences.

The paper closes by saying that teaching of basic sciences is a must for engineering professional and some of the suggestions made in this paper can go a long way in improving the situation. Suggestions/ remarks if any, may be forwarded to :

Prof.(Dr) L.N. Mittal
e-mail Id: lnmittal_2010@yahoo.com,
Mobile No. 09041011600

Social networking damaging our culture…..???

b76e5fdd-e8cf-4ace-b68c-5e460027603c

Social-Networking sites have taken the world by a storm leading to nothing less than a revolution. A lot of concern has been voiced about these sites taking over our lives. One of the major issues is that its changing the mind-set of the youth. Social media pushes the virtual friend count to new heights but the culture as a whole is getting even more isolated.

Statistics says that WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users worldwide and around 50 billion messages per day and Facebook has 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide. In America there can be need of these kind of social media as people there do not a great social life, people in America are quite lonely but here in India the case is different since childhood we make good bonds with the people outside, we do have friends.

5a6046e3-007d-4216-a6f0-0068cb0c9ab2

We are growing up in a world where our popularity is directly proportional to the number of likes and the comments we get on our Photoshop enhanced picture .this is the virtual world in which today’s generation is living. This definitely has an impact on the psychology of children.

At any hangout or get together more time is spend on clicking pictures and uploading them on the virtual world rather than enjoying the event. Then begins the flood of likes and comments. The social networking sites and the culture they created is thus breeding ground for vain, self-obsessed younger generation.

From an outside view digital interaction seems to be cold and inhuman. The bond that we build up here is an electronic bond. Given the choice between poking someone and hugging someone, I think we all can agree which one feels better.

Social networking is surely bringing us “closer to the people we are far away from” but it is also taking us “farther from the people we are close enough”. Social media simultaneously draws us nearer and distances us. Why a mother has to compliment here daughter on Facebook? Is there any need to express your love to your mother, father, husband, wife or brother on Facebook ? Do we really need to wish mother’s day and father’s day on Facebook ? Give it a thought…Instead if we in person will wish them or compliment them, it will be more realistic and the bond between two will become more stronger.

Our real life social networks are hugely important, and vanishing. The streets in the cities these days looks like a ghost town; there is not a single soul to be seen. People only emerge to go to and come back from work. Even the kids are inside buried in internet and video games.

Whatsapp is ruining our relationships:

  • The last seen feature of the app has led to many arguments that have resulted in nasty breakups or negativity among relationships. It’s funny how people give so much of importance’s to last seen. If the last seen is 3:30am and I spoke to him at 1:30 last, what was he up after that? Has become the universal pain all over.
  • As if the last seen was not enough whatsapp introduced the “Blue ticks” to inform you when your message has been read. If people don’t see a reply in this case then psychologically they start thinking in a negative sense as why She/he is ignoring me? Not even cared to reply after seeing my message…Don’t want to talk to me?? Don’t have time for me?? I will also not message him here after and so on…the negativity flows ruining the relation.

4aeca49f-9165-4516-b2a8-8d385a97b09e

  • The word ‘peace’ vanished from our vocabulary after whatsapp groups came along. Constant phone beeping, senseless forwards and an unnecessary usage of the abbreviation “lol” for not appearing rude has driven us to distraction. You are rude if you don’t reply on a group. Watch out you are constantly being judged.
  • Recent news on 13th oct 2015 says “A newlywed women only 20 years old named Aparna from Kerala region hangs herself because her Indian husband took away her phone as she was always on Facebook and whatsapp.”
  • Indian ladies detective from Delhi says Most people`s marriages were fine until they started using Facebook and whatsapp. The social media boom is playing havoc with Indian urban marriages. there are 3500 private detective agencies in Delhi alone, many run by women investigating unfaithful husbands and wives.
  • One of the case claims that a wife was cheating her husband with a man she had met on Facebook. The man had flown from South Africa for a date with her.
  • Paliwal, 38, a successful private detective from Delhi said “Earlier cheating was one- sided. Now it’s two-sided. The culprit, she says, is technology: “Most of the people who come to me have been married for 8 to 10 years. Their marriages were going fine until they started to copy youngsters and got into habit of using Facebook and whtasapp. Many of them go too far into it ruining their families.

