“Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” – Gabrielle Bernstein
In just over four years, Life Leadership has opened its doors in 13 different countries with customers enjoying products in 3 different languages; this data alone proves that the company is experiencing exceptional growth. The Life Leadership corporate staff play such a critical role in the mission of reaching millions of people around the world, yet they are often hidden from the spotlight, despite their tireless efforts behind the scenes.
That is why the Golden Rascal Award is such a highly respected award at the corporate office. Everyone works hard; everyone is deserving of the award; however, only one can win it. What makes the award so unique is that the winner is voted on by co-workers. Which means that the winner is not only a hard worker, but they help others, they have a good attitude and they are constantly leading by example.
These qualities perfectly describe the featured Golden Rascal for the month of February! Check out the inspiring interview with International Media Manager for Life Leadership, Andy Garcia.
Life Leadership Interview with Andy Garcia
First off, tell us a little about yourself.
Sure! I am married. I have a beautiful wife named Sara. I have four little ones – ages one, three, four and six year’s old. We moved to North Carolina from Grand Blanc, Michigan. Before working for Life Leadership, I had a career in music – recording, traveling and touring in Miami, Florida.
Andy, you have a very unique and inspiring story. Can you tell us how you landed your position with Life Leadership?
I would love to. Well, before moving to Michigan, I was pursuing music in Miami. An outsider looking in would assume that everything was perfect. I had everything, but what most people didn’t know is that I felt empty. Eventually I got to a point where I was face to face with God and I prayed for Him to show me where He wanted me and what He wanted me to do. It wasn’t two days later when a friend of mine from Michigan, who was a worship pastor, called me out of the blue (it was 10 years since I’d heard from him) to ask if I would record an album with him.
Long story short, I could sense God leading me to Michigan so I decided to uproot my “other life” in Miami and move there with just a few things that I could fit in my car. In Michigan, I helped out with music in the church and that’s where I met Sara, my wife, during a major church production.
At first, people were criticizing me for moving saying, “There are no jobs in Michigan. I don’t understand what you’re doing.” My response was, “I will sleep in my car if I have to. I have God. That’s all that matters and He will provide for me.” And He always did. Almost immediately I was overloaded with work, teaching music through connections from the church. I also got involved with a band where I was writing music, traveling and recording.
Not even a month later, one of the Life Leadership corporate managers called my church looking for a Spanish-media person for the office. This was in October of 2008. One of the pastors from my church said, “Andy Garcia is the only person that can do media and Spanish.”
So, even though I was overloaded with work, I called back and went in for an interview. I really didn’t care whether I got the job or not, I was super relaxed because I knew God would lead me to the job if I was suppose to have it. Anyway, I got the job and was also teaching music in the afternoons at the studio. At that point I didn’t have a family or any major responsibilities but I knew that I wanted to date Sara. God eventually led me out of that season of teaching music and into Life Leadership full-time. From there, it’s just been supernatural. I felt like I was in the twilight zone; like The Truman Show when he says, “Is this for real? Is this all arranged or something?” Haha. ‘Cause my life just went from chaos to a fairy tale or something. 🙂
So, from that point on, I loved everything I was doing at the office and with my band in Michigan and didn’t even care to do it for the income. I just did it because that’s where God had me. Then Sara and I got married and we had our first child, and then the second one, and the third one, and then after the third one was when Rob Hallstrand announced that we were moving the company to North Carolina. So I was like, “Here we go again.” But, I knew God was leading this entire thing. I figured this is just where I needed to part ways with the band and move to North Carolina with Life Leadership.
Then the Lord put this on my heart during a conversation with one of my co-workers, “In order for you to keep growing, I have to prune you, and I can’t prune the dead stuff, I have to prune the stuff that’s bearing fruit, so that it bears more fruit.” That confirmation provided me with the clarity to know that my Michigan journey had to end. I knew it was going to be painful because my band was my extended family and now we had to decide how to move our entire family, and my pregnant wife, to North Carolina. It would have been a whole lot easier just to stay in Michigan. But, Sara and I had peace about the entire process and that’s how we knew that we were doing the right thing. And, just as God always does, He made a way. He led us to the perfect home and the move and everything seemed effortless. We ended up having our 4th baby in North Carolina and everything just worked out amazingly.
