How to Shift From a Culture of Blame to One of Accountability

When a workplace culture is one of blaming rather than taking responsibility, it affects everyone. Employee loyalty becomes practically nonexistent, nobody wants to raise their hand and take responsibility, and the bare minimum is done to avoid being blamed for anything. Does this sound like a thriving organisation? Maybe it even hits close to home. Perhaps this describes your workplace culture? 

Don’t despair – there is a way for you, as a leader, to start changing the culture of blame and move it towards one of accountability. It involves laying down the groundwork for this new culture, for it to continue to grow and improve so that you and those around you learn how to take responsibility. 

So, what is the difference between blame and accountability?

To put it simply, when you’re blamed for something, you’re forced to accept responsibility for what you’ve done – or haven’t done. Blame is often assigned based on assumptions and is usually done as a misguided way to punish the ‘offender’. When someone constantly gets blamed for things, they lose their motivation to improve and instead focus on hiding any mistakes they mistake. 

On the other hand, when you take responsibility for an outcome, whether positive or negative, you are being accountable. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially with a bad result, but it is the most effective way to learn from what has happened. When you are accountable, you’re able to focus on what worked and what didn’t and improve the results in the future.

8 ways to start building a culture of accountability

Ask questions to get the full story before meting out disciplinary action. Don’t just assume or jump to conclusions; that’s the best way to make people defensive, and then nothing will get solved.

  1. Ask questions to get the full story before meting out disciplinary action. Don’t just assume or jump to conclusions; that’s the best way to make people defensive, and then nothing will get solved.
  2. Remember that any failures or challenges are chances to learn, and model this for your team at all times.
  3. Ensure you’re clear on what results you’re looking for, and provide your employees with feedback, resources and clarity on how much authority they have. This eliminates many problems before they can even occur, and lets each team member know exactly what they’re responsible for. 
  4. When you look more at how to solve a problem, rather than at the person involved, you’re showing your team that it is okay to make mistakes (within reason). They’re more likely to communicate honestly and openly and feel like they can trust you.
  5. Identify what, if any, processes or systems could have contributed to an issue, rather than looking for someone to assign blame to. These are the actions of a great leader, who looks to see how things could be improved to enable their team to do better next time.
  6. To be a great leader, you must take responsibility for when something goes wrong, and give credit to others when something goes right. This is extremely difficult to do, but acting like a leader isn’t always easy.
  7. Even if you are upset or angry about a situation, you cannot let that show when giving advice or feedback. Whoever is on the receiving end will think they are being blamed if you sound frustrated or even angry when speaking to them.
  8. Look at your role in an issue, and ask yourself what you can do differently next time. This practice is key to improving your own sense of accountability.

When a workplace culture is one of blame, leaders are working against it to get even passable results – so take charge and start working on your accountability. Modelling positive behaviours is the most effective way to influence your team into making significant changes. Start taking responsibility for your team and for yourself, and watch the culture in your workplace slowly begin to shift towards one of accountability, openness and trust instead of blame.

If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with the team at Sonia McDonald Inc. We have a range of programs and workshops on offer, focusing on courageous leadership. There’s an option to suit leaders at any stage of their leadership journey. Take the first step in becoming a more courageous leader by contacting us today.

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald Keynote Speaker

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Lead with Courage

Excerpt from my book Leadership Attitude

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela

We have talked about confidence as I think this is pivotal. Leadership is also about courage.

Lead with courage. It occurs to me every day how much courage the leaders have that I am coaching and working with.

Courage means “The ability to do something that frightens. Bravery and strength in the face of pain or grief.”

My days have been filled with courage, bravery and strength. I have had a week of meeting leaders who have been made redundant, a week of coaching leaders who don’t think they are good enough, a week of leaders being told they are not performing, a week of leaders trying to get that dream job but they not being seen. A week of leaders trying to build businesses and their dreams, asking for help, and a week of leaders who are putting themselves out there to be the best they can be after I had coached and inspired them to go for it. A week of leaders being also truly vulnerable.

Thing is; I work with and live and breathe courage every day. 

Showing up and being authentically who you are is courage, fighting for what you believe in is courage, putting your hand up is courage, asking for help is courage, starting your own business is courage, letting people go who don’t serve you is courage, getting back up when you are knocked down is courage and being the best leader you can be is courage. We are courageous every day of our lives. 

Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. -Steve Jobs

I love this quote by Steve Jobs. Why? There are many reasons why! Often I work with leaders trying to be someone else, lacking the bravery and courage to go for what they want and letting others bring them down. Yet I know it’s in them, deep down, somewhere…

Be who YOU are, own it and focus on what makes you rock! We are all different. Focus your mind and thoughts on what makes you different, brilliant and unique. You will start to see and feel the difference of focusing on your mind on your strengths, talents and how YOU make a difference to others and this world.