It is important to be protective about one’s culture and values. When we are constantly distracted by social media how can we give due attention and energy towards our own culture? This is exactly what is happening to Indian women’s who are home makers and spending time on social media. If this continues we are sure to lose sight of our rich cultural values and start adopting superficial and temporary fad.

We can get rid of this by setting time constraints: It is important that we should limit ourselves from using whatsapp and Facebook. Try and control the urge of checking your account every minute when you are working, studying, or hanging out with friends. There’s a need to regulate its usage.

7da37c6e-4126-4c40-a049-a07a2caca268

Years later looking back on our teen years, do we want to remember spending time bothering about an virtual world where we are judged on how we ‘portray’ ourselves to be. Do we want to be informed about what’s going on in people’s lives? And while we sit doing nothing constructive?

I am sure deep inside each one of us would rather see ourselves doing something productive towards our career, society and the world for better tomorrow. The social networking media has revolutionized the world, bringing us closer than even before, making life easier than it was before. We can exploit and use this even for a better life, a better tomorrow. It should be used to connect, stay in touch easily, share views and not waste time on.

Declining Standards of Technical Education

There has been mushroom growth of self-financing engineering colleges throughout the length and breadth of the country after 2005. As per AICTE Approval Process Handbook 2013-14,currently there are 3696 Engineering Colleges offering B.Tech. Courses with an intake of around 18 lacs. In addition, there are 17 IITs and 30 NITs with an intake of 9617 and 15485 respectively in these Institutions. Such an expansion of undergraduate level has created miss match between demand and supply of technical manpower. The expansion has been to that extent that majority of Self Financing Engineering Colleges are not able to fill even 50% of the sanctioned intake and adopt all kinds of cheap methods to attract students for admission in the Engineering Colleges. Observations reveal that majority of students join engineering colleges because of the glamour attached to a degree in our country. According to research from over 5000 students and 500 teachers working in various self-financing Engineering Colleges, the analysis reveal the following:
  • There is increasing absenteeism and indiscipline in most of the engineering colleges.
  • Around 35-40% students do not attend classes on regular basis.
  • 50-60% students joining B.Tech. courses are of lower merit.
  • More than 40% students are very poor in basic sciences and humanities like physics, chemistry, mathematics and English and do not possess cognitive abilities to comprehend what is been taught to them.

  • A good percentage of students are not able to qualify paper pencil test, which give lot of emphasis on rote learning, asking students to “solve 5 questions out of 8” like the practice prevailing in General Universities.
  • Neither faculty nor students are serious about practical work in laboratories and workshops.
  • Majority of students bring false certificate of having undergone practical training.
  • Project work is also executed as a group activity rather than developing competencies of problem solving in the students.

Above scenario of technical education in most of self-financing engineering colleges has resulted in declining the standards of technical education and majority of graduates coming out from the system are deficient in conceptual understanding of concepts and principles, design and drawing skills, estimating and costing skills, analytical abilities and even the soft skills required for effective functioning in the world of work.

An interaction with students reveals that due to poor academic background, they are not able to cope up with the studies and majority of them are placed in compartments in basic sciences and are under terrible depression with the fear that they may not be able to qualify the course of studies. Majority of students are also not able to get employment for years together.

It is therefore essential that:

