Categorized | Business Authors

ExecuSpeak Dictionary – Because business is another language.

Carol Heiberger, MBA

Carol Heiberger, MBA

Author’s Bio:

Carol Heiberger is an independent consultant specializing in business creation. She is an experienced interim executive and project manager of large-scale, multi-location projects. Industry experience includes positions with the Ford Motor Company, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), and a large energy utility. Her clients have included government entities and not-for-profits in addition to small, medium, and large businesses. She has served as the COO of a start-up CATV/ISP company, Director or Operations and Adjunct Assistant Professor for an MBA program at the University of the Sciences. Other teaching includes Instructor, Strategic Business Planning for Wharton’s Small Business Development Center. Volunteer work includes service as a SCORE Business Counselor, member of her community Zoning Committee, and more than ten years on the Loan Committee for a Philadelphia-based micro-lender.

Her expertise includes strategic planning, new business development, marketing, and finance with large complex organizations, small entrepreneurial groups in both domestic and international markets. Her education includes a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Wharton. ExecuSpeak Dictionary is the result of 35 years of experience in industry and consulting and teaching.

Book Synopsis:

ExecuSpeak Dictionary includes over 500 business terms that are defined in plain English and then used in a sentence. There are 18 subject matter indexes plus an alphabetical index to ease navigation. Indexes include:

  • Abbreviations & Acronyms
  • Accounting Terms
  • Dealmaking Terms
  • Finance Terms
  • Health Care Terms
  • Idioms
  • Legal Terms
  • Management Terms
  • Marketing Terms
  • Operations Terms
  • Personal Finance Terms
  • Social Media Terms
  • Sports Metaphors
  • Statistics Terms
  • Strategy Terms
  • Technology Terms
  • US Government Terms
  • Wall Street Terms

The book is designed for people who need or want to understand the language of American business. It’s both practical and user-friendly.

Why buy?:

  • Accelerate learning: Definitions followed by using the word in a sentence – easy to follow
  • Reinforce learning: Be reminded of terms and language learned in school but not used recently
  • Take anywhere – fits into a handbag, tote, knapsack, briefcase, or pocket.
    • Feed your brain
    • Prepare for meetings

Why I wrote this book

I get this question a lot. There isn’t a clear answer. The dictionary started as a glossary of terms in a How-To book that I wrote in 1998. Fast forward to 2009 and a friend and I start a website business that includes the glossary. Getting feedback on the website was a challenge. It was hard to get appropriately knowledgeable friends to look at it. Nonetheless, the feedback was enlightening… it was the glossary that was attracting the attention. During the development phase the Glossary morphed into the “ExecuSpeak Translator” and then “ExecuSpeak Dictionary.” We ultimately abandoned our partnership and the website business but I moved forward on the dictionary concept. Although I was being told that my concept was unique, it wasn’t until after I did the competitive analysis that I began to understand that they meant. Once I recognized the unique elements, I moved forward with a commitment to create the book, the blog, the website, the speaking programs, and more.

The dictionary is a cross-section of business language. Most business dictionaries are “1000 Marketing Terms,” “1000 Finance Terms,” Investopedia, and so on. Each reference source concentrates on one subject per book or website or class. The long definitions are short tutorials, the short definitions are cramming too much info into too few words. But as people take on bigger roles, or move up the ladder, they need to expand their vocabularies to meet their expanded responsibilities.

As a consultant, my favorite projects involved working with people from all different areas within the company. It became clear, over time, that on many occasions I was the only multi-lingual person in the room. I speak legal, regulatory, marketing, sales, finance, accounting, technology, engineering, operations, construction, etc., etc., etc. ExecuSpeak Dictionary is a reflection of this.

My background

When I was a teenager, my dad recognized that I liked business. Our family value was strong on education but more than that, the expectation was I’d get a liberal arts degree first, then go to graduate school. Why is this information of any value to understanding me as an author? I received my MBA from Wharton when I was 23 years old. I was in the first MBA class at Wharton that was more than 5% female. My first job was selling cars and trucks to Ford dealers. They told me not to use my fancy vocabulary with the dealers… they’d been in business a long time and I was new and female and young. The advice: Listen and learn. Then I went to the phone company, in anticipation of the breakup of AT&T. The advice: Listen and learn until we need you. When I was in my late 20’s I was peering into the future of telecommunications and that knowledge is still relevant, decades later. From that role I was always working in new product development and poking around in the future. I was surrounded by engineers. Because I learned their vocabulary, I was able to contribute. Because I could teach them the language of business, together we were able to create news products, services, and businesses. Next stop was energy utilities and then independent consulting. The teaching opened my eyes to a different set of options. It’s taken until now for me to realize that I was an entrepreneur trying to fit into a traditional career path.


The online version of the ExecuSpeak Dictionary is a blog. I’m not the final word and I wanted to create an online environment where people from different backgrounds could share their experience with the language. Each entry is exactly what is in the book, the definition and the usage. Someday the blog will become a vital conversation between people from different cultures.

In the meantime, anyone who follows me on Twitter (@carolheiberger) will get a word a day. Anyone who friends the ExecuSpeak Dictionary on Facebook ( will get a word a day.

Are you speaking? What are the topics?

I love doing programs and thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the audience. There are three topics, so far:

  • Communicating with Decision Makers (corporate audiences)
  • Making the Case with Decision Makers (entrepreneurs and small business)
  • On the Job (students and others in transition)

In all cases, I start by talking about contextual learning, how the mind learns new words, and that it takes 7 to 20 involvements with a new word or phrase to make it your own. So while I’m discussing the words, in the context of the program’s message, I’m also telling tales using the language. My speaking style is relaxed, conversational, and engaging… those are the words that I’m getting in feedback. The result is that potentially dry business topics, such as how to organize a presentation, are an interesting event for the audience. I got a note from an attendee saying the program was “fascinating.” Who would ever believe that a discussion of Planning Assumptions, Risk Tolerance, or Dealbreakers would be referred to as “fascinating?”

Own marketing? PR? Thoughts for a budding entrepreneur/author

Best advice I never got:

Only work with people who believe in you and actually help. There are many who say they want to help, many who think they are helping. Discriminate between those who make you feel stronger, smarter, and wiser versus those who just make you feel worse even though they say they’re only trying to help.

Different people help at different stages. As the business matures, it is reasonable to expect that you’ll outgrow your initial allies. It’s a part of the process.

What was done right:

I wrote a quality book. I got an outstanding copy editor to make sure the English was right. Did I mention that my mom was a high school English teacher? I write well. It’s been one of my “secret weapons” during the course of my career. But no one can copy edit their own work.

New acquaintances are hand carrying the book to b-school deans. Educators are admiring it. My first customer made it a required text for a Senior Seminar for that college’s Marketing majors. My second big customer bought copies for a class of high school seniors. Once I get the iPad version together, it will be made available to international executives taking a highly regarded Executive Education program.

Biggest transition?

I’m making that transition now. I’m moving from being an independent consultant to an author to an entrepreneur. I’ll know I’m their when my bio starts out with “Carol Heiberger is an entrepreneur” instead of the current “Carol Heiberger is an independent consultant.” It’s a step by step process. I’m working on it. Right now I’m an independent consultant with a book. Someday I’ll be an entrepreneur who started out with a book.

Carol Heiberger, MBA
ExecuSpeak Dictionary
Author, Speaker, Educator


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