Leadership Skills Definition and Glossary of Terms

MBM Glossaries: Leadership Skills Definition

This glossary contains our Leadership Skills definition and a list of terms often used when discussing Effective Leadership. In addition, take a look and see how our Ultimate Guide to Leadership Skills can help you become a better leader.


A leadership trait that conveys a tone and body language that makes team members comfortable about seeking them to discuss anything.


Authenticity from a leader is when they are able to convey sincerity. As a result, they inspire truth and transparency within their team members.


An old type of leadership where people in power are dominating and demanding. In particular, in this leadership style, the primary expectation is obedience. Usually, fear and coercion are common tools used to get tasks done.


A leadership style wherein the leader makes all the decisions without consulting with their team(s).

Baby Boomers

Boomers and Silent Generation are other terms used to refer to this generation. Typically, it refers to people born around the 1940s up until 1960s.

Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid

A managerial model was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the 1960s. In particular, this managerial grid model outlines five styles of leadership based on concerns for production and concern for people.

Common Goal

A similar or common purpose can bring together groups to help each other move closer to that goal.

Communication Skills

The ability to convey a message coherently. For example, a good leader understands that people have different preferred ways of communication.  Therefore, they should adapt their style to meet each person’s needs.


Entrusting a goal or task to another person.


Another leadership style wherein the leader allows their team to voice their opinions before making a decision. Compared to others, this type of leadership may take more time. However, it has the ability to motivate and empower participating members.


The ability to see and understand the feelings of others.

Expert Power

Being able to influence others by using specific knowledge of a special field.


The ability to perceive long-term results of policies, actions, and decisions.


The ability to adapt to change or what is needed at any given moment. Generally, leaders who are flexible can adapt to changes in an organisation’s approach, strategy, and structure.


This refers to a group of people who were born within a similar time-frame or era. As a result, this group will likely share certain characteristics, behaviours and attitudes.

Generation Gap

The disconnect between people born from different generations. For example, differences in opinions, skills, priorities, and approach to certain situations, which can cause confusion or friction. Usually, a good leader tries to understand where his or her team is coming from to better help them improve.

Generation X

The generation preceding Gen Y covers people born around the 1960s to the early 80s. Generally, it directly follows baby boomers and precedes millennials. This demographic has also been called the Latchkey Generation and MTV Generation.


Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument is a psychometric test designed by William Herrmann. It is a tool that in particular measures an individual’s preferences in thinking. It is also called the ‘Whole Brain Model’.


Key Performance Indicators are a measurable means to test performance. In particular, this can be of an individual, a manager, or a business.

Kurt Lewin

A psychologist and social theorist, he suggested that both nature and nurture influence how a person is shaped.


Derived from the French word meaning “let do”, this type of leadership allows members the freedom to approach their tasks their way. Usually, the leader is available more as a support for when members need help.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills relate to the effective allocation of resources to best meet the mission of the organisation. Meanwhile, the skill part of leadership comes into how this is achieved. More importantly, though, effective leadership is a balancing act between having a long-term vision and strategy for the future, and the soft skills to inspire, delegate, empower and communicate to bring the most important part of any organisation, the people.

Leadership Climate

The climate set by leaders in a workplace or organisation. First appeared in Kurt Lewin’s 1930 research, the research suggests that leaders play a key role in defining if a workplace is positive or otherwise.


Also called Generation Y/Gen Y or Echo Boomers. They are the group of people born between 1981 and 1996 according to Pew Research Center. Other research bodies consider people born until 2000 to still be a part of this group.

Pacesetting Leader

A type of leader that focuses on results.


Strong emotion or devotion about something.

Personal Development

Activities that are aimed at improving strengths and addressing weaknesses of an individual as well as identifying potential and talent.


The ability to recognise, understand and express emotions.

Self Regulation

Being able to manage your own emotional state.

Self Motivation

The drive to do what needs to be done without the help or influence from external factors.

Situational Leadership

A type of leadership conceptualised by Dr Ken Blanchard and Dr Paul Hersey. In this leadership style, the leader adapts to their followers to help them work more efficiently. As a result, this allows more flexibility and continuously changes depending on the needs of the organisations’ members.


Goals designed with these key principles in mind: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Usually, these principles help make sure expectations are realistic.

Social Climate

A collective perception shared by a group of people from the same social environment.


Careful planning of actions and approaches to achieve the desired result.

Transformational Leadership

A concept introduced in the late 1970s by James McGregor Burns. In particular, this type of leadership focuses on inspiring people, building trust and gaining loyalty.


The combined efforts of a group of individuals toward a common goal.


Having a future goal or set of goals that influence a person or a group’s motivations and tasks.

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