Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Sal Brucato
Title: Vice President of Operations
Organisation: Allen Flavors
Operations leader for 30+ years, primarliy all of which has been in the Flavors and Fragance space.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Dealing with individuals that do not have the same work ethic. Sometimes this makes delegating very difficult which is why you must surround yourself with strong team members.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I think it was in my blood. Growing up people I associated with would always look to me for ideas of "what to do that day". I was President of my Fresh. and Sophomore HS Class and QB of my Fresh. football team. I then led various organization in HS and College. However, the oportunity to become an Assistant Plant Manager at IFF surfaced in 1991 and I jumped on the opportunity (leaving a cushy life in R&D). That role and when promoted to Manager taught me many lessons about people and leadership and help shape the person I am today.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a planner, I get up early, arrive to work early and address as much as I can within the first hour of being there. I end the day in bed with my wife and Australian Shepherd. They nod off before me and I just chill out watching a sporting event or comedy show.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
During Covid, being a genuine person and having that leadership style is what works. Those who are made it through easily, those who are not struggeled mightily.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I read Dare to Serve a few years ago by Cheryl Bachelder and it conveyed the importance of being Authentic/Genuine. I have always preached that to my team members. I live by the addage that you treat others how you want to be treated.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
I did this last week to my up and coming leadership group, Credibility is everything. Be consistent as a leader you need to listen and maintain control, do not brush people aside and never let problems fester!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
My favorite story to this day is back in 1997 we were moving our operations to Spain and Southern US and many people who worked for me were going to be without jobs. I was able to secure 4 lab positions for some of the sharpest people who worked for me in our plant when HR and others did not think they were capable of handling a lab position. I convinced them to interview the gentlemen and while I was on a trip to Europe, I received an e mail stating that HR and the managers loved these guys and hired all of them. I believe they all still hold positions ithin those departments today.