In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Michelle Jones, Senior Vice President with Take Shape For Life, about leadership, team building and changing lives through direct selling.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being one of the top executives at Take Shape For Life?
MJ: Being back in a learning curve! It really has been a whirlwind journey in the last 10 weeks. I really enjoyed learning the business model. On day three I went to Utah for a meeting with top field leadership. I learned what motivates Health Coaches. It was the best thing I could have ever done. It really got me grounded as to the direction I needed to head when I got back to Baltimore.
DSN: After 15 years with a major direct selling company, what surprised you about TSFL?
MJ: The speed with which a smaller company can reach a decision! It’s very easy to get something done here.
DSN: What’s been the most fun part of the job so far?
MJ: Building a new internal infrastructure. How often do you get the chance to build the team you want from day one?
DSN: How would you describe the ideal Take Shape For Life Health Coach?
MJ: Someone who really wants to have optimal health, coupled with entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a win-win.
DSN: What do you tell TSFL’s Health Coaches to lead and inspire them?
MJ: I remind them that at the end of the day when you go home at night to your family, how many people can really say that they’re changing someone’s life? At TSFL, they change lives in two ways: longevity in life and health, and also by helping people financially in this tough economy.
DSN: What is your vision for TSFL?
MJ: We’ll change the way Americans perceive optimal health and well-being.
DSN: Is there one basic principle which governs your leadership at TSFL?
MJ: The biggest thing is communication and transparency. Being a competent communicator allows both the field and internal staff to open a pathway to stronger relationships.
DSN: Leaders often draw on something or someone for inspiration, guidance and direction. Do you have a hero or heroine?
MJ: The person I admire right now is Michelle Obama because of the stand she has taken on childhood obesity. It ties in nicely to what we’re all about at Take Shape For Life.
DSN: What’s the best advice you ever got?
MJ: Don’t ask anyone to do what you’re not prepared to do yourself.
DSN: What do you like to do for fun?
MJ: My biggest passion is being in the kitchen. Traveling as much as I do, spending time with my family is fun, too. We’re avid travelers. We’ll pack our suitcases and get away for a weekend at a moment’s notice.