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Inspiring your inner greatness and leadership.

Leadership is an attitude and mindset.

Inspiring and motivating others is Sonia's calling. Life-changing, motivational, incredible, extraordinary and all things courage and leadership are the words her audience and clients call her. She will leave your audience feeling truly inspired and transformed.

Sonia has been delivering keynotes and presentations around the world for over a decade delivering more than just inspiration and motivation, Sonia empowers her audience to be bold and courageous in their life and leadership. Her mission is to make a life-long impact on others, helping them understand their true potential and giving them the skills, courage, knowledge and encouragement to reach it. Transforming them into the great leaders they have always wanted to be. Remember leadership isn't a title, it is an attitude, choice and mindset.

Sonia McDonald is a courageous leader. A cutting-edge entrepreneur. A high-performing businesswoman and seasoned professional. A caring mother. An impactful speaker. All with an action bias.

Following a forced lifestyle change in 2006, founder Sonia McDonald joined the consulting world and discovered her purpose in inspiring people to learn and grow. With a flair for leadership and strong writing talents, Sonia started the LeadershipHQ blog in 2007. It quickly became a must-read for leaders looking for a more people-centered way of leading.

Current Work:

With a growing following and the desire to make an even greater impact, Sonia established the LeadershipHQ consulting business in 2008 and then McDonald Inc. in 2019. Since then, she has helped thousands of leaders through her advisory work, keynotes, coaching, workshops and presentations across the Globe.
Sonia believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, doing rather than telling. She is known for her mantra ‘just lead’.

She leads by example. But not content with words alone, Sonia inspires action, helping individuals and organisations grow through one-on-one practical coaching, keynotes, workshops and advisory services.

Sonia has helped thousands of good leaders become great leaders; progressing their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire others to join them.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of Human Resources, Leadership and People and Culture. She has held leadership positions worldwide. Through experience, research and study, Sonia has come to realise what it takes to be a truly courageous leader.

Sonia speaks bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, her personal journey and career challenges. It is this relatable, heart-warming and humorous approach that resonates with her audience and has seen her become an in-demand keynote speaker with a timely message of courageous, kind leadership.

Putting people at ease, Sonia starts important conversations and inspires courageous action in people around the world. She is an award-winning author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Her next book First Comes Courage is now launched!

Talking Points

Leadership is an Attitude

This powerful keynote is based on Sonia’s cutting-edge book Leadership Attitude, which explores why leadership is not defined by a role or a title. Discover the keys to a leadership attitude and learn how you can be a leader through your attitude, values, actions, mindset and behaviour. This keynote has been transformational for thousands of leaders worldwide, leaving the audience inspired to be the leader they want to be.

Just Rock It!

This high-energy and inspiring keynote based on Sonia’s second book, Just Rock It! has become a life-changer for many people. Discover how to embrace fear to lead with confidence, courage and conviction. Sonia empowers her audience to shine and stand tall and be the impact they want to be, leaving the room wanting to rock their life and leadership.

Kindness is Giving Main Character Vibes

Imagine a world where Kindness and Empathy were leadership styles. Kindness is a superpower habit which will change the way we lead our lives, teams, and organisations. Sonia will take you on a journey with the research behind how you can be brave and strong as well as kind and you will walk away with a kind vibe which will change the world.

New Kind of Leadership

If there was one thing that the past few years have shown us is that Kindness and Empathy are the new styles of leadership. Sonia will take you on a journey of discovery around the new kind of leadership needed today and the ROI of embedding kindness into your leadership. You will learn how to lead with warmth, kindness and empathy whilst keeping truly strong and brave as a leader.

First Comes Courage

Leadership starts within. This is the premise of the book and keynote First Comes Courage. Sonia will take your audience through the virtues and keys to courageous leadership and how to embrace the First Comes
Courage methodology and compass. You will discover the keys to leading with courage through the lens of
kindness, purpose, impact and resilience.