  • Further mushroom growth of engineering colleges purely being opened/run for commercial motives should be stopped. The focus should be to stabilize the existing institutions with specific reference to availability of faculty and the quality of technical manpower produced.
  • It is also essential to limit the intake of a maximum of 60 students in each discipline with at least 60% marks at 10+2 level. This is being suggested so because industry, by and large, do not hire graduates below this level for employment. This will also help in planning Teaching Learning Process more effectively.
  • There is a need to revise the curricula of engineering courses so that these are industry-oriented and practice based. While revising the curricula, it should be kept in mind that laboratory and workshop experiences may match with the professional life of engineers.
  • It is also essential that the faculty working in the engineering colleges should be exposed to industry in a phased manner so that they are able to relate the instruction with actual work-bench requirements. The faculty should also be given induction training and continued exposure in pedagogy for logical and chronological delivery of instructions.
  • Teaching-learning process in the engineering colleges should lay greater emphasis on graded laboratory and workshop experiences, discovery learning, research work, prototype development, developing processes and systems, disassembly-assembly experiences, provide live and meaningful project work to the students to develop their problem-solving skills. Computer aided learning packages, virtual/simulated laboratory experiences etc. can also help a great deal to avoid boredom and making teaching- learning process more students centered.
  • Current system of examination consumes lot of time and is also dominated by paper-pencil type examination. It should lay greater focus on practical work, practical training and project work. It will be worthwhile to appoint a working group to deliberate on the issue of bringing improvements in the system of examination at under-graduate level to develop desired competence in the students.
  • It is also essential to look into the quality of M. Tech. and PhD. courses being offered by several Institutions with specific reference to the faculty teaching these courses and the type of research work being done by such Institutions.
  • To give impetus to research and consultancy, each department of an engineering college is supposed to offer research and consultancy services to the industry/community and is also required to offer continuing education programs for working technical manpower for effective functioning. This will also help in developing symbiotic linkages with industries.
  • Engineering Colleges which have turned out two batches may be asked to get accredited by NBA with in a period of five years, failing which the affiliation of such colleges may be stopped.
It is hoped that Government, AICTE and Universities may take corrective actions for improving the system of technical education.

Should Educational Content be FREE ?

Feel weird about that? Me too. That’s because the word “free” is complicated. People love getting things for free, but the word also has a handful of negative connotations and may hurt your business.

Is it more ethical to price a course for free if it leads to less people reading your content? What if that content is essential to your audience’s well-being/happiness/business success?

Charging for online course/content is linked to increased completion rates and this can be proved statistically.

Are students who enroll in a paid course more engaged than those who enroll in a free course?

Student engagement is at the heart of research because it has the greatest impact on educational outcomes. For example, higher levels of student engagement are associated with higher grade point averages, better attendance rates, and fewer dropped classes.

It has been found that in paid enrollment, students completed 36% of a course on average. In free courses, student completed just 9% of a course on average.

Additional research showed that the average completion of just 1 lecture in a free and paid course. Students are 3x more likely to complete just 1 lecture in a course if it’s a paid course rather than a free course.

“It has been found that the same course, when distributed free versus when a student pays, has a drastically different completion rate,” Nagpal explained. “When you give a coupon for a free class, the completion rate can be in the low single digits. When you charge for the same course, the completion rate can be 30 or 40%. The more you charge for a course, the more people actually complete it.”

While it seems selfless and charitable to give your course away for free, you’re ultimately signalling to your audience that your information isn’t valuable.

Few reasons why priced courses might produce more engagement than free courses :

Price communicates value

Without going too far into more nerdy economic, we know that people tend to value something that has an assigned value over something that’s free.

Marc Slocum, of O’Reilly Media said, “Free product comes with low expectations (“Hey, it’s free) and neutral perceptions (“What’s the worst that can happen?”)” and I 100% agree. Conversely, a product priced at a higher cost is perceived to be more valuable.

Let me ask you a question, do you want the car for 10k dollars, 50K dollars or 100K ?

Free can have spam connotations

Personally, when I think “free”, I think infomercials with an additional set of knives that come for free. I think used-car salesman. I think of people trying to mine my data while asking if I want to win a free trip. Not great.

Free is well known in the marketing world as a converting word. There’s little risk and people seem open to try free things. However, the word has been abused and can come off as spam if you’re not careful. Give things away, but do it with style.

Mail Chimp, a well-respected company in email marketing industry, has written extensively on the word free and its “spamminess”. They’ve detailed how using the word in your emails, and specifically the subject line, can send your email right to the spam box.

People feel obligation after they have paid for something

Once people have purchased your course, it becomes a sunk cost. Rational or irrational, this make us prone to loss aversion and framing effects. While we always think it’s worth your time to complete a course you purchased, knowing that you paid money for something pushes you to utilize that very thing.

