S03E02 Authentic leadership from the factory floor

What does it take to turn revolutionary ideas into reality, establish an entrepreneurial company culture, and maintain balance in the ever-changing digital world? Join us for an engaging conversation with our esteemed guest, Graeme van Zyl, co-owner and executive manufacturing director of Jendamark Automation, as he shares his insights, experiences, and life lessons on leadership, manufacturing, and making a difference.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of precision and due diligence. Graeme shares his thoughts on the need for flexibility, bridging generational gaps, the significance of one-on-one communication, and the impact of digital culture on our lives both personally and professionally. We also explore the importance of self-security, honesty, and the power of positive thinking in business and life.

Listen as Graeme takes us through his journey from a PLC programmer to the director of a global company, the challenges he faced, and the rewards of following one’s own path. We delve into entrepreneurship, maintaining discipline in business operations, and the innovative systems that Jendamark employs to streamline their manufacturing process. Don’t miss this fascinating episode, which offers valuable insights into leadership, and the art of balancing work and life in the modern world.



Graeme van Zyl is a co-owner and director of Jendamark Automation, a South African company that builds world-class component assembly systems for the global automotive sector. After studying electrical engineering, followed by a brief stint working in Argentina, Graeme joined Jendamark as a 24-year-old PLC programmer. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a project manager and, ultimately, the head of manufacturing. He counts his family and the joy of building Jendamark among his enduring legacies.


00:00 – Leadership, manufacturing, and social media

10:22 – Balancing workplace communication

17:20 – Digital culture and honesty in business

24:39 – Entrepreneurship and company culture

33:26 – Self-security and positive thinking

45:03 – Honesty and innovation in tech work

58:51 – Discipline in business operations

01:04:46 – Manufacturing process and part tracking

01:13:13 – Productivity through cleanliness and assembly

01:21:56 – Share leadership and matrix management