Workshop: Building High Performance Teams

All organisations today realise the importance of creating team cultures in the workplace in order to realise maximum productivity and efficiency. To achieve high performing and courageous teams requires skills not traditionally acquired by managers. This workshop is designed to provide leadership, practical skills and great tools that will have an immediate result back in the workplace.

- In this fun and empowering workshop; participants will learn how to: Improve the levels of performance in their team
- Apply models for building a high-performance team
- Analyse their team and identify issues that need to be addressed
- Focus on problem-solving and decision making that relates to workplace issues Develop meeting skills and guidelines
- Measure and monitor team performance
- Generate creative and innovative team ideas and solutions Formulate team strategies for implementation

As a result of this program the participants will:
- Learn practical methods to increase team efficiency and productivity Be able to utilise a number of team models to benchmark team effectiveness and identify areas for change
- Build a SWOT analysis and leadership for the team Identify workplace issues that their team needs to resolve
- Know how to effectively run a meeting and gain high levels of participation
- Design key team performance measures and the means of monitoring performance
- Gain a range of techniques for generating innovative a creative ideas with their teams
- Use all of the information and knowledge they have gathered to develop an action plan to build a more effective team

The Value of Values

Leading with conviction, integrity and authenticity are fundamental elements of great leadership. Many leaders
don't truly appreciate or understand how the values, beliefs and culture of an organisation plays in the success
of their organisation. Learn how to discover and embed great values and behaviours.

Impact of Great Leadership

Discover the secrets to great leadership and see its impact on your business. In this keynote, Sonia takes the audience through the why, how, and what of great leadership. Discover what works, what doesn’t, and how you can see an immediate impact/ROI on your business. You’ll walk away with the tools and knowledge you need to be an outstanding leader in your organisation.

Courage is Your Compass

Today most of us want to let a life of courage. Having a courage compass is ultimately what can guide us. Sonia will take you on a journey to inspire you to find the courage and greatness in your life and leadership with the 5 keys to the Courage Compass based on her book First Comes Courage. Get ready to be inspired!

Building a Brilliant Team

Want to learn how to build great, high-performance, cohesive, and brilliant teams? In Sonia’s productive, engaging, and motivating keynote, you’ll understand the why, how, and what to keep your workforce engaged and motivated. You’ll also discover how to get things done in today’s fast-paced virtual, remote workplace world with intergenerational complexities and challenges.

Creating a Culture that Rocks

Join Sonia and discover how to build an amazing culture that rocks! You’ll learn everything you need to know about creating a great culture from the ground up, including secrets for attracting and retaining top talent. Sonia will teach you how to engage your workforce and create a company culture that people love to be a part of.

Step In, Step Up, Stand Up & Lead

If you are like most women, you will love this keynote. Sonia will empower and inspire you as a woman to gain the courage and confidence you need to stand up and lead. You’ll learn how to identify your power, navigate through challenging conversations, and lead with impact. After attending this keynote, you’ll be inspired to take action, step into your courage, and lead confidently.

Leading Gen Z with Greatness

Are you struggling to understand and lead Gen Z? In this cutting-edge keynote, Sonia explains how to lead Generation Z with Greatness and overcome the challenges and frustrations of leading the first digital generation. You’ll learn how to connect with your team and inspire them to greatness. Discover the keys to unlocking the potential of this generation. Get ready to be inspired!

Guilt, Juggle, Motherhood and Courage

I don’t know how she does it. Sonia has experienced it all. The guilt, tears, juggle, survival, fear, courage, loss, self-doubt, failure, imposter syndrome and exhaustion and so much more. How does she do it? Sonia will share with you how to lead the juggle with courage, kindness and ultimately a different way of rocking it.

Great Leadership is Not What You Think

The journey to great leadership has evolved and changed over the years especially since COVID. We need to adapt the way we lead and how we influence and inspire others to do more, learn more and be more. Ready to find out what are the 7 keys to great leadership as it is not what you think?

