Write your story

 

A little over a week ago Grace Upon Grace … My Story was released.  The most consistent feedback that I have received has been  “I need to write my story, too.”

I agree. You have a story!  Everyone needs to write their story.  It would help you and those around you.

In Grace Upon Grace there are experiences described that you may be living today. There are chapters in my story that may become chapters in your story in the future. Grace Upon Grace exposes my life experiences so you can laugh and cry with me. More importantly, my life story is for you to draw strength and inspiration when you are in the midst of a personal storm in your life. And, I hope it will be a reminder for you to celebrate grace during your time of peace and joy.

My greatest desire is that you will become more acutely aware of your own story and all of your gracious blessings, regardless of your current circumstances.

Write your story. You can start with writing five or ten minutes a day.  Just get started. You may be surprised to discover how the events of your life were woven together to help you become the person you are.  You lasting legacy will be the experiences that you document and share.

When you write your story, you may discover with astonishment, amazement, and humbleness – as I did – God’s amazing grace upon amazing grace throughout your life. I hope you do.

Advertisements

Medicare, Social Security and Pickelball

Well, I have reached the age where my conversations tend to mysteriously evolve to medicare, social security and pickelball. (If you don’t know what pickelball is, google it. It is probably not what you are thinking).

I can’t be 65, can I? Almost. I will be 65 years old in two days. How could that be?

I have a theory about aging. My theory is that everyone thinks that they are 30% younger than the number of birthdays they have celebrated. So, in my mind I will be about 45 years old in a couple of days. I believe my theory until I try to do some things that I did when I was 45 and quickly discover that the 65 candles on the cake may be correct.

65 years tends to be a landmark age. A lot of people retire at 65. Medicare kicks in. You are a veteran AARP member. Some 65ers begin traveling. Some try to figure out their next chapter in life. Many people after they adjust to their new reality enter into their best years. For all of us, turning 65 is a natural time for reflection and anticipation for the fourth quarter of our life.

Several months ago I began reflecting and documenting my life. I think that everyone should take the time to review and share with others the events that shaped our lives. You have a unique story that only you can write. I hope you will consider doing that!

I invite you to connect with me and my reflections. Grace Upon Grace … My Story reveals the lessons that I learned and provides some insight on how those experiences may help you become the person you want to be.

Many of you have been with me on my journey. You may have been beside me in school, Xerox, FedEx, CornerStone or with me on my personal journey. You witnessed my successes and failures, breakthroughs and heartbreaks, joys and suffering.

You may get a chuckle or two when you read about some of our memories.

If you are interested in reading my story, check out Grace Upon Grace … My Story from CornerStoneLeadership.com or Amazon.com.

Cheers to many years of Medicare, Social Security and Pickelball.

Resolutions to Habits

41pu12ehpcl-_sx327_bo1204203200_

Do you want 2017 to be your best year? Of course.  But, what can you do differently? Begin by answering the following questions:

How do you feel about yourself? If you don’t feel good about yourself, figure out why. What is missing? Take responsibility – nobody can make you happy, it is futile to look elsewhere to find happiness. There is something that can be done and there is something that you can do to address your emptiness. Take charge.

What are you giving? Think of those people whom you love to be around. What do they do to make you feel that way? Chances are they are enthusiastic, happy, encouragers who take the time to demonstrate that they care about you. You can do the same for someone else. You can be an enthusiastic encourager. It is almost impossible to feel bad about yourself when you are helping others feel good about themselves.

Who are you hanging out with? You respond to life similar to those you spend the most time with. That could be a blessing or a curse. If you want to be negative and cynical, hang with negative and cynical people. If you want to be a positive problem solver, hang with positive problem solving people. It is pretty simple. You will be a reflection of those you chose to be around.

How do you handle conflict? Conflicts happen in every relationship – can you ask for forgiveness? Can you forgive and let it go? Forgiveness is the “oil” of relationships … don’t let a disagreement destroy your life.

Don’t brood over mistakes, carry grudges or harbor hate. Take charge of how you feel about yourself. Encourage others. Hang with positive people. Settle conflicts quickly. You can make 2017 the best year of your life!