CONCLUSION:

Pricing your course doesn’t bar you from giving away content for free. Some of the best ways to grow your audience is by giving away pieces of content that:

  • Shows your audience what to expect from you
  • Conveys the value of your content
  • Generates reciprocity between you and your audience

Conrad, a co-founder at Fedora, recently wrote about the benefits of giving away a free mini-course. As the marketing adage goes, you’ve got to give, give, give and then take. Give away juicy content that makes people crave what’s coming next, but then charge for the rest of it.

This is how it works…..!!!

Right Job!!-Asking yourself- When? Why?

There are 2 key points that I am going to discuss in this article:
 1. Resume and interviews,
2. Selecting your career or the right job.

Resume and interview are the first of those things that are taught to us when we join any Bachelor’s program. Be it from engineering to BBA, BCA or BCS or BA; teachers always talk about how you would be put to test after leaving the course and how one will have to be prepared to crack it. They tell us about how life will take turn and how your two page resume will end up getting you a job somewhere in some cubicle.

There are hundreds of sites that talk only on how to crack interviews and how to build resumes. These sites are often taking considerations about what all people who have decided their life will flow only in certain direction, do. But, there are people whose resume talk about their life in such a varied way, that one tends to think how this person can do so much in just one life. These sites also offer various templates and flow charts to allow one to decide how their resume will look, depending on the job profile, preferred by the candidate. Also, on these same sites, you will find various interview questions and the tips to crack it. You won’t need to go anywhere else to find information regarding anything, to relate to resume and interviews.

But there is this one thought, constantly nagging us, that whether the job we chose is the right one. Will it always make us happy? Will it always make us proud of ourselves? Will I be contented with the work that I will do here? How many sites are there which actually talks about what job is right for you?

I read an article on Forbes site. It was written by Muse, the contributor. This article talks about how one can choose the right career path and then decide where to go. I found this very interesting piece of information when I was searching for a site regarding how to choose the right career for myself. Believe me, there are fewer sites that actually make you think about careers. Here are the questions you can find on that site which I found interesting:

1. If I could choose one friend to trade jobs with, I’d choose____________, because ____________.

2. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do ____________. It’s interesting to me because ____________.

3. If I had the right education or skill set, I’d definitely try ____________, because ____________.

4. If I had to go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in ____________, because ____________.

5. My co-workers and friends always say I’m great at ____________, because ____________.

6. The thing I love most about my current job is ____________, because ____________.

7. If my boss would let me, I’d do more of ____________, because ____________.

8. If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose ____________, because ____________.

9. When I retire, I want to be known for ____________, because ____________.

When you are done with answering these questions, you may think that, “I never gave a thought on this. I never actually know what I wanted to do!! ”. This tough thought provoking!! The major point is to read this article is to make you realize that, the job you do, isn’t actually you want to do. Many people complain that they aren’t happy, where they work. The reason I found is they do not think seriously on what kind of job they want to do. Students take certain course because their parents said they would be good at or they were misguided by someone influential person or what they see on TV. Having a will for particular course isn’t bad, but answering these questions might give an insight whether what you chose is right or is not worth your time.

I checked one lecture named “Your Job is not your job” on YouTube given by a professor at MIT. His name is Prof. Fred Kofman. He talked about how one can define the goal in one’s work profile. If a person is sure what his job is he will be so certain, that he will not be fed up with work again. For example, if I ask a teacher what is your job? He will reply my job is to teach. But, Fred Kofman says that no, your job isn’t teaching!!!! Your job is to help other people learn. People come to you because they think you are their best guide. This is the difference that Prof. Fred Kofman stated in that lecture.

Making your goal certain so that your decision is right.

The reason I am writing this article is to, help my friends to develop thinking for themselves.

How A Leader Should Be

Everybody knows the importance of a good leader. Leaders have always been there throughout the history of mankind. Whether we take an example of a leader in a family in the Stone Age times or leader in medieval history or in the current generation of digital marketing, the presence and importance of a leader have always been felt. Although present times have changed enormously with those of the previous times, a society of no matter which time period it is from always looks upon its leaders to guide them.

Any organization, state, sports team, or even a family cannot run successfully without an effective leader. There seems to be some key way and qualities for a person to become an effective and influential leader.

