December 01, 2011
Executive Connection with Steve Wallach, CEO, AL International
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Steve Wallach, CEO of AL International, about leadership, progress and doing what you enjoy in business and in life.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the CEO of AL International?
SW: Knowing our products promote health and watching the business grow because of it. I get to meet and form relationships with all sorts of interesting people who share a common goal—to create wealth and help people thrive.
DSN: What has been your proudest accomplishment?
SW: The merger with Javalution provides an extra layer of opportunity and compensation for our distributors. It was a long process, and accomplishing it was significant achievement for us. On the flip side of that, I’m proud of the FDA health claims we’ve been able to achieve. No other company has chosen or been able to do it. It was also a very lengthy, involved process and something that has benefitted millions of people with health information about selenium and essential fatty acids.
DSN: If you could relive one period of time—a year, a week, whatever—since you’ve been with the AL International companies, what would it be?
SW: I think I’d go back to when my wife and I were significant distributors in our first network marketing company. It was the simplest, most fun time I’ve ever had. I remember it very fondly, and it’s why I consider this industry such a great opportunity.
DSN: What is your vision for AL International?
SW: My father and I share a vision: to become a very large, successful company that stands the test of time and lasts for generations. We’re working hard toward that and are seeing the results. We’re headed in that direction.
DSN: What’s your favorite regular task or activity at AL International? It might be something you do every day or every week.
SW: I really like getting to see new things first. It’s a little like Christmas when that new product shows up for the first time.
DSN: What’s been the most fun part of the rapid growth?
SW: The excitement of growth itself. I like to keep busy. From where I sit in my office, I can hear the forklifts in the warehouse beeping as they go by. I enjoy being in the middle of the bustling activity, and I like to see progress.
DSN: What advice would you give an executive at a young direct selling company to help them achieve rapid growth?
SW: Do what you enjoy, and do it for the right reasons. The money and success will come.
DSN: Is there one basic principle which governs your leadership at AL International?
SW: Bring on people who are really good at what they do, and then let them do what they do really well. Our management team has more than 300 years of network marketing experience.
DSN: What’s one piece of advice that you’ve found especially useful?
SW: You have to love what you do. Passion makes all the difference. You can’t fake sincerity and passion. If you don’t like what you’re doing, it’s going to show.
DSN: What do you like to do when you just want to relax?
SW: These days I don’t have much time, but I like to tinker with old cars. It gives me a kind of mental break—something dramatically different than what I usually do.