Scott Gale’s eye for innovative ideas has made him an invaluable asset to the energy space.
He was instrumental in bringing about the company’s SmartFleet portfolio, the first intelligent automated fracturing system. He then transitioned into a critical role to help create Halliburton Labs, a collaborative environment where entrepreneurs, academics, investors and industrial labs join to advance cleaner, affordable energy.
Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?
“My first job out of my chemical engineering undergrad was with Dow Chemical. They have a program called the Commercial Development Program, which primarily takes engineering undergrads and prepares them for commercial roles like sales and marketing. The caveat is that upon completion of the program, you don’t get to pick where they send you. I was sent to Houston to sell chemicals to oilfield service providers. I stayed in the industry because of the people, the impact and the types of challenges that need solving.”
Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
“While overseeing global strategy for well productivity at Halliburton, I had the opportunity to form the strategy and team that ultimately led to the creation of Halliburton’s SmartFleet offering. I remember when we first pitched the audacious concept to management; there were people in the room who laughed out loud. They thought it was impossible. After a couple of years of amazing work by the team, we delivered something the industry had never seen before.”
How have you exercised leadership to help shape your company?
“During my first extended staff meeting in the very early days of Halliburton Labs, I had about 40 people on a call from every corner of the company. I simply reminded them that we were all embarking on something we’d never done in our careers and that ‘if it wasn’t making them uncomfortable, then I wasn’t doing my job.’ It was an open invitation to be bold, fail forward and learn by doing. I felt like the subsequent conversation was key to surfacing concerns so we could address them quickly and get to better answers faster.”
Who are your mentors?
“I have a friend I met on the first day of our professional careers. He and I have had very different paths since then but have stayed closely connected over the years despite working in different industries and different time zones. We have discussed books, business issues and personal issues over the years. Some of the best lessons I learned from these interactions are not to take yourself too seriously, everyone has challenges they face and career success is defined in countless ways—don’t look side to side.”
What advice would you give other young professionals in the industry and/or in your sector?
“As a leader, your employees don’t work for you, you work for your employees. Stay curious and never stop learning. Each of us is born with a fatal diagnosis. Don’t let life get routine—live each day with purpose.”
What transformations do you think the industry must undertake for it to thrive in the future?
“The industry must embrace transformation to thrive! Full stop. It is in our DNA to transform. The industry must continue to attract and retain the best talent. The technology that paved the present won’t lead us to the future. Achieving a sustainable energy future requires an inclusive culture, rapid technology adoption and a sense of urgency.”
What are your long- and short-term career goals?
“My career goals are to embrace the challenges in front of me and to control the things that I can control. My goals are not measured on an income statement but in the echo I leave behind through relationships and facilitating the success of others.”
1. I am a film enthusiast with a co-executive producer credit on the upcoming Liam Neeson film “Marlowe.”
2. I have visited 46 of the 50 U.S. states and 14 countries.
3. I received my first corporate paycheck at age 13 working a summer in the mailroom at a mid-size manufacturing company. Every summer through high school, I returned to work in different roles from customer service, marketing, parts assembly, and shipping and receiving.