Recommended reading Monday Morning Choices. Available at CornerStoneLeadership.com or everywhere books are sold.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/

Hate Mondays? Some tips on beating the blues…

Become a Monday lover. Yep, you. “If you’re an energetic and ready-to-go Monday person,” David Cottrell said, “the people around you will become one, too.”

This is just one of the tips you can find in Gail Rosenblum’s recent article in the Star Tribune regarding Monday Morning Blues. I enjoyed the interview and wanted to share the full article with you:

http://www.startribune.com/rosenblum-hate-mondays-some-tips-on-beating-the-blues/392810431/

Don’t Be Stupid. Hire Smart and Pay Attention.

“Our budget is tight. Let’s change the team-building exercise we have planned into a self-help study course.”    —Action item from a leadership strategy session

Every leader gets caught up in the pressure of the moment and does things that—upon reflection—were pretty stupid. Dumb things like: hiring in haste, rewarding actions that work against what you are really trying to accomplish, not paying attention to the needs of your team. Or, piling on more work and sending your superstars directly into the burnout and checkout line.

You will only be a great leader if you have great people. Hire smart – don’t “stretch” a candidate into being the person that you want them to be. If the job you are seeking to fill has been open for a while, it is natural for you to hear what you want to hear, see what you want to see, and convince yourself that you will coach the candidate to become the perfect employee. Be careful; when a position has been open for an extended period of time, you are vulnerable. Your stress builds and you pressure yourself. My experience has been that the longer a position is open, the better the next candidate looks. Before long, anyone who can fog a mirror is the perfect, obvious choice for your opening. Smart hiring does not work that way. If you hire candidates that are “on the fence” simply to get the job filled, you will pay the consequences later.

After you bring the right person on board, pay attention.  Everyone on your team asks some basic questions – even if you never hear them being asked: What is really important?  How am I doing?  Does anyone care?  How is our team doing?  Where do we fit into a bigger picture?  Are you worth following?

How are you answering those questions?  Don’t you want the same questions answered from your leader?

Don’t be stupid. Hire smart and pay attention.TwoRuleOfLeadership

If you want to achieve extraordinary results with class, read and apply The First Two Rules of Leadership: Don’t be Stupid. Don’t Be a Jerk.  It will help improve morale, decrease turnover, increase everyone’s job satisfaction, and you will have a whole lot more fun leading.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/

 

Are You Successful?

What do you need to do to be successful right now?

If you asked people in a typical organization that question, many would say success is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Some would say successful people were just lucky – good fortune fell into their laps. Some may even attribute success to their ancestors – they inherited success.

Has anyone ever been successful entirely because of good luck? Maybe, but not likely! Luck, happenstance, being in the right place at the right time, and family inheritance all may help, of course, but the reality is that many people have been in the right place at the right time, had good fortune come their way, and were born into a wealthy family … yet they never experience success.

So what do you need to do to be successful right now?

Success is ultimately realized by people who make more right choices … and recover quickly from their bad choices. Choices are directional … they lead us toward or away from the success that we are trying to achieve. Our personal and professional success depends on repeating good choices day in and day out … and avoid repeating bad choices.

Take a look at the successful people you know … in your office, your neighborhood, your city or your family. Without exception, their success has been created by their choices. It’s not about luck, the conditions or even the guardian angels guiding their lives.

The task of making good choices is a never-ending challenge … requiring plain hard work and diligence. We also get a lot of practice, because life requires that we choose between alternatives every hour of the day, every day of our lives. Whether it’s selecting one political candidate over another, filling an important position on the team, deciding how to deal with a difficult situation at work, or simply choosing a habit, such as pouring a bowl of Cheerios rather than Grape-Nuts for breakfast or ordering a latte over frappuccino, we are constantly making choices.

Making choices is a privilege that gives us freedom to mold our lives, a freedom we should never take for granted. Life is filled with pressures that force us to make constant and immediate choices. A life without choices would not be much fun.

Think it’s too late to embrace a new philosophy? Or maybe you’re worried that you can’t make the right choices. It is never too late!

According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” Don’t sell yourself short. You can make better choices beginning today to achieve what you want in life tomorrow.