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Glossary of concepts and terms

Certain concepts and terms are at the core of the Leadership Framework. The framework also goes further and uses certain well-known terms in very specific ways. This glossary helps users of the framework to understand and apply these concepts and terms.

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A situation where an individual can be called to account for his or her actions by another individual or body authorised both to do so and to give recognition to the individual for those actions - Dr Elliott Jaques


The activities associated with clarifying the accountabilities and authorities of roles in and across the organisation where roles are interdependent (ie in a common process).


Those aspects of a role that enable the person in the role to act legitimately in order to carry out the accountabilities required by the role. It extends to the power vested in a person for decision making and to expend resources (financial, human and technical) - Dr Elliott Jaques

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Complexity of information processing

Used in the exercise of judgement it is the way a person organises, groups and extrapolates information in order to solve problems. It is synonymous with level of work ability (LoWA).

Cross-functional working relationships

Working relationships in which one role (A) has the authority to initiate specific types of tasks from the other role (B).

Relationships in which A has authority to get B to do something:

Advising: A has authority and accountability to give B unsolicited advice about a particular issue. B is accountable to listen to the advice but need not take it.

Service getting: A has the authority to request a specific type of help from B and to request a time by which that help would be provided. B is accountable for giving the help but may specify a different time if they cannot provide the service when requested.

Prescribing: A can tell B what to do (prescribing is restricted to issues where health and safety is at risk).

Relationships in which A has the authority to get B not to do something:

Coordinating: A has the authority to call B1, B2, B3, B4, etc together to coordinate plans and to monitor their work for compliance with a specific plan.

Monitoring: A has authority and accountability to see that B's work is consistent with a specified plan or strategy and may request B to stop work that is inconsistent. If B does not comply, A may escalate the matter to his/her own manager

Auditing: A has authority and accountability to see that B's work is consistent with a specified plan or strategy and may instruct B to stop work that is not consistent. B must comply, but may escalate the matter to his/her own manager.


The acronym for a method of task assigning that ensures the person has a clear understanding of the context, purpose, quality and quantity required of the task. It also ensures there is a clear understanding of what time the task is due and what resources are available for task completion.

Cross-over manager

A manager who conflict is escalated to. This is the lowest common manger of two people in conflict. As such the cross-over manager might be the manager of two people in one team, a manager once removed of a broader team or a more senior manager. As the cross-over manager has all the people in the conflict reporting to them they can ultimately make the decision to resolve the conflict in light of broader departmental perspectives.


Often known as 'the way we do things around here'. It includes policies; procedures; systems; rules and regulations; belief systems; customs and practice; shared values; economics; and traditions and assumptions.

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The exercise of judgement in making choices in carrying out a task. The interplay between judgement and discretion is the essence of work.

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The four questions all employees need to have answered at work so that they can realise their full potential. The quality of these responses contributes to the employees' perspective of the alignment of the business goals and their own needs for satisfaction at work and feelings of trust and fairness.

These are:

1. Where are we going?
2. What is my role?
3. How will my performance be judged?
4. Where am I going?

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Individual capability

An individual's combination of:

  • level of work ability (LoWA)
  • knowledge, skills and experience (KSE)
  • valuing the work of a role sufficiently to commit one's LoWA fully to it
  • the lack of disabling temperament.


In flow

When a person's level of work ability (LoWA) is matched to the complexity of the work of the role, the individual will feel in flow, meaning they are challenged but not overwhelmed.

This matching of an individual's level of work ability to the level of work of a role is essential for the organisation to function as designed and to operate effectively.


The accountability of a manager to:

  • decide who does what in which role
  • allocate work appropriately across the team
  • decide how the team works together including identifying interdependencies
  • identify and address issues in team working.

This is done within an organisation's system of work in order to ensure the work flows smoothly as designed.

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Evaluation of factors in a problem ie the demonstration or the exercise of ability and combining knowledge, data and mental processing in relation to each other when making a decision.

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The ability to set purpose or direction for others and then get them to move in that direction with competence and full commitment.

Level of work ability (LoWA)

The level of complexity a person is able to exercise judgement about. The way a person organises, groups and extrapolates information in order to solve problems. Equivalent to complexity of information processing.

Level (in an organisation structure)

A specific layer within an organisation structure. The work is characterised by a given range of levels of complexity.