How long have you been with Life Leadership and what is your current role with the company?
I’ve been with Life Leadership for 7 years and I was just recently promoted to International Media Manager. Basically it covers the umbrella of everything media related for French and Spanish – all of the subscriptions, Life Training and digital products, whether the recordings are done at the corporate office or as a studio production.
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 the people I get to work with everyday. We are like one big family. We love each other, tease each other and have fun. It’s just a really awesome atmosphere to work in. I don’t dread one day coming in. I love everything about my job. I don’t mind staying late or coming in early. It’s not work to me when I love it.
I believe God has a huge calling and purpose for Life Leadership and he’s going to reach the people that are supposed to be reached; I’m just happy to be a part of it and get to help shape the unforced path. We are trailing a whole new avenue of leadership and it’s exciting!
One thing I have learned by being apart of this is that you can get all the formalized education you want but anything you learn here (with our products), you will not learn ‘there’. I get to listen to all of our materials on a daily basis. It’s like God was telling me, “I’m going to completely rock your world with what you are going to learn by working for Life Leadership. I’m going to put you in a school where you’re gonna learn leadership principles that are going to shape your habits, your decisions and everything you do in life.” How CRAZY is that?!!
Do you have a favorite book in the Life Leadership product portfolio?
I think Resolved nails what the big picture looks like. Because of that book I always think, “begin with the end in mind.” Just like when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you see the big picture and where you’re heading when you submit to Him, understand His principles and surrender and abide in Him. That’s kind of how Resolved is. If you keep the 13 resolutions on the forefront of your mind on a daily basis, you will be unmovable, because you are building your life on a solid foundation. It’s principle-based leadership, but it’s Biblical. Any Christian can recognize that. I love that the leaders of Life Leadership teach Godly principles.
What would you say is your lifelong passion?
Well, I used to draw my identity from music and the acceptance of people. But now, nothing else turns me on more than God.
I’m not pursuing anything to get anything anymore because I understand that everything in this world is vanity and everything is going back to the dirt unless it glorifies Christ and has eternal purpose. So, my passion is to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ and wherever He leads me, I will go.
But, please don’t misinterpret my response. That doesn’t mean I’m being carried away by apathy or laziness, it’s more like I just want to be passionately carried away with His life and His plans for me and be obedient to that.
Now for some fun questions!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I think it would be cool to teleport; like get somewhere immediately. I like to travel but I don’t like bumpy plane rides. My co-workers tease me when I travel with them because I get anxious every time we encounter bumps on our flights.
If you were on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would you bring and why?
1) I’d bring my family – so I am not alone. 🙂
2) I’d bring an endless supply of water filter bottles so we’d always have clean drinking water.
3) I’d bring a guitar so we can always have church with music.
If you had a time machine, where would you go – back in time or into the future and why?
I would probably go back in time but as the person I am now. It would be cool to see how many people I can influence who were a part of my past and maybe help change their trajectory for the future.
Tell us about one of your most embarrassing experiences.
One of the most embarrassing was when I was first dating my (now) wife. We would laugh all of the time and one time she made me laugh so hard that I spit all over her face. And she was like, “Oh my gosh!” …But, she still married me 🙂
Do you have a favorite quote or scripture verse?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Well, to wrap up, what do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working I love spending time with my kids. It’s just amazing. I also love tearing up the house and cleaning it when my wife is away. It’s the time that I get to spend with the Lord and He just energizes me. And as a result, my wife gets to come home to a clean house. So, it’s win-win!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
Yes! Without Sara, my wife, I would not be able to do what I do for Life Leadership. She stays home with our kids and she leads home-school all day and then takes care of me when I am not working. She is constantly serving and I know that what she does as a wife and a mom is not an easy job, yet she makes it look so graceful. Without her cheering me on and encouraging me I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. Even if I love my work, I wouldn’t be able to be as efficient or productive without her. So, I would say she, outside of God, is my main source of inspiration to be able to do what I do for Life Leadership.
Life Leadership is so proud to have someone as dedicated and passionate as Andy Garcia, to lead the International Media Department at the corporate headquarters. Congratulations Andy, on winning the Golden Rascal Award for the month of February!