A good leader always has to possess knowledge. It is of diminutive importance that how much he is educated. Education imbibes skills while leadership qualities are initiated by the person himself. Many a time, a street smart person turns out to be a great leader, not because of education but because of knowledge. This is a global thing. Several educational qualifications are required to become government officials but there is no particular formula required for a leader. Taking an example of a flock of sheep and a dog may prove to be helpful here. If we consider the flock to be a team which provides wool and milk, thus our educated class and the herding dog who guides them and help them to be together to provide better products, a smart leader then we can understand this. This type of leader can work great to be a minister of some place but not in a technical field.

All people must have acknowledged someone in their lives, a person with a personality who is absolutely perfect in his skills and is the best in domain. Leaders may not be good in teaching their skills to others. Therefore, education need not provide a good leader every time. Many ministers in many countries aren’t educated, but that doesn’t stop them to become a leader. Their communication skills and knowledge about people in general are more than enough to have a potential to lead a country. Largely, sometimes even the most educated one knows that he must get a good guide above him, to show him his path.

Leaders always have been good with people. They have the orating power which can influence people. His orating skills should be sharp and succinct. He should not be personal, but can use personal experience to induce confidence in his team. Many of us in our personal lives, long to a have a great leader among us. In today’s time of entrepreneurship, if we a have a technical developer and a market enthusiast, they both would want a good leader. Leader should be able to provide a delightful environment for the workers to produce good results.
A good leader is aware of the fact that getting the best out of anybody is essential. His own work in his team should be commendable. The initiation and a strong base for any project should be set up.by him. He should be able to plan out things. Planning of any sort is very important in a system. His planning should be in such a way that it independently empowers his workers and gives them freedom to put forward their best work. With his planning he should have a mind vision of the process of the whole work. He should take a flexible approach in his work and should know how to reroute a path, if some process takes time.
Apart from his own work, a leader will help to build a strong leadership quality in him should be his ethics and courage. We see that morality is everywhere. His followers would be well informed how moral he is. And in this field, it would turn out to be a huge boost in his worker’s mind to see that their leader values ethics . A well established moral code mixed with courage would take the impression of a leader for his team on skies. If we put our self in the shoes of a worker and where his leader shows raw and brutal courage for risks , we can easily imagine the strong positive vibes coming. Good moral values not only keep in check with the behavior of the leader, but also with the followers.

A leader knows he has a team or workers or a society behind him. He must be willing to admit his mistakes whenever been done. A relation between a leader and his team should be understood completely. As in any relation trust is the building blocks of that relation, so as in this one. An employee can always show his trust to his company by being loyal to it and giving his maximum effort every time the company asks for it. But, for a leader, gaining trust of his fellow workers is of extreme importance. The simple and most effective way is to be honest with them. Leader is also a human and thus eventuality would bring out a mistake in him. A smart and great leader must take this opportunity of his mistake and declare his apologies to his team members.

True test of leader anywhere, comes during a time of emergency or a big crisis.Any sign of panic would not be well taken by his subjects. He must show great patience during these times. He would have to work with his team to get to a suitable solution of the problem. Taking everybody together would help to overcome the situation.

Becoming a great leader is an art and to master this art one must have these many qualities. We have seen in the past how not having a good leadership system caused havoc .The mighty Mughal Empire fall down after the fall of Aurangzeb. Before that, the Mughals had ruled India, for more than 300 years only because of majestic leaders like Akbar. All time great leaders like Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi etc, all these have been able to be great leaders by their work ethics and people skill. The society always needs a good leader. Without a good leader, even the best of minds would struggle to comprehend their thoughts.
Any leader must be resourceful. He should see his skilled team as resource. He should know where to use what resource. Also he must be answerable to his colleagues. An interaction is a must where the leader listens to the many ideas and gets a feed back of his work. Maintaining a family like atmosphere is very significant. What must be completely avoided by the leader is to form any kind of biased favor for anyone. There should be no hierarchical clusters be allowed to form in the work. A leader must always possess qualities of a judge. His good judgement in cases of conflicts would be important.