How to Become a Better Leader

Whether you’re the entrepreneur of a growing startup, the de facto captain of a small team within your company, or the president of a local community group, your success will depend on your leadership abilities. Growing into a better leader can help you get a better performance out of your team members, get closer to achieving your goals, and can even help you advance to a higher position.

The question is, how can you become a better leader?

Develop Your Own Leadership Philosophy

“Better” leadership is hard to define. The qualities that make a great leader in one organization may make a terrible leader in another organization. While there are some definite no-nos to avoid and universally positive qualities to embody, you also need to find your own leadership style and philosophy.

What kind of leader do you want to be? Do you want to be a mostly hands-off, laissez-faire type of leader who encourages independence and autonomy in your employees? Or would you prefer to be a hands-on, coaching type of leader who’s deeply involved with your employees’ work? Neither of these approaches is “right,” but they often work better in certain industries, within certain teams, or for certain types of people. It’s on you to figure out which approach suits you better.

Get Education

Education doesn’t necessarily make you a better leader, but it certainly helps. Learning more about your industry can make you more knowledgeable, and therefore better capable of helping your teammates achieve a better performance. And learning about a wide range of different subjects can make you more empathetic and more creative.

Education doesn’t stop when you get a degree, either. Continue taking classes and pushing the limits of your own knowledge throughout your development as a leader.

Get Certification

Next, consider getting certification. Depending on your industry and the nature of your leadership position, certification could introduce you to new norms, ethical structures, and considerations that can make you a stronger leader. According to, for example, you can become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and get access to principles and concepts that can make you into a more knowledgeable and capable accounting leader.

Find a Mentor

Great leaders often learn from great leaders. While it’s entirely feasible to develop your own leadership strategy organically, from the ground up, you might learn faster or be exposed to more diverse concepts by working with a mentor.

You can find a mentor through networking or by specifically applying for a mentorship program. Either way, you’ll eventually find a match and learn from someone who has been developing their leadership abilities for years (if not decades).

Read and Review Other Leaders

Your mentor may be able to teach you a lot of fundamentals about leadership, but they’re still only one voice – and they probably represent only one leadership style. If you want to become a more robust, diverse leader, it’s important to read and review other leaders.

The easiest way to do this is to read books and listen to podcasts by successful people. You can also study their approach by reading interviews, researching their biographies, and learning from the people who have worked with them in the past.

Keep a Positive Attitude

Try to keep a positive attitude, even when things get tough. Your optimism will help you find solutions for even the toughest problems and keep you from experiencing too much stress. On top of that, your positive attitude will be contagious; if you’re consistently optimistic, your team members will likely follow suit, resulting in a much more positive (and therefore productive) work environment for everyone. If you’re not feeling especially positive, fake it.

Admit Your Mistakes

Don’t be afraid to admit your own mistakes and imperfections. Doing so takes humility and confidence, but it has a few different positive effects. For starters, freely acknowledging your weaknesses gives you a chance to improve them; if you already believe you’re perfect, you’ll never spend time improving anything. Instead, you’ll remain stagnant indefinitely.

Admitting mistakes to others is also a powerful tool to build trust. When your team members see you as a genuine and transparent human being, they’ll be much more likely to respect you, trust you, and open up to you about mistakes and weaknesses of their own.

Encourage Leadership in Others

Leadership shouldn’t be about forcing everyone else to work the way you want them to. It should be about inspiring people to be their best. In most cases, this means it’s incredibly valuable to encourage other people to be leaders in their own right.

Experiment Frequently

You may think you have the right process down already, but there might be something even better you can try. Accordingly, it’s in your best interest as a leader to experiment frequently. Try out new styles, new techniques, and new approaches, and observe your results. Over time, you’ll cultivate a much better collection of leadership tactics.

Collect Feedback

Finally, take the time to collect feedback. Leaders often spend a lot of time giving feedback to their team members, helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses while guiding them to improve. But it’s just as important to take feedback from them.

In periodic reviews, ask your employees to give you their honest opinions about your leadership style and approach. Which of your approaches seem to get favorable results? Which ones fall flat? Are there things you could be doing better? Collect these answers anonymously as well as in one-on-one interviews.

You don’t have to act on every piece of advice you receive, but if you notice a general trend across several team members, it’s probably worth looking into.