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A person in a role with people reporting to him or her, and for which they are accountable for:

  • their own effectiveness
  • the output of their team members
  • building and leading and effective team so that each team member is fully committed to and capable of moving in the direction set
  • continuous improvement of work processes and methods.

All managers enable business objectives and strategies through their managerial authority.

Manager-employee relationship

Managers must build a strong, two-way, trusting working relationship focused on achieving the business goals and enabling the employee to reach their full potential. It is expected that all employees have such relationships.

Manager once removed (MOR)

Every person in an organisation is an employee. The MOR is the manager of an employee's manager.

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Performance management sequence

Managers build trust by ensuring that workplace conditions enable productive work. They do this by effectively delivering the performance management sequence.

This sequence starts with effective role design, followed by selection for the role, then induction of the individual into the role and continues while the individual is working in the role. Each part of the process has a different emphasis with the same goal of having fully loaded roles filled with people capable of doing their work.


Personal earned authority

Authority earned or grown by a manager through the demonstration of competence in the role and through building trust by the consistent application of sound managerial practices. Beyond this, it is the trust and respect that is engendered through the hundreds of actions that the manager takes every day in carrying out their work. It is developed through maintaining a clear and consistent position on what is right, even when things get tough, doing what you say you will do and demonstrating your consistent application of the company's policies and practices.

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Requisite organization
A science-based, total-system model for organisational structure and managerial leadership. The concepts and principles were originally developed by Dr Elliott Jaques and Lord Wilfred Brown and are based on significant research and practice around the world. This research considers organisational design as a purpose-built structure, with systems of work and defined working relationships that enable people to work towards a common business purpose. The organisation itself is activated by applying effective managerial leadership practices. Based on principles of how people naturally work together.


A feeling of obligation ie what an individual demands of themselves. It relates to a person's own standards, conscience, values and aspirations. Responsibility differs from accountability where accountability is assigned and responsibility is self determined.


A position authorised by the company to perform a defined purpose that contributes to delivering the company's objectives.

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The ability learned though experience and practice, to carry out a given procedure.


A level of complexity of work such that an employee suited for a role in on stratum will be best managed by a manager suitable for a role at the next higher stratum. The stratum of a role can be measured in time span.

Stratum Timespan Type of work Typical roles
V 5 to 10 years Business direction and deliver the organisation's purpose
  • Managing Director
  • CEO
  • Division of a multinational organisation
IV 2 to 5 years Executing strategy and systems improvement
  • General Managers
  • Vice Presidents
III 1 to 2 years Sustaining operational delivery of function
  • Functional manager
II 3 months to 1 year Team leadership and process performance
  • Frontline manager
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • HR professionals
  • Tax specialists
I 1 day to 3 months Skilled production and output
  • Operator level
  • Electrician
  • Call centre staff
  • Sales representative
  • Personal assistant

System of work

A framework for a replicable set of events to achieve a specific and known purpose. A system of work may include policies, procedures, documented work processes and defined work methods.

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A specific assignment:

  • to achieve an output in terms of quantity and quality
  • within a given timeframe
  • within given resource limits.

Task assigning role relationships (TARRs)

These are managerial roles in which A is not only authorised to get B to do something, but is also held accountable by their own manager for B's output (and its quantity, quality, timeliness within resources and procedures).

Task initiating role relationships (TIRRs)

These are non-managerial cross-team or cross-functional roles. They are specialist and support roles. In these roles A is authorised to initiate B to do something but it is B's manager and not A who is held accountable for whether or not B does it.


A group of people with a shared purpose who must interact with each other in order to achieve a productive purpose.

Team member

A person occupying a role reporting to a manager.


The ability to rely on others to be truthful and to do as they say, and to follow established rules, procedures and custom and practice - Dr Elliott Jaques

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In order to be held accountable for the work of their team, managers must have four minimum managerial authorities in relation to their direct reports. Without these authorities a manager will not be seen as the true leader and will have difficulty carrying out their accountability for achieving the output. These authorities are:

  • Veto the appointment of a person to their team, with good reason
  • Assign tasks to team members
  • Review performance, Recognise and Reward performance differentially
  • Initiate removal of poor performers from the role, with good reason and due process.

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The individual exercise of judgement in making decisions and acting on them, with prescribed limits, in order to achieve a productive purpose within a given timeframe - Dr Elliott Jaques

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