Neuroscience of the Leadership Mindset

How would it feel to have a powerful Leadership Mindset? Sonia has been inspiring the world with her leadership work and neuroscience tools for many years. She will take you on a fun, practical and incredible journey and give you the research, and knowledge to lead with the brain in mind. Get ready to have your mind blown away with this great keynote and masterclass!

Creating Courageous Future Generations

Generation Z, Millennials and Generation Y are awesome and often misunderstood. Now is the time to take this great opportunity and be the impact and change for them by leading the way. We need create and inspire them to being the great leaders and humans we need to see. This keynote will show you the why, how, and what of creating great generations of today and tomorrow. This is a transformational keynote and masterclass.

Calling our Future Generations

Calling all the future generations of today and tomorrow - please answer! Now is the time that YOU and all of us need you to step up and lead. If I had a time machine and if could go back to my younger and completely unaware self, I would say start learning leadership now - right now! Sonia will share all her leadership wisdom, courage, stuff ups and keys to great leadership for our future generations.

Courageous Followers are our Call to action

There are two types of people in this world - those who want to lead and those who want to follow. Sometimes we take on both roles. The greatest leaders make more great leaders. However, what is more critical is that we create greater followers. Followers who have the courage to step up and follow us with conviction, integrity, and purpose. Leaders need to create the environment, acts of service and integrity to inspire our followers to lead the way and to be leaders. Be ready to be the change we want to see!

One BIG Leadership Idea

If you are like most people, you want to be a great leader and be the best version of yourself. Let’s not make leadership bigger than what it is. Imagine a world where you all leave a legacy of leadership and impact. This keynote will give you one BIG idea around leadership and the extraordinary journey to leaving a legacy of leadership.

Trust, Stuff Up's and Psychological Safety

If you are like most leaders and organisations, you want to be a culture of courage, innovation, trust, and ultimately people feeling empowered to take risks, make mistakes and challenge the status quo. This keynote and masterclass will show you the research, tools and practical actionable steps to create teams and businesses that thrive in the midst of constant change where they feel safe to be heard, innovate and belong.
Sonia is an enthusiastic speaker who communicates complex concepts in an entertaining and engaging manner. Her depth of knowledge and understanding of leadership is exemplified in the detail she goes into in her presentation. She’s committed to delivering the goods, honing her message to the group to ensure relevance and engagement. There’s no fluff, just substance and she’ll give you skills to take home, tell others and start using immediately to better you, your company and everyone around you. La’Quar

Sonia held the 300 attendee audiences attention the whole time. She energised them, she made them laugh, she made them think. I would recommend anyone looking for a speaker to empower their staff - Sonia should be your choice. She exudes energy and positivity and leaves you feeling like you can do anything. She is incredible.

QSuper Group

Sonia was so motivating and encouraging, and I left the room feeling like I really could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. I believe that Sonia has the potential to influence leaders at every stage of their journey, and as I progress through my professional career I always find that Sonia has unique content to help me along my personal development as a leader in my field."

Griffith University

Sonia facilitated the Women in Mantra leadership workshop for us on International Women’s Day. Her passion and energy left our Team Members feeling inspired to achieve leadership roles at Mantra Group, and they have already set up local networking groups and put measurable goals in place.


Sonia is an outstanding motivational speaker who inspires her audience to be inclusive and balanced leaders and you always leave wanting to hear more. Thankfully she also has wonderful books to support your journey to not only outstanding leadership, but courage and growth.

Queensland Department of Education

Sonia spoke at our company's annual International Women's Day event 2022 and all our team and our guests absolutely loved her presentation. We have received feedback from many people that Sonia was inspiring and created a great positive energy in the room. Sonia really understood our company's core values and tailored the presentation to our needs. This has been one of the best industry events we have hosted and having Sonia as a speaker definitely played a role in this success.

Wolter Consulting Group

We engaged Sonia as a presenter for a career development seminar. We found her style professional, engaging and warm and feedback from our team was incredibly positive. Thanks Sonia, we look forward to having you back again!

Hall Chadwick
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