Leadership Competencies: Creating Your Word Cloud

Wordle L2L

Do you find you are becoming an expert of many things outside of your primary career? Make your own leadership competency cloud.

What is your “Leadership Competencies Word Cloud?”

Most readers are now scratching their collective heads as they are wondering what I am writing about in this article. To understand where I am going with this you need to be familiar with the meaning of the term “word cloud.”

Word Cloud

A visual representation for text data.

Words that are used more frequently are given a higher weight and therefore appear larger in the final visual. Some search engines use the resulting information to rank websites according to their key words.

Highlighting Your Roles

It occurred to me that a similar exercise might be useful to visually illustrate leadership roles based on how much time a leader spends preparing and performing each role. The word graph is not as scientific as the word cloud used for website ratings but it is still revealing.

To create it, use descriptive words limited to various roles you fill in your day-to-day work. The same words should be repeated once or more depending on how much time the leader spends preparing and performing each role.

The result is a word graph with each word weighted by size according to how much time is spent doing each listed task. Create yours using one of the following links:

Wordle or  Word it Out

With either site you may create your word graph, save it on the site and have it sent to your email as a picture file that you can use.

The Problem of Multitasking

Leaders and managers often fill many roles and this is doubly true for those of small businesses.

“They must be masters of multitasking.

Each day is an adventure as the small business leader may wear many hats before retiring to bed. CEOs of large companies often have the luxury of being able to delegate or hire someone to do the tasks.

However, the small business leader does not have the luxury of being able to do this and must often learn how to do many tasks that were never discussed during their course of education.

Some small business leaders find that they must constantly develop expert level skills as marketing, webmaster, IT management, personnel management, accounting,  government regulation consultant, and many more.

The tasks are often necessary to the specific business; the leader would certainly prefer to delegate or hire someone to do the task; and often finds the he must develop the knowledge and ability to do the task.

One final point is the leader’s primary duties often suffer because he is spending so much time and energy on the other tasks.

“The leader’s primary duties often suffer because she is spending so much time and energy on the secondary but necessary tasks.”

Real vs Aspired Leadership Roles

Perhaps you are ready to curtail doing some of your tasks that are not directly related to your career or company.

The following exercise combined with the previous word graph you created might help bridge the gap and provide some motivation and direction to take charge of your life.

You might create two different word graphs: one to reflect how much time you spend preparing and performing each role, and another graph to reflect each role according to how much time you desire to spend in each role.

Visualization is a powerful motivator and may be useful to help you set goals to make your aspiration graph a reality. Here is a final question that you really need to face as a leader…

Are you doing some secondary tasks because of your inability to say “No?” 

After you create your word graph based on what you actually do, what activities do you desire to keep and which do you want to eliminate or delegate? Are you multitasking because you can’t say “No?” Is it reasonable to eliminate some activities until you may recruit a volunteer or assemble the resources to hire an able person? Is your behavior of multitasking a mask to your own control issues? In what ways are you enabling the continuance of your current use of time and energy?


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Dr. Tom Cocklereece
 is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
He is a pastor, an author, professional coach, and leadership specialist

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Image sources: wordle.net/create

3 responses to “Leadership Competencies: Creating Your Word Cloud

  1. I currently coach long-term unemployed professionals and I use “Wordle,” as a means to pull out the key words in a resume.

    This is also an excellent tool for an organization’s marketing material to find out and/or provide a visual of most frequently used words to describe the organization.

    – Dani Flores, MNM


  2. Excellent point, DF. So, my resume needs to have several repeats of the phrase, “I need a job, I need a job, I need a job!” lol


  3. Pingback: Leadership updates for 04/25/2012·

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