How Rheinmetall Laingsdale is using Mygrow to defy engineering stereotypes.



How a leading engineering company have successfully adopted Mygrow as an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) development intervention in their leadership team.

Beyond technical skill

Engineers aren’t typically known for their soft skills or EQ. Yet Rheinmetall Laingsdale refused to let this be the norm in their company. They are an engineering firm intent on doing things differently.

In September 2020 the company undertook some significant changes, starting with the hiring of a new HR executive, Wendy Sloan. With over 23 years of HR experience, one of the first calls she made in her new role was to put their executive and management teams on Mygrow. Wendy shared, “I came into an environment where I quickly realised that I was dealing with technical experts who didn’t necessarily know how to lead people well. My mandate was to shift culture and I knew this was only going to be possible once the leadership were unified and on the same page. Mygrow was the tool required for this.“

Having done Mygrow at her previous company, Wendy strongly believed that EQ development was the first step necessary to shift company culture: “Putting our leadership team on Mygrow was step one in culture change. We did this even before we changed the purpose statement, mission and values of the company. I needed the team to have a common foundation.”

Since embarking on the Mygrow journey as a team, Rheinmetall Laingsdale leadership are a unified and far more effective team. Wendy reports that in her opinion, “The greatest success Mygrow has had in our business is that it has connected us. It has made us realise that we are all struggling and we need to support each other.”


“I have seen significant growth in one of my colleagues. People assume that because she is an extrovert that she is assertive. But the truth is that she used to take on too much work, too often. She had very poor boundaries. But since doing Mygrow she has grown hugely in this area. She now says no and takes on what she has the capacity for. I am so proud of how she has grown in assertiveness!

– Wendy Sloan, HR Executive

About Rheinmetall Laingsdale

Founded in 1976, Rheinmetall Laingsdale specialises in the development, design and manufacturing of artillery, mortar and infantry mechanical fuzes and high precision mechanical components. Over the course of the last year they have taken significant steps to shift their company culture. The major needs identified by Wendy included:

  • Leadership development
  • Communication
  • Innovation
  • Psychological safety
  • Authenticity

Company values

  • Demonstrate respect
  • Confront reality
  • Curiosity
  • Listen first
  • Clarify expectations
  • Talk straight
  • Deliberate
  • Reliability
  • Driving
  • Connectivity
  • Answerability
  • Mastery

Remaining relevant in an evolving industry

From the outset Wendy, in partnership with General Manager, Derick Van Eeden, set out to shift their company culture to one of collaboration and safety. She mentioned, “We had a major need to innovate and diversify, in order to remain competitive and relevant in a quickly evolving industry. But when I joined I was struck by how little collaboration was happening. We had lots of highly skilled technical experts working in isolation.”


Wendy describes how meetings were one of the spaces where this showed up the most, with one voice dominating the conversation due to a lack of participation. Colleagues would get extremely worked up in meetings and there was very little room for discussion or investigation.

According to Wendy, “We were too nice to each other, not calling one another out honestly. Rather than facing things head-on, we held little ‘post meetings’ to sort out what went down in the actual larger team gathering.“

Essentially, Wendy identified that there was a desperate need for EQ development, “The working environment prior to Mygrow was one of not relating or communicating properly. We needed our executive and management teams to understand how people function. We couldn’t handle difficult conversations and there was no sense of safety. Mygrow became a vessel for change and building this safety.”

The solution

Rheinmetall Laingsdale put their team on Mygrow in February 2021. Wendy and Derick took on the roles of champions to assist in the rollout. The team has been on a journey of completing their daily droplets and engaging in regular conversations and team activities around Mygrow. They have attended a Mygrow facilitated team reflection session and have participated in a continuous feedback loop of surveys and connection touchpoints with the Mygrow Client Success team.

EQ development as a foundation for culture change

After nine months of being on Mygrow, the results speak for themselves.
In reflecting on the last few months, Wendy shared that, “Mygrow has equipped our leadership team to ‘grow into their roles’. We are far from perfect but the change is tangible. If someone starts losing their cool we now say ‘just remember your Mygrow!’ Mygrow has softened up our management team. We have learned to care for ourselves and simultaneously face ourselves. We are now whole people, not just task-oriented, technical people.”


When asked about the impact that Mygrow has had on relevant metrics, Wendy’s response was a powerful indicator of how deeply Rheinmetall Laingsdale were willing to invest in culture change: “We didn’t go in wanting a productivity shift – we didn’t even go in asking ‘what is our ROI?’ Derick and I felt so strongly about the culture and leadership and wanting people to be WHOLE that we took this on, and the productivity increase has just been a by-product. I think that in order for a team to work together you need empathy, collaboration and communication and THEN you will have productivity. Our goal was to enable our leadership team to run, to get them where they are strategists, and not only involved in the day-to-day.”

Reported areas of growth

  • Productivity
  • Collaboration
  • Empathy & inclusivity
  • Openness & vulnerability
  • Communication
  • Positivity

“As engineers, we often feel like we understand the world and how things work, but the way in which we approach things and our work needs to be different from how we approach people. If you understand people, you will know how to approach them. Mygrow has given me this understanding and the ability to deal with people in a way that leads to winning.”

– Derick Van Eeden, General Manager

What would you say to other engineering firms looking into doing Mygrow?

We asked Wendy whether she would recommend Mygrow and her response was, “No matter how technically skilled or intelligent you are, if you can’t work with people you won’t get anywhere. You will keep coming up against the same walls and barriers. I would recommend that any company should aim to help make their people whole, so they can make their company better.”

Personal growth reflections

Please share one key learning you have had as a result of Mygrow so far?

  • During Bootcamp, I realised that I needed to embark on full-on therapy with a psychologist. My personal reality was becoming my work reality. I realised I was morphing into someone my husband and son could no longer relate to. My sessions are ongoing and have been nothing short of eye-opening for me. My husband says after three months he can see a change and so can I.
  • Mygrow has reaffirmed the importance of stepping back and considering what actually happened, to assess a situation more rationally.
  • I have learned that it is okay to open up to others about your feelings. Nothing to be embarrassed about.
  • I actually enjoyed the trigger exercise and the process of exploring activating events. It has taught me to be aware of things that cause issues for me.
  • A key learning for me has been that nothing is as we see it, it is all through our own lenses, which are based on our past experiences. I have learned that EQ encompasses so much more than I thought – initially I believed it’s more of a “touchy feely” thing.

Please share something that helps you complete your droplet regularly

Workplace growth

Mygrow has improved my work life by helping me to:

“There has been a change in how I receive criticism. Before, it felt very personal because I needed to feel like I had got it all together. I battled to delegate and ask for help, both at work and at home. I would feel like I needed to do everything on my own. When I was in this place and criticism came, it felt very personal. But since my journey of investing in myself and my growth I have come to believe that it’s okay to have flaws and to ask for help, I even delegate at work when need be and I lean on my husband. We operate well as a team.”

– Leigh-Ann Daniels, HR Business Partner


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