Whatever type of leader you want to be, you’ll get closer to achieving that vision if you’re passionate and serious about your work. If your leadership development is a top priority for you, and if you’re willing to put in extra hours and extra effort, it’s only a matter of time before you become a stronger leader in your own right.

10 Tips for Managing Your Academic Research Project

To conduct a Ph.D. research is not only tedious but also takes time and effort for Ph.D. candidates. The candidates have between 3 to 4 years to complete the project, but time moves so fast that they feel inadequate. Most of the time, the candidates seek an extension of time to complete the Ph.D. research project or continue writing the dissertation after running out of funding. According to VivaEssays, Ph.D. candidates have a lot of work to deliver within a limited period, such as conducting their studies, finishing proposals for submissions, presentations of papers, and publishing the same papers.

The Ph.D. candidates feel awful as the deadline for the submission of their project approaches pretty fast. At this time, they race against time to complete the project. During this time, the candidates wish that they had planned and managed their work well.

Some of them might be doing some peer review work, mentoring studies, and teaching. Besides their intellectual work Ph.D., candidates grapple with several logistic and administrative works to balance together with their research activities. Similarly, delays will leave them with a limited time than they ever imagined.

Ph.D. candidates who are researchers need to manage their time well to become effective and successful in their work. Effective management of their time ensures that the research journey is happy and smooth and avoids last-minute rush that leads to delays and stress. To finish your Ph.D. project before financial worries start, you need to possess some critical skills. It is unnecessary to learn advanced courses in scheduling and forecasting, but simple project management skills are enough to get you through.

In this article, we explore critical tips that will help you remain on track with research work and pay attention to important aspects.

  • Make use of project management tools: Well-organized planning is an important ingredient to effective time-management. At the start of each academic year or semester, make sure you have an outlined plan in your mind on how you will spend your time and resources at your disposal. There are several planning and project management tools online, such as proofHub, Trello, and Asano. When you use them, your project will remain on course.
  • Work on several goals at the same time: Once you have a list of your key goals, see if you can execute some simultaneously, and make sure that you have good progress. For instance, you do not have to finish research and analysis to begin writing the paper. To move fast, you can work on methodology as you do your experiments, and this way, your procedures will get renewed in your mind.
  • Plan for realistic deadlines for the tasks:to work on a deadline for an important objective, consider working backward, divide the activity into small tasks, and allocate deadlines. Consider keeping some buffer time so that you are not over-ambitious. Fitting your daily or weekly time tightly might b counter-productive since you might lose inspiration and even stop following the plan, or you can overwork yourself and get burnout.
  • Develop every day to do lists:It is a great idea to set your daily to-do list to monitor your daily work and ensure you complete it on time. It is encouraging for a researcher to see his or her to-do list shrink each day. Spend your last 5 minutes every day to create an action list for the next day while ideas are still fresh inside your mind.
  • Plan for high-priority activities:it is a good strategy to plan your time for large tasks that need your utmost attention. For example, most researchers have found out that it is effective for them to block a huge amount of time in the morning to do some writing. Instead of attending to emails in the morning, it pays off to invest time to make headway in authoring your manuscript, or the act of writing gives you some sense of accomplishment.
  • Learn the art of saying no: Researchers have several requests and opportunities in their research. Accepting all requests can be a form of distraction, making you lose focus on achieving your goals. Before accepting any, more work asks yourself if it will help you achieve your goals.
  • Avoid distractions: Phone is the greatest distractor to researchers, to manage this consider turning off all your notifications so that it does not disturb you as you make progress with your work. Consider checking your messages and emails at the close of each session. 5 minutes is enough for this task.
  • Avoid procrastination: procrastination is enemy number one for effective time management. Procrastination is common with missed deadlines and missed opportunities. In one way or the other, we have all experienced the negative effects of procrastination. To beat procrastination, consider scheduling difficult activities on the same day you have personal plans.
  • Take breaks:It is not good to spend the entire day on your desk. It is better to work in focused sessions of between 1 to 2 hours with breaks after each session. It will help researchers to improve their productivity. Within your breaks, you can engage yourself in some physical activities such as cycling, yoga, or even swimming. Our minds and bodies will appreciate this gesture by ensuring that we come back to our desks refreshed. It is important that you set aside some time for your friends and family; this will enable you to deliver on your work when you resume.

