Leadership Masterclasses

Leadership Masterclasses


LeadershipHQ are so excited to be offering you the opportunity to join us at not-to-be-missed events!

Seats to our events fill up FAST so book your spot QUICK! FIRST 10 GETS FREE TICKET!

Our Masterclasses are hosted by the team at LHQ and delivered by Sonia McDonald CEO & founder of LeadershipHQ as well as amazing guest speakers.

During these incredible events, you’ll be given the key tools AND skills to ROCK IT in every area of your career and leadership!

These FREE events are an opportunity to learn, connect and take action!

16th November – 5 Keys to Being a CEO

2019 Dates

Performance Leadership 

13th February 

Start the year with courage and determinaton. This masterclass will help you discover how to be brave and achieve your goals for 2019. It will be a masterclass that focuses on self awareness and discovery to inspire and help you achieve performance and action. We will give you the tools and plans to start the year with a clear path and direction. 

Building a Great Culture for Teams and Business 

13th March

You’re only as good as the team you have around you, and we believe in having a great team culture throughout your whole business. You’ll get the building blocks and the guidance you need to foster (or create) the best teamwork culture for your company. When a team works together, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. You’ll find out how to balance different personality types within your team and encourage everyone to do their best. 

Fast Track Leadership – How to Fast Track our Leadership with High Impact Skills 

10th April 

At LHQ, we love to help people find the leader within! This section is all about quickly improving your leadership talents with the skills that will make the biggest impact possible. Becoming a leader isn’t easy, but if you’re willing to put in the work, we can fast-track your leadership journey with high impact skills. Get ready to lead your team and business to greatness with the fantastic skills you’ll learn. 

Leadership for Start Up’s and SME’s – Building Great Leadership within Busines

8th May

Leadership in big companies is a much different kettle of fish to leading within SME’s. Within this section, you’ll learn all about how to build great leadership within your business. You can’t be the only leader, so it’s important to know how to pick the leaders among your team and build them up into inspiring leaders who can fill in for you when needed, and lead their own teams within your larger team. 

Connections Matter – How to leverage your connections and grow your career and business 

12th June

That old saying is true, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’. Connections are vital in business; you won’t get far without making meaningful connections with clients, suppliers, your team – anyone you come into contact with while running your business. We’ll teach you how to use your connections to your benefit, without coming off the wrong way. This is a vital way to grow your career and your business.

People Leadership – Why Leadership is about Others and learn key people skills 

10th July

To become a great leader, you need to know how to identify and deal with a variety of different types of people. Being a leader isn’t just about you, it’s about others too. We’ll help you learn key people skills to get the most from each team member, and how to interact with the different personality types that we come into contact with not just in business, but everyday life as well. You’ll feel more confident about situations when you’re equipped to handle others, thanks to the key people skills you’ll learn.

Board Leadership – Insights on Board Leadership 

14th August

This leadership masterclass focuses on Board Leadership. We’ll give you valuable insights to help you effectively lead and work within a board set up, leaving you confident and ready to take on any challenges you may face in the boardroom. Whether you’re just stepping into this role, or need a refresher, this is a seminar (What event is this?) you won’t want to miss! 

We also have amazing prizes and offers on the night! 

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ if you have any questions at [email protected]

How are Performance, Culture and Leadership Linked?

How are Performance, Culture and Leadership Linked?

Each workplace has a culture unique to it. A culture is, essentially, the shared perceptions, values, group norms and objectives/goals within a social unit, and includes how the unit solves problems, justifies themselves and interacts with each other. It can also include physical aspects such as the way an office is laid out or the type of furniture that’s used.

Basically, culture is “the way things work here”.

It’s not enough to say that your culture is a certain way; imposing rules that people may or may not follow doesn’t make a culture, it’s in the way a team behaves.

Many managers do understand how important of a factor culture is in the performance of a company, but a lot believe that they can just ‘say’ they have a good culture, and it will be so. Culture is not something that can be implemented; it is the product of experience and learning over the years. Culture must also be adaptable, as it can become a liability and hinder a company’s success as changes arise in the market and in technology.