No one is perfect. Remember this. Life is about putting yourself out there. Life is about learning and growing. There are plenty of things I am not great at. And if I want to be better at something or be the best I can be; I read, work with a coach and mentors, attend conferences, connect with people who can help – I open my mind to learning and change. I love being different. I love learning.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. – Coco Chanel

Go for it. If I can do it, you can. If you really want that role, to work with that company, meet that person (I found a great mentor on LinkedIn, asked to meet him and asked him to be my mentor – he said YES!), to start a business, follow a dream, visit that place or whatever that might be. Go for it. Do it. I started my company from a BLOG! Why? Because I believed in myself and loved Leadership. And I thought to myself, worst case scenario is that I gave it a go and it didn’t work out. Sure I was sh.t scared but I lived beyond the fear and jumped.

Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway. – John Wayne

Life is WAY too short to just wish you were doing this or that, do it and go for it. If I can do it, you can! Be Courageous.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot

Want to learn Courage? Find out more about my Courageous Leadership Tour!

Be defined by you. Do not let others define you. Over the years I have had my critics, and I have also had my brilliant supporters. I have had amazing guidance and feedback as well as the negative and downright unnecessary comments. I don’t define myself by them and only listen to those who truly matter. I always follow my heart and intuition. There is great courage in doing so.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. – Coco Chanel

Leadership is about courage. It is truly brave to be who you truly are.

Step up and Lead. Believe and trust yourself. Only you matter. You are worthy.

This is Courage.

What does courage mean to you?

What courageous action can you do today?

Join me today on my Online Courageous Leadership Program!

4 Skills That Make Up Courage

Leadership isn’t easy; it’s much easier to read or talk about than it is to actually do. This is why courage is essential for being an effective leader. When you’re a leader you have to be accountable, do what you believe is right even if others don’t agree,  have difficult conversations, appear (and be) brave in the face of uncertainty, and always be conscious of how your actions are influencing those around you.

It’s also harder in many ways to be a leader in today’s day and age because you are expected to actually model the behaviour you want your employees to follow. The days of “do as I say not as I do” leadership, and being a hands-off boss who leads by fear and intimidation are on the way out. Leaders now have to be brave, take responsibility and understand how much influence they have. This attitude is reflected in the way society is changing today. People want to move away from blame and fear and shame; they want to feel like they are enough.

Even if you don’t feel like the most courageous person, you don’t have to worry – courage can be taught!  Bravery may not be an inherent quality for most of us, but you can use some of the skills you already have to learn how to develop your courage.

Here’s how that works: courage can be broken down into four skills that, with dedication and practice, will help you practice and develop your bravery.

Vulnerability

You need to be able to put yourself out there and show up, even if you don’t know what the outcome will be. Whether it’s in a phone call, a meeting, or talking in person, you need to be willing to shed your protective layer and let people see the real you.

Vulnerability isn’t weakness, like some believe. Being vulnerable also helps foster trust between you and your team, because of the openness and honesty that it conveys.

Trust

You can’t have trust without vulnerability. This doesn’t mean that you must trust everyone and ignore your instincts, it means that you should hand the reins over to your team occasionally. This a very effective way to show them that you believe in them and their abilities. It can be hard to let go of some of your control, but for the sake of developing great relationships with your team and others, you must start trusting them. Demonstrating that trust goes a long way to motivating staff as well.

It may be more comfortable to simply do things yourself, because you know it will be done exactly how you want – but when you start deciding to be brave instead of comfortable you start building your courage.

You must also have confidence in yourself; you need to trust your decisions and actions and stand by them.

Being clear on your Values

Leadership isn’t easy; it’s much easier to read or talk about than it is to actually do. This is why courage is essential for being an effective leader. When you’re a leader you have to be accountable, do what you believe is right even if others don’t agree, have difficult conversations, appear (and be) brave in the face of uncertainty, and always be conscious of how your actions are influencing those around you.

If you don’t know what your values are, in leadership and in general, you should take a moment to sit down and really think about them. If you don’t have clarity in this area, you are at a disadvantage by lacking direction. 

Once you’ve worked out what your values are, look at them closely and you’ll likely see that you need courage to stand by them. Being clear on your values helps you make those tough decisions, because you will be able to stick to them and reassure yourself that you’re doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is often the hardest choice, but your conviction will see you through.

Resilience

Leadership, like life in general, isn’t always simple. There are often obstacles and setbacks. We all experience failure numerous times over the course of our lives. Since setbacks and failures aren’t going anywhere, it’s up to us as leaders to have a growth mindset when facing them. Effective leaders don’t waste time searching for someone to blame for what went wrong, they look at what could be done differently next time to get a better result. When you model resilience it helps your team build their own as well, which is invaluable in the world of business. Setbacks don’t take up as much time or money when you can brush them off and try again. Getting back up when you’ve been knocked down is one of the bravest things a leader (or person) can do.