Finally, your research paper does not have to be a stress to you anymore. Follow the above steps and you will smile all the way.

6 Ways to Increase Your Cybersecurity Skills and Knowledge

Cybersecurity is getting more important by the day, and without it, every piece of information we have could be easily stolen and abused. Nowadays almost every company in the world is doing something to make sure their data and their customers are safe and secure, and because of it, people with skills and knowledge in this field are needed and wanted. If you are interested in becoming a part of this industry, you first need to gain the needed knowledge and experience. In this article, we are going to tell you more about the ways you can increase your expertise in this field and what you need to do to become a part of it.

1. Understand what you need

Before you enroll in any courses or degree programs, you need to understand what you need and why you need it. Cybersecurity is a complex field, and no matter how much time you spend gaining new skills, there is always going to be something missing. It is changing and upgrading all the time, and the things that you know now may not be of any use in 3 or 5 years.

Because of this, you first need to sit down and think about what skills you want to get and how they are going to help you in the long run. Know that programming or soft skills are one of the things that will make the biggest difference, and you also need to have a technical understanding of the field and the processes. In addition to this, you need great working habits and you also need to start thinking like an analyst and a manager.

2. Online courses

Online courses are the best and the fastest way to learn new things and be up to date with the latest trends in cybersecurity. The great thing about them is that you can choose the course you want, depending on what it offers, and you can follow as many courses as you want, depending on your needs and free time.

When you take some of them, you will get a certification after you finish it, and others will just give you knowledge without giving you the proof that you went through the course. Some are more expensive than others, and they can take up to a year to finish.

The fact that you have so many options to choose from gives you the freedom to find something that you need without having to spend time learning and understanding things that have nothing to do with cybersecurity.

3. Get a degree

The best way to get not only knowledge and skills, but also a deeper understanding of the field, is to get your degree. No matter how much time you spend learning things on your own, you will have to face too many challenges, and not get the respect you deserve or the paycheck that people with formal education have.

Even though formal education is not the most important thing, and you can find a job without having a degree, it is far better to invest in one than to spend years learning a thing that you can easily master within a few months.

The great thing about formal education is that there are so many different programs now when it comes to information technology and cybersecurity, that you can choose the right one for you depending on your goals and interests. As you can see if you click here, when you get your bachelor’s degree, you will have better knowledge, skills, and understanding of everything that’s important in this field.

4. Learn how to communicate with customers

One of the biggest mistakes people make when thinking about cybersecurity is that they only need to focus on machines and software. Even though your technical skills are of vital importance, you cannot forget the human factor.

If you want to work in this industry, you need to know how to communicate with your clients and customers. People who will hire you have little to no understanding of this industry, and they are going to be scared about what is going to happen to their website, data, or company. You need to know how to help them, and you need to walk them through the process.

On the same note, people will ask the same questions over and over again, and they may call you for the smallest issue they have. Many of us don’t understand the difference between development and security, so you need to be ready to be patient and to know how to respond to every question, complaint, or request.

5. Read and upgrade

Since this field is always advancing and changing, you need to be ready to constantly increase your knowledge. This means that you have to stay on top of things, read the new literature, and follow the masters of the industry.

No matter if you are the type of person who likes to read books, or if you are more into browsing the internet and reading different articles, anything you do will help you. In addition to this, you should follow the biggest names on the internet on social media platforms, and see what they share and say about the latest trends and advancements.

6. Find a mentor

The last thing we are going to talk about is finding a mentor. When you collaborate with someone who has a lot of experience in this industry, it is going to be much easier for you to gain new skills and utilize your knowledge.

Know that this field is always changing and adapting to the needs of clients and customers, and you need to learn how to adapt as well. A veteran in the cybersecurity industry can help you understand and can help you learn fast.

Know that when you are working with a person who faced a lot of challenges, they will give you the right tips and tricks on how you can become better. However, you cannot just ask someone to mentor you if you already don’t have at least some type of knowledge. Invest in your education and learn some of the skills before you look for the intermediate level of skills and knowledge.

These are some of the things you need to do to increase your expertise and know that the investment you make right now is going to be really profitable in the future. Take your time, learn things your way, and know that practice makes perfect. Becoming an expert is not easy, and you will need to have patience with yourself and constantly upgrade.