Leadership and culture are intertwined fundamentally in many important ways. A company that is not run by founders or entrepreneurs but rather by general managers that have been promoted, leadership is limited due to the reflection of the history of the leaders and founders on the culture.

Introducing a new leader to a company with a strong culture and long history will cause some conflict with what the culture allows as the new leader imposes their ideas, and the new leader can only win by letting go a large amount of the old culture’s carriers – something that turnaround managers often do.

However, though the new leader is then starting fresh, and implementing the behaviour patterns and values they wish to see, it cannot be called a new culture until the employees internalise it and it has been successful for many years.

A new leader who imposes new values and behaviours has to do more than just hope that these new ideas result in improved performance. New leaders need to be clear about their expectations and goals, and how they will be implemented. They can also begin the work to dismantle the harmful attributes of the current culture while reinforcing the positive aspects, leading (hopefully) to increased performance.

Teams that are working under great leaders and within a culture that resonates with them are much more likely to be satisfied with their workplace, leading to a high retention rate and improved performance thanks to feeling motivated, respected and valued.

As mentioned above, you cannot just decide that you will have a new culture – culture is something that grows over many years and is successful, as well as being internalised by the employees. Leaders have a huge influence on the culture of a company, and so have a direct correlation with the performance of themselves and those they manage. Invest in great leaders who embody your culture (or the culture you wish to have) and you should see your organisation’s performance improving in no time.

Find out more about LeadershipHQ’s strategies and programs today for Corporates and SME’s today at www.leadershiphq.com.au

Trust to Improve Performance

Trust to Improve Performance

What’s the secret to improving your teams’ motivation and performance? You’ve probably asked yourself this plenty of times when measures that you’ve put in place haven’t been as effective as you’d hoped. You have great incentives in place for your team, you’ve streamlined your processes and procedures to make things as efficient as possible, but you’re still not getting their best.

Gallup conducted a 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace, and found the following shocking statistics:

  • 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” – meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.
  • 16% are “actively disengaged”, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.
  • Only 24% are “engaged”.


So how do you get your employees engaged, motivated and working hard? Something that you have to earn – trust.

Without trust, your team won’t be working to the best of their ability. If they can’t trust in their leaders, why should they put in more than the minimum amount of effort?

Author and professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul J. Zak, measured oxytocin levels and brain activity as people worked, over eight years. Oxytocin is the hormone that affects parts of our interaction and behaviours including trust. His research showed that trust within an organisation is absolutely vital to performance, and also that there are eight ways to quantify and boost trust within a workplace. Luckily for us, Zak made these into an acronym – OXYTOCIN – so it’s easy to remember.

Let’s take a look at what OXYTOCIN stands for 


Positive reinforcement (like rewards and recognition) has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is linked to motivation and effort, so it’s important to recognise and reward your team for great performance because then they’ll want to continue working to that high standard. Nobody likes working hard without that effort being acknowledged.


Expectations need to be set and made clear, so employees know what they’re working towards. Make sure that your team knows they’re part of the big picture, and explain just how they are. When you get your team involved in the mission, knowing that they are directly influencing the success of that mission and your organisation boosts their motivation and commitment to meeting and excelling at their goals and your expectations.


Micromanaging gets you nowhere; as a leader you must be able to effectively make decisions and delegate tasks. Foster a safe environment of learning – mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just make sure to learn from them – and your team members will thrive when given more responsibility, and work more autonomously knowing they won’t be punished for mistakes. They will feel motivated and empowered from being trusted to do important tasks.


Transfer refers to enabling your team to ‘job-craft’ – make their job their own, and make their own decisions about how they define success.

Research undertaken by the University of Michigan showed that allowing employees to job-craft resulted in higher levels of job fulfilment and engagement. This means less staff turnover as well.


Being transparent and open with information relating to your organisation builds trust with your team because it shows that you’re being honest with them. You’d be surprised how much time and effort is taken up when your team is wondering what’s going on, so be sure to practice openness when communicating with your team.

Team members appreciate being told what’s going on, even if it’s not always good news since it gives them a chance to voice their opinions and give their input. When employees feel heard, they also feel valued and so want to return the favour and work harder.

We have launched our NEW Performance Team Coaching Program – find out more HERE! 


