“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
Life Leadership is a company built upon excellence. Whether someone’s role is to sell life-changing products, build a compensated community of entrepreneurs or participate behind the scenes as an events coordinator or customer service rep, the mission remains the same: to serve, to lead and to model excellence. The Golden Rascal Award is given to a corporate office employee who embodies these qualities. While this award could be given to any number of people, only one is chosen per month. That’s what makes winning this award so special. In December 2015, the winner of the Golden Rascal Award was Barbara Wolosonowich. Read her inspiring interview and story below!
Life Leadership Interview with Barbara Wolosonowich
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. I have a twin sister and younger sister who I am very close with. I have also lived in Vermont and New England. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in English and at the time I always wanted to go into publishing. Then, when Life Leadership moved to North Carolina last year I moved with the company. I didn’t really have anything keeping me in Michigan, except for some family who I have still been able to visit often. So, it was an easy decision for me to move.
How long have you been with Life Leadership? How did you land your position with the company and what is your current role at the corporate office?
It’s a really cool story so I want to share! I have been with the company for 3.5 years. I had stage 4 ovarian cancer at 30 yrs old and left my job during that time. So, between 2008 and 2012 I was working part-time jobs while trying to get back on my feet. However, I could never find a full-time job because I was always too overqualified. Not to mention I was battling severe health issues and other personal challenges. Then, around the end of that four year period my mom had lost her job as a nurse (who I was living with) and I felt I had to step-up and start to take care of her (since she had been taking care of me). So, I had put in a couple applications at a temp agency. My mom was fired on a Tuesday, I got a call from the temp agency on that Wednesday that a company wanted an interview with me the following Monday. Then, during that Monday interview, I had gotten another call that Life Leadership wanted an interview with me the next day, on Tuesday morning. I was doing my research on Life Leadership the night before and I thought to myself, “I really, really want to work for Life Leadership.” So, Tuesday morning I had my interview with Life Leadership and as I left the interview I got a call from the temp agency saying that the other company wanted to hire me. I knew I really needed a full-time job but I didn’t want that job, I wanted the job at Life Leadership. The other company wanted an answer from me by noon that day (on Tuesday) and I couldn’t make a decision. So, I called the temp agency to see if they could talk to Life and get an answer right away. Literally, by 11:59pm on Tuesday, the same day of my interview, I got a call from the agency that Life Leadership wanted to hire me. It was AMAZING!! And the rest is history! 🙂 Currently, I am the customer service manager. For anyone wondering, I am cancer free and it is a miracle that I am still alive. All along, I knew it wasn’t my time to go. I know this was all part of God’s plan!
What is the best part of your job and how do you envision your future with the company?
The best part of my job is working with the customer service reps. I do all of the training and I love helping them understand their role better and teach them all the ins and outs of the company. I believe that we make such a difference in customer service and we get to see the progress that the company has made from a completely different perspective than anyone else. Our job is SO important. We deal in crisis and it requires a positive attitude every day in order to better service our Members and customers.
I see myself being with the company for a long time. I just LOVE what I do. I can’t wait to see what my role is with the company when we are servicing MILLIONS of customers and Members around the world. And in the meantime, regardless of what “position” I am in, I want to help us get there!!
Why do you think you were awarded the coveted Golden Rascal Award in December?
I think it’s my work ethic and attitude of excellence. I am constantly striving to make myself better and help others become better at their job, specifically in the customer service department.
Do you have a favorite book in the Life Leadership product portfolio?
I have two favorites. One of our Leadership Essentials series books: Dealing with Difficult People and a book that we read in one of our continuous improvement training sessions a couple of years ago called: That One Thing by Gary Keller.
Singing and music! When I was 18, I was asked to audition to sing professionally but I turned it down. I even have season tickets to the local Broadway shows here in North Carolina. I just love everything about music.
If you could have any superpower, what would you have?
ESP – I want to be able to read other people’s minds. Naturally, I am shy – until you get to know me. I would love to be able to foresee a conversation before it actually happens so I can think through my response. It’s really for my own selfish benefit. 🙂
If you were on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would you bring and why?
I have known this answer since I was a kid when I first read Lord of the Flies:
- Lip Balm – for multiple uses (skin protection, rashes, etc)
- Matches – for fire
- Glasses – you can use the lenses to reflect the sun to make fire and other sources of heat
If you had a time machine, where would you go – back in time or sometime into the future and why?
I would go back in time. I don’t want to know the future. I like to experience life as it happens. I would go back to the Jane Austen Era (late 1700’s) – I just love her, she is my favorite author. I would love to sit with her and learn her writing style. She had a lot of influence on literature today. I would also love to live in those simpler times.
Tell us about one of your most embarrassing experiences.
I was a teenager around 14 years old and I was in a literary club in Middle School and we were going to the Fox Theater in Detroit with our class of 7th grader’s and we stopped at a McDonald’s afterwards. I was wearing a white polka dot dress and I had gone to the bathroom and when I walked out, the male teacher tapped me on the shoulder and said, “your skirt is tucked into your tights and undergarment.” I had already walked in front of all of my classmates before he said something. Ugh. It was so embarrassing! Something I will never forget.
Do you have a favorite quote?
It is the first sentence in Jane Austen’s book, Pride and Prejudice:
“It is truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Well, to wrap up, what do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I feel like I work all the time but when I do have some down time I like to have fun. I just like to laugh! I don’t like drama. I love to listen to music on my record player – Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and a lot of the classics. I like to read, watch football (I am passionate about the Detroit Lions!) and travel as well.
Life Leadership is so thankful for the efforts that the corporate office employees put into their work. Congratulations to Barbara Wolosonowich for winning the prestigious Golden Rascal Award for the month of December! It is well-deserved.