David Cottrell: CEO, CornerStone Leadership & Best Selling Author

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David Cottrell is president and CEO of CornerStone Leadership. He is a premier authority on leadership and has worked with many of today’s most successful organizations, mentoring leaders to peak performance. Before founding CornerStone, David held leadership positions with Xerox and FedEx and led the successful turnaround of a Chapter 11 company. He has shared his leadership philosophy and lessons with more than 400,000 leaders worldwide. David has authored more than 25 books, including the perennial best-selling Monday Morning Leadership.

What do you do best?

My greatest gift is encouraging other people to become their very best.  

What makes you the best?

I have been blessed with working with some of the greatest organizations in the world. FedEx and Xerox provided me with wonderful training.  Both of those organizations provided me with a wide breath of experience.  Turning around a small, chapter 11 company allowed me to experience survival when things were not positive and help turn it around.  When I began my own company in 1996, it provided me with the opportunity to put everything that I had learned from my other experiences in practice.

I have written over twenty books that reflect my experiences while working for all of those organizations.     

What are your aspirations?

To finish my business career strong.  A successful, strong finish for me will be to have every person who I come into contact with attest that I inspired and encouraged them to become the person they want to be.

Biggest Success?

My greatest business success has been the best-selling Monday Morning Leadership.  Even seventeen years after it was first published, that simple book continues to inspire and encourage it’s readers.  The book has sold well over one million copies and it provided me the platform to speak to over a hundred thousand people about the simple truths written in the book. It has been an incredible blessing in my professional career.

Most Challenging Moment?

My most challenging moment actually lasted a year long - a lot of moments.  My wife was diagnosed with cancer, my father passed, and I had quadruple by-pass heart surgery all within a few months.  I learned that life is fragile and there are no guarantees that you will  live to a specific time when you will can begin to enjoy living.  Life is for us to enjoy and make a difference right now, right where we are.


Press on.  Your defining moment may arrive just when you feel surrounded by adversity.

Favorite People/Role Models?

My family is who I enjoy being with the most.  My eight grandchildren are my very favorite people. They are all very different and I have a time limit with my patience but I love to be with them.  

My role model is Jesus.  I think he made it really clear how we should live our lives and love each other, no matter what.

Favorite Places/Destinations?

My favorite places to visit are Pebble Beach and Hawaii.  

Favorite Products/Objects?

Fitbit.  It has provided me information that I needed to make positive changes in my life. Also, any new golf club that will save me a stroke.

Current Passions?

Faith, Family, Friends. Golf and Razorback football tie for a distant fourth.