During his research, Zak saw a variety of studies that showed how important relationships (including friendships) are on retention, productivity, health and overall job satisfaction. Encourage relationship building amongst your team by providing plenty of team-building opportunities such as collaboration between departments, and making sure to reward great teamwork.

If your organisation isn’t getting across how important workplace relationships can be, then your team won’t be trying too hard to build their networks.


Invest in your team; provide them with training and opportunities for reward and advancement, and you’ll see a big improvement in their engagement. Your team will also trust you more, as they see how much you value them by choosing to invest in them. Feeling valued like this is a great motivator for employees to do their best.


The best leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable; being authentic and natural shows your employees that you’re human too and that they don’t have to be perfect because you aren’t either. When your team can relate to you, they’re inspired to be more open and honest as well. This allows them to ask for help sooner, instead of fearing being reprimanded, which means time isn’t wasted and work can be carried out more competently and efficiently.

Trust isn’t exactly something you can measure, but it’s a huge part of getting your team to consistently perform at their best. What Zak found from his research is that when you have people working for organisations that have an emphasis on trust, they are 76% more engaged, 50% more productive, and 50% more likely to stay in that organisation. You can’t argue with those results!

If you’re a leader who wants to step up your game and start encouraging a culture of trust in your workplace using resources backed by extensive research and with proven results, check out our Leadership Attitude Academy here, or book a coaching session here. 


Leadership a Deal Breaker for SME’s & Start-Ups

Leadership a Deal Breaker for SME’s & Start-Ups

This week I am the keynote speaker at the Ignite Conference at the Gympie Chamber on Leadership for SME’s, Start-Ups and Family Businesses. I have been reflecting on Leadership for SME’s a lot recently as well as speaking to many owners, founders and Directors of SME’s, Start-Ups and Family Businesses. There is a direct correlation between performance for these businesses and Leadership. Thing is when I am talking about Leadership, I mean self-leadership; knowing who you are as a person and leader and how your actions and behaviours drive culture and performance.

Why is it critical today? Strong leadership is important in a company of any size, but it is especially crucial when looking at SMEs and Start-Ups. With technology always improving, customer demands ever-changing and a fluctuating economy, leaders who can handle these obstacles and inspire their team to do the same are worth their weight in gold to any small or medium-sized business. Great leaders get their teams working to a high standard and give them the confidence to be able to overcome issues that arise, by fostering a suitable organisational culture that allows employees to feel valued and trusted. Recently Joanna Wyganowska conducted research on exploring how leadership and culture contribute to the sustainable success of high growth companies, reveals that these issues play a pivotal role and need to be better understood by high growth founders and company leaders. She found leadership was a deal breaker.

SMEs and Start-Ups need to be more adept at handling challenges than their larger counterparts, due to the fact they have fewer resources, so there’s less room for error. Most SMEs and Start-Ups turn their focus onto surviving in the business world; appointing leaders who may not be formally qualified or educated over those that are, because of the emphasis on learning on-the-job. This, in turn, affects leadership development and progression, as there are no clear requirements for leadership, and those who are not qualified are training the future leaders the same way they were taught, which is often detrimental to the success of an SME or Start-Up and perpetuates a cycle of poor leadership. If this cycle isn’t broken, an SME or Start-Up won’t ever reach its full potential – great leaders are needed to keep a company growing and advancing on the right track.

“One of the biggest changes a business goes through as it scales is the handing over of an idea from the founder to the people working in the organisation. The brand moves from being one person’s idea to being the professional focus of a whole group of people.”

Charlotte Keenan, head of the corporate engagement office EMEA at Goldman Sachs.

As Ms Keenan says, transitioning the day-to-day operations and running of the business from the founder/s to other team members and leaders is a big challenge to all SMEs and Start-Ups face as they grow. It’s important for a founder to have a team below them that aligns with their vision, values and beliefs, and shares the same passion for the organisation and its goals, as this is critical to success.

If you are interested in a leadership plan for yourself or your team sign up here.



