Episode 92

The Role of Empathy and Blameless Problem-Solving in Effective Leadership

In this episode of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, host Sannah Vinding interviews Damien Croft, the general manager at NorComp, renowned for building high-performance teams and fostering a culture of excellence. Damien shares his insights on the advantages of intergenerational collaboration, where older team members bring analog world experience and younger members infuse digital perspectives. They delve into the importance of openness, respect, and challenging each other to promote a culture where everyone has something valuable to offer.

Sannah and Damien reflect on their journeys in leadership, discussing the significance of personal leadership skills, the practical application of knowledge, and offering value beyond official job roles. They emphasize the reciprocal nature of helping others within the organization and the need for continuous learning and adapting as leaders in the era of AI technologies.

The episode also explores NorComp’s adaptive approach during COVID, leveraging digital tools for growth, and the dynamic communication culture within the team. Damien emphasizes empathy, blameless problem-solving, and evolving leadership skills.

Listeners will gain valuable insights into creating a shared language and transparency in coaching, incorporating culture into leadership development, and the balance between focusing on problems and celebrating successes.


Sannah Vinding


Damien Croft



Key takeaways

Value of Diverse Teams and Intergenerational Collaboration:

Recognizing the benefits of a diverse team with members from different age groups and backgrounds can lead to mutual growth and learning. Older team members bring analog experiences, while younger members offer fresh digital perspectives. This blend fosters a culture of mutual respect and openness, enabling constructive challenges and leveraging each other’s strengths for overall team success.

Number 2

Importance of Practical Application and Organizational Understanding:

Highlighting the importance of applying knowledge practically and adding value to the organization, irrespective of job titles, can lead to individual growth and organizational success. Understanding the entire organization and seeking opportunities to contribute beyond assigned roles fosters a culture of mutual support, where collective success stems from helping others.

Number 3 - key takeaway mind the innovation leadership podcast

Leadership Development through Culture and Communication:

Integrating cultural discussions into leadership meetings boosts team morale. Effective leadership involves recognizing achievements, addressing challenges positively, promoting open communication, and fostering a culture of empathy, blameless problem-solving, and continuous learning. Accountability tools like leadership coaching homework ensure consistent application of learned principles.

“To truly get everyone on the same page, you need to foster a culture of openness and respect, where challenging each other is not just allowed but encouraged because everyone has something valuable to contributes.”

Damien Croft

General Manager, NorComp

“Success in the manufacturing industry hinges on leaders possessing key competencies such as adaptability, technical expertise, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, team building, and strategic thinking to maximize team effectiveness.”

Sannah Vinding

Leadership & B2B Marketing Strategist, Technical Engineering Expert

Secrets to Intergenerational Collaboration & Digital Age Leadership

Show Notes:

In Episode 92 of the Leadership in Manufacturing Podcast, host Sannah Vinding interviews Damien Croft, General Manager at NorComp, about his leadership philosophies and practices. Croft values the diverse ages and backgrounds on his team, emphasizing the advantages of intergenerational collaboration. He believes in promoting openness and respect among team members, fostering a culture where everyone has something to offer. Reflecting on his career, he advises focusing on the practical application of knowledge and maximizing value to the organization, regardless of job descriptions.

Croft shares insights on creating shared language and transparency, the importance of values and consistency in leadership, and using “homework” for leadership development. He emphasizes the need for understanding the whole organization and the reciprocal nature of helping others. Sannah and Damien discuss the challenges of remote work, the use of digital tools, and the importance of engaging the team in discussions about culture. Croft also touches on adapting to COVID-19, experimenting with technology for growth, and maintaining a balance between recognizing good work and addressing problems.

The conversation highlights the importance of empathy, open communication, and blameless problem-solving in leadership. Damien shares his recent focus on AI technologies and how he aims to use them to enhance team efficiency and development. The episode wraps up with Croft reflecting on his continuous learning journey as a leader and the impact of his leadership on others.

Remember to subscribe, like, and share our content. Connect with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to unlock your leadership potential in the manufacturing industry.

Damien Croft

Damien Croft

Damien Croft

General Manager

Damien Croft is the General Manager at NorComp, a role in which he oversees the growth and development of individuals and teams to ensure profitable and sustainable P&L growth.

Damien leads the strategic direction of NorComp, focusing on the implementation to capitalize on growth opportunities in the high-tech electronic component industry.

Having an extensive background in sales and management, Damien’s core competencies lie in engineering and manufacturing, enabling NorComp to offer reliable standard and custom connectivity products. His leadership philosophy centers around unlocking untapped potential in individuals and fostering high-performing teams through an empowering culture of excellence, accountability, and creativity.

Throughout his career, Damien has demonstrated a commitment to building teams that deliver results, leveraging his skills in strategy, communication, lead qualification, and more. With over a decade of experience in various leadership roles, Damien brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, making him a valuable guest for any podcast looking to explore leadership, team building, and fostering growth in a competitive industry.

“The beauty of having diverse ages and backgrounds on a team is that it creates a bridge between the analog and digital worlds, fostering an environment rich in growth and mutual learning.”

Damien Croft

General Manager, NorComp

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