Leadership Terms and Philosophies

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(Click on letters in bold to go directly on the terms that start with that letters.)


Career Coach – An individual who guides another in planning and managing their career, especially executives and managers.

CEO (chief executive officer)
- A senior executive of an organization, typically appointed by the board of directors, who has the ultimate responsibility to attain the corporate goals of the enterprise.


Charisma - Possession of individual traits and skills such as articulate speech, flair, self-confidence, and strong convictions that promote a vision which strongly connects with followers. Though considered an asset for leaders, charisma is not a requirement for effective leadership. Charisma can be used as a powerful tool to motivate or inspire others. However, the potential for misuse and the manipulation of others also exists.


Chairman of the Board - Usually considered the highest ranking officer in a corporation. The chairman is the one who presides over meetings of the board of directors.


Cloud Computing - Storing regularly used computer data through the Internet on multiple servers that can be routinely accessed.


Code of Ethics - A statement of the standards of conduct which are expected to be valued and demonstrated by members of the organization or professional society.

Committee - A group of individuals, often appointed, who are assigned to meet for a designated purpose. It is often given a defined role to explore opportunities, or solve problems. A committee can be a powerful tool to solve organizational problems because of the combination of the diverse background and talent of its members.

Complex System - An highly structured organization that has many semi-independent and interlocking components or subsystems. This results in many simultaneous variables, activities and feedback loops taking place at the same time. Because of the intricacy and interaction of complex systems, there are many subsystems seeking to coordinate multiple activities and this offers the potential for more things to go wrong. In a complex system, it is not uncommon for subsystems to have goals that differ or even compete with the goals of the overall system.


Conference - A meeting of a group of individuals assembled to discuss a planned agenda of mutual interest.


Consultant - An organization or individual hired by another organization to provide professional advice or services in a specific area of expertise.

Contingency Plan - A strategy or alternative plan prepared to counteract an unexpected, but possible situation.


Cook the Books - Describes an illegal and unethical effort by the executive(s) of an organization to misrepresent a company’s actual financial position by falsifying reports and accounting records.

Core Competencies - The central skills and value-creating capabilities perceived as strengths within an organization. This typically involves a combination of application skills and technical knowledge that offers a strong competitive advantage. It is the responsibility of management to recognize and identify the organizations core competencies and develop a strategy around them.

Credibility - The quality of trustworthiness and capability exhibited by a leader that goes beyond the possession of power or authority. It typically results in greater compliance and respect from peers and followers. Credibility is enhanced by responsible behavior, dedication and open communication. Credibility is eroded by dishonesty and inappropriate behavior.

Crowdsourcing - obtaining ideas, content or needed services by seeking contributions from a crowd, and especially from the online community rather than from traditional suppliers or employees.

- An organizations transmitted beliefs and assumptions about the organizational environment and the employees place within it. These shared beliefs serve to provide role expectations to guide employee behavior and assist them in responding to the work environment. The culture helps to reduce uncertainty, anxiety, and confusion. This results in “learned responses” to survival in both the internal and external environment. Skilled leaders recognize the deeply entrenched influence of culture within an organization and may attempt to alter the culture in various ways.

– Using the Internet or related technologies to hurt other people, in a deliberate, hostile, and repeated manner.

Doing personal activities during working hours and using an employer’s email and internet facilities to do so.