Applauding Alumni: Carla Sarti, MBA '02

Applauding Alumni: Carla Sarti, MBA '02

Carla SartiCarla Sarti, MBA ’02, Walsh alumna and a director of Global Shared Services and Business Process Optimization for Lear Corporation, is demonstrating leadership in business, locally and globally.  Prior to joining Lear, Carla served as Account Executive at ACS, a Xerox company, for six years, where she acted as Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Sales for many large accounts in the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing area.  She spent five years at Delphi Corporation in numerous roles of increasing responsibility including managing the SAP environment after implementation and work as a Lean expert for the Cockpits business.

Carla is a certified Project Management Professional and also has a Lean Manufacturing Green Belt certification.  She is a member of the board of directors of HAVEN, a nationally recognized non-profit organization. It provides programs to promote violence-free homes and communities and helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Carla also supports many community and school events. She has served as the Girl Scout troop leader for the last five years for her daughter’s group and has been the photographer for her son’s football team for the last two years.

Interview with Carla:

You have a very impressive title, Director of Global Shared Services and Business Process Optimization. Can you tell me a little more about what you do?

“The main focus of my job is to streamline administrative processes and to be a change agent at Lear.  I eliminate non-value-added work, automate manual work, and consolidate work (typically into low- cost countries).  This helps enable Lear to be more agile and compete in the global marketplace.”

What do you think are the important characteristics for being a change agent?

“The most important characteristics of being a change agent are the ability to document the current state, the future state, and communicate the gaps between the two.  You also have to understand the realm of the possible and think outside the box.”


You serve on the Board of Directors for HAVEN; how has your involvement on this board brought value to your role as a leader?

“Being on the board of HAVEN has helped me look at situations from a different perspective and with more compassion and humility.  Domestic violence is (unfortunately) something that impacts everyone equally, doesn’t matter how much money you have, or where you live.  This in turn helps me lead my team of almost 300 in six Global locations.  Everyone has a story, everyone has a reason why they do what they do and, as a leader, it is my duty to figure out how to get the best out of everyone.”

How do you keep communications open in six global locations?

“I hold regular staff meetings. We have a global collaboration website in which anyone of the almost 300 employees can use the blog feature to ask questions. It is also loaded with tons of information from the global operations. We have global functional leads and calls and I also travel to each site at least once per year.”

Can you tell me about the role of leadership at Lear?

“The role of leadership is very important at Lear.  We have a leadership model and are objectively rated on it four times a year.  Our core leadership values are – One Lear, Lead with Integrity, and Get Results the Right Way. I’d say the two most important characteristics that make a great leader at Lear are recognizing others and delivering what you promise.”

“If someone wanted to be part of my team, they would have to have the ability to work in the gray – that is not easy for most people.”

What is the best business advice you have ever received? What advice would you give a new alumnus or current student?

“The best business advice I have received is to build a great reputation.  I have never searched for a job – I have always been “pulled” or recruited away because of my reputation.  The advice I give to a new alumnus or current student is to make sure you have patience with your career.  It is very important to build a good foundation of the basics.  I always give people the McDonald’s theory – you cannot own a McDonalds until you’ve swept the floor, flipped the burgers, made the fries, waited on customers, etc.  The same theory is true in any business.  You cannot be a CFO until you’ve paid bills, collected cash, performed financial analysis, etc.  Some tasks may seem very redundant or not as exciting as others, but it is important to learn from them.”

Please join Walsh College in applauding Carla Sarti in her continued success by adding your comments below.

To nominate an alumnus to applaud, contact Duc Abrahamson, Alumni & Student Relations Officer, at (248) 823-1298.

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