Founders need to ensure they are choosing strong leaders to guide the employees and company in the right direction; the right leader will motivate your team to work their hardest and achieve great results and keep the organisation culture running smoothly. If your employees are working under a leader who cannot delegate, is hard to communicate with, doesn’t take responsibility for their mistakes or passes the blame, they will have low levels of job satisfaction and will be directly impacting the success of an SME or Start-Up through lack of performance. Leaders who micromanage will also have team morale at unacceptable levels, and again it’s the SME or Start-Up that will suffer. When a founder can trust that their leaders are performing at their best, and getting the same from their team, they are free to focus on other areas to help the business grow. Here is an interesting perspective from HBR too on Leadership and Start-Ups.

“As the team grows, founders often react by micromanaging the details of their business. In trying to take on everyone else’s job, the founder leaves the most critical position vacant. Learning to trust and empower others in the organisation leaves room for them to continue innovating, which is critical for business growth.”

Charlotte Keenan.

Leadership development is something many SMEs or Start-Ups don’t provide for their staff; they don’t place the importance on leadership that they should and think that less than qualified leaders teaching the next leaders is an acceptable practice. Resources may be sparse, and leadership development may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the lack of strong leadership will cost an SME or Start-Up a lot more. It’s something that must be made a focus for all if they wish to not just survive but thrive.

We want you to thrive.

LeadershipHQ have launched a free Business and Organisational Leadership Health Quiz and Leadership Performance Coaching for your SME, Family Business or Start-Up. If you would like to know more please contact the team today at [email protected]


5 Habits of Bad Leaders

5 Habits of Bad Leaders

Almost all of us have worked under a leader who, to put it simply, wasn’t very good at leading. When you’re dealing with a leader like this, what are the effects of their bad leadership on their team and organisation? Poor leadership ultimately impacts performance.

The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance.

Brian Tracy.

Birgit Schyns and Jan Schilling conducted a meta-analysis (referenced here) on the effects of bad leadership, and found the following:

  • Bad, abusive supervisors are not trusted and their requests are resisted by followers.
  • Bad leaders create dissatisfaction in followers and de-motivate them.
  • Followers of bad leaders are less committed to their jobs and organizations, look to leave the organisation, and may even engage in counterproductive work behaviours.
  • Bad, abusive leaders create stress in followers and can have adverse effects on their health and well-being.

Let’s take a look at some of the behaviours bad leaders exhibit, and how they can be corrected.

Being Hypocritical

If you don’t practice what you preach, then it’s no surprise that your team lacks respect for you as a leader.

Be fair, be consistent, and lead by example – none of that ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ nonsense.

Being Unclear

Bad leaders tend to be bad communicators as well, and aren’t clear when expressing expectations of their team.

If your team isn’t sure of what you expect of them, their performance is going to suffer. It’s hard to be efficient when you’re unsure of what you should be doing.

Not Recognising Team Members’ Efforts

Nobody likes to be taken for granted at work, but it happens. And if it’s happening consistently, then you’re working under a bad leader.

Bad leaders don’t acknowledge or recognise their team’s achievements, so their team stops working as hard – why would you keep putting in so much effort if it’s never even mentioned?

Passing Blame

Leaders are accountable for their team, and this is something that many bad leaders struggle with.

If your team is getting bad results then you need to look at yourself, because you are their leader. Bad leaders will blame anyone but themselves, even publically. Why would you do your best work (or stick around at all) for a boss that passes blame?

Being a Micromanager

Bad leaders are awful at delegating; they don’t leave their team to work autonomously because they don’t believe the job will be done. If a leader isn’t allowing their team to use their skills and talents, and prove themselves, then the work being turned out isn’t at the highest quality it could be – the thing that bad leaders believe micromanaging will solve!

If you’re a leader and you’ve recognised yourself in any of these points, it’s time to do some self-reflection and empower yourself to become a better leader. However, any leader should always be mindful that they aren’t falling into these bad habits, so that they can lead their team to success.

LeadershipHQ has a range of cutting-edge resources and programs that can help you become a great leader, including our Online Leadership Academy and Diploma of Leadership (BSB51915) that has seen fantastic results for those who’ve taken part. To take your leadership to the next level and iron out any bad leadership habits, find out more here. 

Image source – Shutterstock