Navigating Cross-Cultural Leadership for Transformational Impact

Damien Damperon - General Manager, MOOG Baguio
Upon taking up the new position of General Manager in MOOG Baguio in July 2017, it soon became apparent to Damien that fundamental pillars needed to be in place – building the leadership team and leadership pipeline, improving people engagement, integrating the AG and IG, raising the visibility of local Baguio talents, and building a culture of ethical and safe practices. With a different leadership style from the previous leaders, Damien’s direct communication style resulted in miscommunication and misunderstandings with the leaders and team at MOOG, leading to resistance to the efforts in leading the aspired business change.


A High Impact Leadership Journey was tailored and curated for the MOOG Baguio leaders and high-potential talents with the intent to build leadership capabilities as well as a strong leadership pipeline at MOOG Baguio. The journey aimed to unleash the participants’ insights and help them step up and have more resolve as leaders in the organisation and industry at large. It brought forth the reality that business results come hand in hand with quality proposals. The focus was on building critical leadership competencies and capabilities to realise this goal.

During the journey, Damien shared his vision of making MOOG Baguio a sought after world-class industry leader to the team. This was the legacy he wanted to leave for the MOOG Baguio team. He built openness and transparency essential to the team’s success by meeting leadership groups in face-to-face sessions throughout the journey. He reiterated and reaffirmed the shared vision, clarified doubts, answered tough questions on his leadership direction and decisions, and discussed the “un-discussable”. He involved key organisational stakeholders in the strategic action learning projects regarding issues identified and worked on by the team. Damien worked closely with PACE to ensure the leadership development journey was always aligned to match the need of the business and people as the team continued to mature.

As a result, 22 leaders and high-potential talents went through the High Impact Leadership Journey from November 2017 to May 2019 and 12 of them were further selected to move onto a second phase of a Change Transformation Journey to lead the organisation transformation together with Damien. A next batch of next level leadership team were also identified and a further 22 leaders and high-potential talents were enrolled in a second wave of the High Impact Leadership Journey from November 2018 to November 2019.


Strategic Impact:

The journey saw many critical organisational issues ironed out, addressed and resolved with visible results that propelled MOOG Baguio further in its journey towards organisation excellence. Damien’s vision cascaded further into the organisation and there was a visible increase in trust, alignment, collaboration between the leaders and their teams. Positive changes in results and performance were visible and the general morale of people rose. There was an increased understanding and appreciation to the strategic directions set and as understanding grew, operational efforts and implementation also came into alignment.

Leadership Impact:

The journey also resulted in a visible transformation of MOOG Baguio as positive energy and enthusiasm generated through this journey, evidently reflected from the recipients’ sharing as follow:

"To be an 'eye-witness’ of a transformation of a leader is an inspiring and empowering experience. To be a part of the PACE journey brings wonderful self-discoveries, accepting encouraging challenges, having situational awareness towards a meaningful purpose of a leadership calling with genuine humility, efficient effectivity and consistency to commitments” – Gracezelda Balmocena

“Damien’s straightforward and no nonsense personality came out really strong and very challenging to most people on all levels of the Baguio organization. A lot of employees including middle management were reluctant to open up issues and voice out opinions for fear of being pointed out or corrected by Damien especially in front of others. However, for the past couple of months, I’ve seen how Damien’s leadership style changed from a seemingly authoritative leader that most people are terrified of to an inspiring leader. He now make sure that he explains why he is requiring something and why it is important. In the past, employees don’t understand where he is coming from, which makes it difficult for them to understand why he is so passionate about an issue or a topic.  Secondly, he now keeps his emotions in check.  I’ve personally witnessed how incredibly he’s able to keep his cool in situations that usually cause him to have emotional outbursts. Lastly, Damien’s drive to influence his leaders has become very evident over the months he’s with Moog Baguio.  He still asks a lot of questions but one thing that is different is that when he does, he not only encourages his leaders that they can do it but also affirm his support to them. And I really think that is important especially during situations where he challenges others to move away from the conventional way of thinking, planning and decision making to a path that most Moog employees are not used to.”

Gennevie Pizarro

Personal & Professional Impact:

Through this journey, Damien’s leadership underwent a positive transformation as he stayed humble and open to feedback and worked on his leadership style. On a personal level, he had earned the trust of the senior leaders at MOOG Baguio, evident through the times they corrected any misconceptions about Damien and clarified and created alignment towards the collective shared vision. On a professional level, Damien's leadership saw improved in areas such as creating an inclusive environment, practicing empathy, deepening of personal and professional relationships with increased mutual trust, respect and appreciation. Through his journey and efforts, Damien was able to drive desired performance while shaping the aspired culture at MOOG Baguio.

Enabling Real Business Outcomes through Employee Engagement

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