Cool! I remember hearing and using that word numerous times as a middle school guy. My parents were often using it. My friends were using it more. And even I was using it from time to time. The term came up everywhere. In the classroom, at the dinner table, at church, on the sports field, and in the grocery store. “Cool” seemed like a universal term to me, it was everywhere. But it would not be until a few years later where I connected the dots. Just because everyone was using the word, did not mean everyone was using it the same way.

The word “cool” to my parents usually indicated something about the weather. It was neither hot, like the middle of the summer, or cold, like those winter snow storms. No! Cool to my parents meant the weather was just right. But to my buddies and I, the word “cool” meant something else. We used the term when someone did something awesome. We rarely used it when discussing the weather (but then again we rarely discussed the weather as middle school boys). See that is the funny thing about buzzwords, the more it is used the less we think about its meaning. Sometimes, as in the case of “cool”, to the degree that two people can use it in the same conversation but with very different understandings of what is being said.

One of those buzzwords in today’s culture is leadership. As a leader, I highly value leadership, not only my own but also the organizational context in which I lead. Yet all too often when people talk about leadership there is a very different concept in play. Which is why how we define leadership becomes very important. This is why I loved reading Michael Kelley‘s article “A Simple Definition of Leadership“.

While not oversimplifying the case, Kelley gives a short succinct definition of leadership. He goes on to develop that definition a bit more and give some support to why it is a great definition. So enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Collin Armstrong on Unsplash