Resilience, trust, vulnerability and clarity of your values are the four building blocks you need to build your courage. Each of these qualities requires bravery to enact, allowing you to practice and develop your courage in meaningful and authentic ways. 

They are also the skills that any leader should have if they want to be effective and make a real difference to their team and their company. When you start focusing on these building blocks, you’re on the way to being a courageous leader – and the world definitely needs more of those!

If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with the team at Sonia McDonald Inc. We have a range of programs and workshops on offer, focusing on courageous leadership. There’s an option to suit leaders at any stage of their leadership journey. Take the first step in becoming a more courageous leader by contacting us today.

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald Keynote Speaker

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Get Your Brave On With These 20 Quotes

You may have noticed by now that I’m all about being courageous, whether it’s in your leadership, career or other areas of your life. It’s those who dare to be different, who are brave enough to do what is right, not just what is easy, that change the world.

There are so many wonderfully inspirational quotes from people from all walks of life that sum up just what true courage really is. I’ve gathered twenty of my favourites to share with you, and I hope they resonate with you!

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”

Franklin P. Jones

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

William Faulkner

“Being brave means knowing that when you fail, you don’t fail forever.”

Lana Del Rey

“The best way out is always through.”

Robert Frost

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”

Soren Kierkegaard

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

Paulo Coelho

“You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.”

Brené Brown

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”

John Wayne


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston S. Churchill

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”

Emma Donoghue

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

Helen Keller

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“Without fear there cannot be courage.”

Christopher Paolini

“Taking no chances means wasting your dreams.”

Ellen Hopkins

“Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”

Eleanor Roosevelt

“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.”

Paulo Coelho

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Michelle Obama

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

Are you feeling pumped up and ready to ROCK this whole bravery thing? I know I am!

And yes – Winston Churchill features twice! The man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to courage.

Let me know what your favourite quote about bravery is in the comments – whether it made my blog or not. I love hearing what inspires you!

Don’t forget that I’m always here for you, so if you need help unleashing your inner courage please get in touch. Let’s light that fire inside you!

Clear is Kind

Telling a little white lie here and there in a friendship isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, we don’t want to hurt our friends’ feelings, right? It’s much kinder to say you do like their new hairstyle, even if you think it’s unflattering…isn’t it?

Wrong.

I’m here to tell you why being clear is undeniably kinder.

Before we go any further, we have to talk about who inspired me to start looking at clarity in this new way. I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown, the University of Houston research professor who has studied shame, empathy, vulnerability and courage over the last 20 years. She applies her findings to helping improve leadership skills, and has written a range of books including the incredible Dare to Lead.

When I first heard her talk about ‘Unclear is unkind. Clear is kind.’ I was blown away. It seemed so simple; we may tell ourselves that being unclear is being kind, but it’s actually the opposite. When you avoid being clear, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and those you’re speaking with. You’re not doing them a kindness, you’re being unfair and just plain not nice!

Going back to Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, she makes some interesting points about this very topic. She came to these conclusions after her seven year study into what the future of leadership will look like:

  • Speak to people, not about them – to do otherwise is not kind.
  • Telling people white lies or omitting part of the truth to spare their feelings isn’t kind like you think it is – almost every time, it’s more about making yourself feel comfortable.
  • We avoid hard conversations by saying ‘I get it. I’m on it.’ and running away, because it’s more pleasant for us than dealing with anything tough.
  • When you don’t clearly communicate your expectations to your colleague because you think it’s too difficult, but then you take them to task for not doing what you asked – that’s being unkind.

Notice a pattern? We’re not being kind by being unclear, we’re trying to protect ourselves from feeling discomfort. This form of protection is harmful to ourselves and, as I mentioned, is not being kind to others either.

The answer to becoming clearer and therefore kinder (as well as a better leader).

It’s to be brave, embrace the fact that life will be uncomfortable at times, and be clear in your communication. This doesn’t mean you get to throw the idea of tact out the window. It simply means that having the courage to be clear is one of the most important things as a leader. If you can’t communicate with clarity, then you can’t get the best results from yourself or those you lead.

Partial messages and half-truths do no one any good. You may feel ‘better’ for having avoided feeling uncomfortable, but you haven’t been kind to the other person. Leadership is about doing your best for others just as much as for yourself. Be brave and be clear to be kind.

If you would love to know more about how to be a kind and courageous leader or hear me speak at your event or organisation, please contact me at sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

7 Laws of Kindness

My mantra is to always be a Brave and Kind Leader and empower brave and kind leaders around me and across the world. Research had shown that Kindness is a strength for leaders and that being kind makes us happier and our employees more productive!

My 7 laws for being a kind leader –

  1. Kindly be Present – The best gift you can give yourself and others is to be truly there.
  2. Kindly be Compassionate – Be kind to yourself first and foremost and compassionate to others.
  3. Kindly show you Care – People want to be cared about and by showing you care about others at work and in the community makes a difference.
  4. Kindly show Gratitude – Always saying thank you to everyone who did something that you are grateful for whether it’s your team for doing great work or cafe worker making your coffee.
  5. Kindly help Others – If you someone is struggling or needs support of guidance, offer your help.
  6. Kindly show Respect – Accept everyone for who they are no matter what and respect them as human beings.
  7. Kindly be Kind – Ralph Waldo Emerson may have said it best. “You can not do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

If you would love to know more about how to be a kind and courageous leader or hear me speak at your event or organisation, please contact me at sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

15 Everyday Acts of Courage

There are so many different types and ways to be courageous. My favourite story is one of a young lady who was battling severe anxiety and depression due to bullying at school. She left school at 14 and spent time in and out of hospital for three years. One evening it took a lot of courage to come to her mum’s book launch with a room filled with people. She seemed to change that evening which made her mum’s heart sing. On the way home she told her mum she wanted to find the courage to speak at schools around her journey to help others. A few months later her daughter’s dream came true and she spoke in front 300 students about her journey with three key messages around kindness, compassion and non-judgement. There was not a dry eye in the room. Her courage changed her life and that of others too. That young girl is my daughter.

Here are my everyday acts of courage and leadership to practice and celebrate:

1. Saying sorry.

It takes courage to admit when you are wrong. It’s a bold act to admit when you make a mistake. Saying sorry takes you out of your comfort zone and enhances your relationships. That’s big. Do it!

2. Be yourself and own it.

Don’t imitate anyone. Take off your mask. Allow yourself to become vulnerable. Share your flaws with others. See perfection in your imperfections. Who you are is a gift to the world. Allow yourself to shine.

3. Take responsibility and accountability.

You are where you are in life because of the choices you make. If you don’t like what you see, change it. Reflection and choices are the keys and I often ask myself – I am living and leading a life I truly want? Responsibility brings freedom.

4. Keep your commitments and make goals. 

Write down everything you say you are going to do and want to achieve. Write down the promises you make to others and what you want to achieve in your life. When you keep your promises, you build self-respect. Others respect you as well. 

5. Have a voice and say no.

Speak up. Make a difference. Share your feelings when you witness an injustice. Practice sharing your opinion. Don’t allow someone to take advantage of you. Learn to say, “no.” Refuse to hold back when your gut says to move forward.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Coco Chanel

6. Let go and forgive.

Stop wallowing over what could have been. Forgive yourself. Forgive everyone. What happened is over unless you keep it alive by reliving it in your mind. When we know better, we do better. It takes courage to move on.

7. Grow and learn.

Learn something new. Step into the unknown. Change the way you do things. It doesn’t matter if you get it the first time. Try again. Give yourself permission to learn. Seize the opportunity. Growth brings new opportunities. 

8. Listen and be present.

Listen to people who disagree with you. Listen to family members who think you are wrong. Listen to the elderly person in the coffee shop. Listen when you only want to speak and give advice. Listen and thank the other person for sharing.

9. Help others.

Help someone who doesn’t help you. Help others when you don’t have the time. Help someone who can’t pay you back. Help someone when you are the one needing help. Learn to be of service. That’s why we’re here.

10. Courage is Love.

Be kind to each other. Be truthful. Accept differences.  Spend time together. Act like a loving person. You can love difficult people as well. Forgive them and wish them the best. Let them go with love.

11. Practice gratitude. 

Count your blessings. Tell the people in your life “thank you.” Be grateful for the people you love and for the people who love you. Focus on what you are grateful for.

12. Choose happiness.

Make a decision that you will think happy thoughts, speak kind words, and spend time doing things that bring you joy. Have a good attitude. See the glass half full. Look at the bright side. Expect the best. Choose to focus on what’s good. 

13. Learn from your mistakes.

Reflect on what went wrong and what you could have done better. Look for your lesson. Choose to grow forward. Be compassionate. Make a new plan. Refuse to give up.

14. Embrace the small things. 

Take time to love the small stuff. The taste of a glass of cold water, the different shades of red, a child’s laugh or an elderly person’s worn hands. Enjoy the sunrise and walk in the park. Enjoy…

15. Love Yourself. Accept your imperfections. Be your own best friend. Show yourself compassion, understanding and respect. This is the most courageous act of all. 

What are your acts of courage? I would love to know…

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au